Buffalo lawn seeding (a retrospective)
I always love the posts where people ask how to do something after they've already done it. Now here's mine! I'd love to hear any shared experiences though in case I can improve things at this point.
I picked up a couple of pounds of "Thunder Turf" seed a couple of months ago. This is a blend of Buffalo grass, Blue Grama and Curly Mesquite, (also sold as "Habiturf" http://www.wildflower.org/habiturf/) intending to do a test in my Austin lawn that got cooked during the drought. I did my prep little by little over the past few weeks as I had time.
I plotted out a 22 ft -diameter circle and hand pulled all the weeds that had sprouted up in the dead lawn, then hit the few patches of Bermuda and surviving St. Augustine with Roundup a couple of times.
Over a few backbreaking days, I yanked most of the dead St. Augustine out with a rake, leaving some roots and vegetation, but well enough that I could see dirt over the whole area. I spread a small bag of Bio-Tone 4-3-3 organic fertilizer I had on hand and went over the area a couple of times with a manual cultivator to break up the top inch or so and get it good and crumbly. Then I spread a bag and a half of peat moss over it, cultivated it again, and watered it well a couple of times over the course of a few days.
My intention had been to top it with a half inch of compost, but given lack of time and the general good state of my soil, I figured some peat moss to help moisture retention and the fertilizer for a little seedling boost would suffice.
Last night, I spread the seed, walked over the whole area many times to press the seed into the soil and gave it another light covering of peat moss. Then I watered for 15-20 minutes and set my hose timer to run 5 minutes every 6 hours. We're currently having 85 degree highs and lows around 70, so I hope the real heat holds off for a couple of weeks.
My dog is eagerly awaiting the results.
That photo was actually taken after the initial clearing. Here it is now.