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Sod or seed?

Posted by laowai none (My Page) on
Sun, Jun 22, 14 at 16:48

Looking for advice on what to do with my front lawn, in the attached photo.

We replaced a lead pipe last autumn, requiring the plumbers to dig up our front yard. They put it back together as best as they could, however this season the grass is not coming in as it should be. I'm a complete novice at this sort of thing so looking for advice on how to bring the lawn back to looking great!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Sod or seed?

Where do you live?
What kind of grass do you have now?
How much of that shade covers the rest of the lawn?
How have you been watering (frequency and duration)?


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RE: Sod or seed?

Live in Toronto, Canada.

I don't know what kind of grass it is.

The shade varies depending of time of day. There is a mature maple tree just to the left of this photo and the lawn gets full sun for about half the day, in the afternoon.

I haven't been watering consistently. Through rain or me watering via a sprinkler it gets watered about every 5 days, and for about 20 minutes at a time (other than when it's raining which would be for longer). We've had some intense sun the last few weeks as well which likely doesn't help.


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RE: Sod or seed?

Not sure if this helps to identify what kind of grass it is but attached is a close-up.


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RE: Sod or seed?

Thank you for the close up. Would you mind taking it again in the shade or when a cloud goes overhead? There's too much contrast to see the details. It looks like nutsedge just from that picture.

When you water this particular spot, does the water seem to collect and not absorb into the soil very fast? Does that happen anywhere?


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RE: Sod or seed?

Here you go.

Yes I do get water pooling, but only in intense rain. I will post what it looks like a subsequent message to this. I think I need to re-grade the lawn slightly to direct water away. Also I noticed a mushroom growing in one of the bare patches yesterday.

I'm planning to re-seed the whole thing tomorrow and hoping this will help. But any additional advice here is welcome.


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RE: Sod or seed?

Here is the pooling I mentioned. Again this only happens in intense rain.


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RE: Sod or seed?

You have real drainage issues. Is your basement wet?
Are you in a duplex? Is that your drainage pipe? Facing the house, which way is South?


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RE: Sod or seed?

No wetness or moisture issues in the basement.

Yes it's a duplex, and yes that is the downspout. The house faces almost directly north. The house is also on a hill, the downward angle going from east to west (right to left in the photo above). Note there is no pooling on my neighbour's yard to the right of the downspout. Apparently this issue wasn't there last year prior to my lawn being dug up by the plumbers.


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RE: Sod or seed?

The girdle of the tree is acting as a dam, so having the drain aimed at it isn't helping your drainage. Burying the pipe and running it to a curb-cut is the best option. Do both sides of the duplex share that drain pipe or is theirs buried?
Before you seed you are going to want to add soil and regrades your lawn so that it gently slopes from the house to the sidewalks. Some of your current lawn appears to be fescue. If all of the lawn gets at least 6 hours of sun, you may be able to establish KB.


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RE: Sod or seed?

Thanks, makes sense. I'll ask at the garden centre about the right technique to regrade with the topsoil. The lawn does get about 6 hours of sun during the summer - think I should get a sun and shade seed mix though.

Yes both sides of the duplex share that downspout. We only just disconnected it from going below grade due to a new city bylaw. We've got a landscaper doing our backyard so will inquire about burying the downspout. Thanks for the advice.


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RE: Sod or seed?

The plumbers left you with a hole. In my opinion a better idea than bringing in new soil is to remove soil you already have so it all drains away from the house out to the street.


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RE: Sod or seed?

Thanks. I've put down quite a bit of top soil and tried to regrade as much as possible. If this doesn't work, then dchall I'll go with your option.

A few hours after doing all this I noticed a lot of ants towards the sidewalk. Is this anything I should be concerned about?

Hopefully my next photo will be of a beautiful and lush lawn.


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RE: Sod or seed?

You probably just disturbed the ants when you did this work. Leave them alone for a week and see if they seem to be carrying your garden away. If not I'd leave them alone.


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RE: Sod or seed?

I've left them alone and there don't seem to be any issues.

Starting to get the first seeds germinating. Looking forward to a nice lawn!


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