Can you help me fix my lawn? Please?

melt_in_the_sun(9a)September 21, 2010

Hi everyone,

I am new to all this, as will shortly become obvious. I bought a foreclosed house with a dead lawn about this time last year. In the spring, I tilled up the old dead grass, mixed in some composted manure, did a pathetic job of leveling, and seeded with Sonesta (pretty sure) bermuda from Scotts. The lawn gets watered by three pop-up sprinklers (in the rocks at the left edge of the lawn); right now it's for 30 minutes/4 days a week.

Pictures are attached below.

I have several problems that are obvious even to me.

1. The very poor leveling job I did makes mowing and drainage uneven, and in general looks like garbage. In the first photo, the portion closest to the camera is 2-4 inches lower than the rest of the yard, and everything is lumpy.

2. Rabbits are eating it like candy, and pooping all over the place.

3. The grass seems very sparse, not at all like the carpet I had imagined.

Please critique my newbie thoughts:

1. Level it for real. What should I use to do this? I've seen folks use sand, but several inches of sand in places seems like a bad idea. Purchased topsoil? Roll it also?

2. Keep the darned rabbits out with traps, dogs, fences, guns, etc.

3. Get a real mower and mow it shorter (leveling will make this possible). My current mower is a piece of junk I picked up at a garage sale. It's a walmart-quality reel mower that can't cut very low and bounces around a lot (dull?).

4. Perhaps add another sprinkler head or two for better coverage (may not be possible or even necessary).

Are my expectations too high? Lawn still too young? Thanks for looking and for your help.

Here's the whole thing (can't figure out how to rotate it, sorry!)

Short/bare spots, see all the rabbit turds?

Closeup of the thin grass

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smb2003(6)

Hi, sorry I don't have advice for you.....but let me know what you do about the rabbits. I have a decent size chunk of grass in my backyard that is brown and dead and full of rabbit poop! I thought it was grubs for the longest time. I'm not sure what to do. I put down some seed but I have a feeling the rabbits will just eat the grass again.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2010 at 1:36PM
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jordanz(8A (Mojave Desert))

For leveling I would just add top soil to the barespots that need built up (making sure to compact it somewhat, I just walk over every square inch) and re-seed it at the same time. That's what I do for my tall fescue lawn.

You need to get your watering cut down too, at best you only want to water 1-2 times a week max...long deep watering for those roots to grow downward and get established well. Just gradually start to increase your watering time (until it starts to pool or run-off) and start to skip watering days until you're at 1-2 times per week.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2010 at 2:55PM
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neilaz(9a)

Not sure of the size of your lawn but looks like it would need at least 8 sprinkler heads to get the right coverage.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2010 at 4:45PM
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