Trashed Lawn - Where do I start? 2nd try
Hi all. This is a long post, with several issues. I hope it's not too long of a post, I just don't want to get started before I hear the experts opinions. I started a thread earlier and was asked to get a better soil analysis, so here it is, along with a couple of jar tests. Since I can apparently only load one photo at a time, I'll have to make a couple of posts to get everything in.
We just purchased a 30 y.o. home last December. We are in deep southern Illinois, and apparently in Zone 6A acording to the USDA Hardiness Zone Finder. There is approximately 6,000 sq. ft. of yard, and probably 25% of it is bare due to rescent grading. Naturally we have been affected by this year's drought. I am planning on kicking off the lawn remediation about Labor Day but want to get my ducks in a row now.
In the shady rear of the house there is a slope, and the one rain we had all summer made several gullies. I bought some woven hay, like they use along highways, but haven't laid it out you. The rest of the lawn is spotty.
I am really concerned about further erosion on the slope. I wasn't going to attempt to grow grass this summer, but I'm worried that further rain will trench it badly.
We have a lot of shady areas in the south facing yard, and lots of sun in the north facing yard (front yard). A friend said I had Bermuda grass in the front yard, but not quite sure. I had a landscaping outfit come out and they said there is 6,000 sq.ft. (I think that's exaggerated)to deal with and it would cost me $1,700 to fertilize and seed. Another $800 if I wanted the woven grass mat everywhere.
Late this spring there was some grading done and Shorty the excavator brought in a load of "dirt" and spread it in various places about the yard. It is very light in color and even the weeds don't seem to have much interest in it.
We also have a nice of what appears to be crabgrass growing where the grading was one on the existing dirt.
The new fill depth varies, probably ranging up to 6" deep in places, less in others. I did a jar test on Shorty's dirt and it is apparently:
I did a jar test on some of the existing dirt (I'll call it "Back & Sides") and that jar test came out:
I have printed out the most excellent "Basics of Lawn Care", found in this forum.
What type of grass seed would be good for the sunny area? For the shady area?
Should I first kill all the weeds with Roundup before seeding?
What kind of fertilizer should I use for Shorty's dirt? How and when should I apply it? Same question for the Back & Sides Dirt.
I have access to alphalpha rabbit food for $12.00/50 lbs. Would that be of any use? Use it on Shorty's dirt? At what stage of the seeding process? Also, we have lots of brown pine needles available in the lot across the street.
Would they be useful for protecting the seed or for nutrients for the new grass?
FYI - For seed, herbicides and some fertilizers, we have a local chain of farm stores called Rural King. The prices seem to be really good, compared to Lowes. http://www.ruralking.com/catalogsearch/result/?q=grass+seed
So that is my is my dilemma. What is my best approach?
Thanks for the help.