I'm starting tomorrow, any advice appreciated

pig86(6)April 28, 2013

I am buying a house tomorrow morning. The home had a septic system installed in November. So there is currently no back lawn. Just dirt and stone which is graded into the house. So I will start by fixing the grading issues. My questions are after the rough grade What are the best steps for Soil preparation before I seed. I am also lost on which type of seed to purchase. I will be getting the soil tested asap but I would like to get something planted immediately. So it has time to establish itself before the summer heat and my three young boys are out of school in late june. Whats the best cool season grass that will establish itself quickly and stand up to high traffic? I know that's a lot to ask from the grass. My plan is to try to just make the lawn usable for the kids this first season. Then if the budget allows overseed with a nicer cultivar in the fall.
Is this a waste of time and money? Is there certain species I should avoid this spring that will not be easily overseeded in the fall.
The home is Located on Massachusettes south shore. About half way between Boston and Cape Cod. It is a half mile from the Atlantic. The proximatey to the coast has a moderating effect on New Englands weather extremes. More rain then snow during the big winter storms and slightly less heat and humidity in the summer. The soil quality is not yet known but it looks sandy and there are more pines then maples in the surrounding wooded areas. The area which was dug up for the septic is on the south side of the house with no shading from tress, so it receives full sun. Thank you for any advice on where I should begin. My goal is to have a nice lawn in the next few years time. I know it won't happen immediately. I just don't want to waste anytime or money along the way.

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The fastest germinating/establishing grass is perennial rye. Perennial rye can make a beautiful dark green lawn, but if you use it you can't just overseed it to change what you have. Overseeding PR with anything other than PR can also be difficult as mature PR can inhibit other species of grass from germinating. PR is a bunch grass, which means it doesn't spread like Kentucky bluegrass, so periodic overseeding will be necessary if you experience stand loss (although there are a few spreading ryegrasses on the market now). If you want to change what grass you have in the late summer you will have to kill it all and start over.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2013 at 9:28AM
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I was going to suggest annual rye. Not sure if that would work better or not. The stuff germinates really fast.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2013 at 12:39PM
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Thanks for the responses. Unfortunately the grading issues are way worse than I thought. Today was the first time I saw the whole yard without any snow cover. Lots of rocks with the biggest being softball size and the surface was hard packed and very sandy. The weeds were not even growing in it. So it looks like any seeding will have to wait until late summer/ early fall. At least know I have plenty of time to research the best cultivars for South Eastern Mass. Anyone have any suggestions?

    Bookmark   April 29, 2013 at 9:09PM
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Does anyone know of a good resource to find a step by step on soil or site preparation? I'm sure most of my questions have allready been answered somewhere on this forum. I would be great full for any help with key words that may narrow my search. thanks

    Bookmark   April 29, 2013 at 9:18PM
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Try searching dchall and grading or rocks or box blade.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2013 at 10:53PM
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