Sew grass without tilling?

dave11March 29, 2008

I recently bought a house whose lawn was originally done in 1951. An area measuring 115' by 36' was allowed to be overcome by pachysandra, which I have removed. I'm comfortable with the process of sewing grass in this area, but I expect the new and improved cultivars of KBG, Perrenial Rye, and Chewings Fescue are not going to match the old Common KBG. This is in a prominent part of the front lawn, and I'm expecting a noticeable line between them.

So I'm thinking that later this year, I'll need to kill the remainder of the old KBG and sew the same seed there. But I've heard that some folks simply kill the grass, fertilize, then sew the seed over the dead grass (which acts as a mulch), and don't bother tilling. I'm curious if anyone here has had experience with this, or has an opinion. The remainder of the front lawn is over half an acre, and it'd be nice to avoid roto-tilling, if it's not really necessary.

I'm in Pennsylvania, in an area with fairly organic soil. The existing lawn doesn't have significant thatch or soil compaction.

Thanks for any advice.

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Unless you have access to a tractor and attachments I would just sow the grass over the old stuff you killed. Half an acre of tilling and smoothing would be a huge task with walk behind equipment. In fact that is a recommended method by some grass seed producers.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2008 at 9:04PM
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I killed, dethatched, mowed up the excess crud, and then sowed seed right into the remaining dead stuff. My lawn was back pretty quickly (the neighbors were unhappy for a bit, but what the heck).

    Bookmark   March 29, 2008 at 9:12PM
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That's what I was hoping for. Thanks for the advice.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2008 at 9:48PM
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garycinchicago(Z5 Chicago IL.)

The old fashioned method is to lift the old sod with a sod cutter, regrade if needed with additional topsoil and reseed.

I'm kind of old fashioned myself.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2008 at 9:51PM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

Wait until fall when the heat of summer first breaks. Then scalp the grass as low as you can to expose the soil. Rake up what you can to expose more soil. Moisten the soil, scatter the seed, and roll it down with a water fillable roller (rented) to ensure good seed-to-soil contact. Then keep it moist. Water every day for 10-15 minutes, three times a day, for 2 weeks. Mow the grass when the new grass gets tall enough to mow at your mower's highest setting. Then weld or glue your mower at that height for the best looking results. The only reason you need to mow at a lower height than the highest is to reseed. You can rent a mower for that.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2008 at 10:48PM
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What kind of needle are you planning to use to SEW the seed? ;-)

    Bookmark   March 30, 2008 at 11:04AM
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LAst year i put on a heavy application of professional lawn fertilizer ( was not a slow or controlled release product) because we had so much rain and the lawn wasn't greening up as it normally did.
I did the application, we got one big rain and then drought set in....Long story short, the heavy fertilization was too much and it really burned the grass and alot of it died.

My question is this... will the dead grass come back this Spring? And if it doesn't what is the best method to use where I have destroyed the grass?

I need a professional opinion on this and would appreciate advice on techniqes that really work for an early Spring seeding...

Many thanks.....GVG

    Bookmark   March 12, 2011 at 9:28PM
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