16 days after dethatch...no new grass :(..putting house on market

tjain_seattleApril 6, 2014

Hi All, I am putting my house on the market. Last year my yard looked really crappy. Hence this year I asked my gardener to dethatch it and reseed. It was 5 weeks before I was planning to put the house on market. He told me that the grass will come back in 3-4 weeks.

Now it has been 17 days and the yard looks horrible. There are bare patches and dead grass all over and I can barely see any new growth..

My gardener asks me to be patient, but I think he has been stingy in putting seeds, fertilizer and everything else and hence the grass is not coming back.

1. Is there anything I can do to make the grass grow faster? I got some plant food but I was told that adding anything extra may burn the grass.

2. The birds are eating away a lot of seeds even though the gardener put a lot of peat moss on the new seeds. Could that lead to less seeds in the ground. Should I seed more?

3. If in the next week, the bare patches are not filled, Can i just plant SOD in the bare and burned patches.

Please HELP....

Photos attached

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Burned Grass...No new grass coming...

    Bookmark   April 6, 2014 at 10:17AM
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More burnt grass...

    Bookmark   April 6, 2014 at 10:18AM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

Bummer when Mother Nature doesn't accommodate your schedule. Normally I would ask a lot of questions as to how your lawn became crummy and what you did to fix it, but I have a feeling you never really cared about the yard until now that you want to sell it.

I would strongly suggest sodding it if you have any doubts about your gardener and/or Nature cooperating with your date. Sod looks great instantly. When the Realtors come by they will have nothing to complain about.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2014 at 1:41PM
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If it wasn't watered 3x a day in the absence of rain and also covered with a thin layer of compost or dirt, then it's nothing more than bird food. The fact that I can see so much seed in the picture indicates that the seed was not worked into the dirt. It can't just be sprinkled on top of dirt, you need to use the back of a rake to mix it in, no solid contact with dirt = no grow.

New grass seed doesn't need any fertilizer, in fact that will stress new grass seedling and more likely just feed the weeds. Would have been much more effective if you had done the dethatching in the fall and seeded then. Spring is not a great time to seed. Only thing you can do now is Sod or try mixing that seed in better and getting on a consistent watering schedule for the next few weeks.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2014 at 10:10AM
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Thanks. Watering was surely a problem. I also think lack of Sun has been a problem.

There was some sun yesterday and I could see little grass covering up the bare patches. Next few days are also warm. I plan to water regularly now (sprinkler system will be ON tomorrow) and I hope with the Sun some spots fill up.

I definitely have to use SOD. But I am thinking of doing this only on the bare patches, so that I can do it myself and minimize cost. Is this a good idea?

    Bookmark   April 7, 2014 at 4:24PM
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I think you'll end up with a patchy lawn. Just pay for the sod, and I'll bet you'll make your money back on increased home value. Example: Sod costs $2,500, but your appraisal increases $5,000. Sometimes the simplest things like a decent lawn/landscaping can give you the most bang for your buck when selling a home.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2014 at 8:24PM
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Honestly just spray it green. There's not much you can do apart from raking in more seeds and watering twice a day religiously.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2014 at 2:18PM
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