I'm the bad neighbor on the block...please help!

april_loveMay 2, 2014

Hello all,

Three years ago we had major sewer work done. The city put down sod and grass seed but they didn't even out the dirt (hopefully that makes sense) and you could see a big dip in the grass. Two years ago we had the yard evened out and hydroseeded. I thought that would be an economical way of fixing the grass. That didn't work.

The photos below show the present state of my grass today. (You can still see the tracks where the machine pulled up on the yard.) Where should I start? I bought a bag of Scotts EZ Seed but I'm not quite sure if that was the right thing to do.

We are in Michigan. It's about 50 degrees here today.

Please help!

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Here's another photo.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2014 at 10:56AM
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The yard looks pretty level to me. Only reading about the "tracks" made me focus closer than the average person would, and even then I'm not sure I see what you referenced.

Because of your area, I assume you're growing KBG, which means you can't do anything about reseeding until the fall.

If there are indeed any low "tracks" in the yard, I would buy some bags of lawn soil, pour them into the "tracks" and rake until level.

Your task throughout the summer will be keeping any weeds from bedding in the bare soil. This fall I would reseed, not only the "tracked" areas but the entire lawn. Overall, it looks quite then, but I've seen a lot worse.

The task before you isn't bad at all.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2014 at 9:11PM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

It takes three years for soil to settle. Now would be a good time to level it again - finally.

Looks like you have several types of grass in there. Do those tracks show all the time? It could be they drove on the soil when it was wet and compacted it some. I would start to fix that by spraying with baby shampoo. Spray the entire yard. Spray and then follow up with a full inch of water as measured by empty cat food or tuna cans. While you're doing that, time how long it takes to fill those cans, because that is the time you should be running your sprinklers when you run them. Then the next time you water, repeat the shampoo and deep watering. This sets up your soil to grow the beneficial fungi which will soften your soil. Oh the application rate for the shampoo is anything higher than 3 ounces per 1,000 square feet.

With temps in the 50s you should be watering about once per month. When it warms up you can increase the frequency. If it only gets into the 80s, then you can water every 2 weeks. If you get daily temps in the 90s then go to once per week.

Mow at the mower's highest setting. That, along with infrequent watering, will help keep weeds out.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2014 at 9:12PM
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If I put down seed now will it grow? Yes, the tracks show all the time. However, the tracks are usually filled with weeds so it doesn't show really bad.

Once I put the shampoo in the yard can I seed it?

    Bookmark   May 3, 2014 at 5:21PM
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While seeding a cool season grass in spring can work, it's not advised because it entails much more work than doing so in the fall.

When you sow seeds in the fall, which is the optimal temperature for the grass you have, it allows the lawn to develop a deeper root system so that by the following summer it's better able to tolerate the heat and drought.

I don't know what the summers are like in Michigan, but I grow tall fescue in the Atlanta, GA area and would never dream of seeding in the spring.

You can make it work, especially considering your yard is so small, but you'll have to water regularly during the summer to keep it from dying.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2014 at 8:43PM
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I raked the patches really good and put down grass seed and lawn food for new grass about 5-6 days ago. I've been watering 3 times a day to keep the seed moist. I don't see ANY new grass. It is too soon?

    Bookmark   May 10, 2014 at 5:33PM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)


Rye grass should start sprouting in 5-7 days.
Fescue grass should start sprouting in 10-14 days.
Kentucky bluegrass should start sprouting in 15-21 days.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2014 at 6:56PM
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I see grass! I'm so excited.

I planted a mix of rye, fescue, and kentucky bluegrass so I should see new grass each week. I'm so excited because I've never grown anything (successfully.)

    Bookmark   May 12, 2014 at 5:45PM
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Good luck!

Growing from seed (plants and flowers included) is a very rewarding experience. I recall the first lawn I seeded and the amazement I had when the tiny little blades came up and eventually grew into a very lush lawn.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2014 at 7:58PM
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Hi all,

I have more questions. I stopped the lawn service for the past two weeks to allow the seed to grow. The rest of my lawn looks like a forest. lol. They are scheduled to come back this week. Should I tell them to cut around the patch of grass which is now growing? When can that grass be cut?

    Bookmark   May 17, 2014 at 10:16PM
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