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need advice on planting grass

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just the kind to make a lawn!

 

I had a new septic system installed in December and a large area of lawn say 4000 sq ft was ripped up for the septic field and by heavy machinery. Winter snows covered it up but now a big muddy field is starting to appear and I want to sow grass seed for the lawn but need some advice:

 

When should I sow the seed? I am worried about weeds taking over so I guess it should be early.

 

How should I do it?

 

What kind of seed should I use? I live in Rimouski Quebec and the latitude (48 N) is not indicative of the climate. We have a short growing season (3-4 months between frosts), piles of snow, very cold in winter. We do have very fertile soil though and many crops can grow here in the short season. No real drought conditions occur here though August can be dry.

 

Other considerations are that I do not want too much maintenance in terms of cutting and I dont want to have to water it or fertilise it (septic should do that). Fishing season is short here and I don't want to waste my time worrying about the grass.

 

Any insights and advice would be appreciated.

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INSIGHT...... forget about it, go fishin!

 

:headbang: :headbang: :headbang: :headbang: :headbang: :headbang: :headbang: :headbang: :headbang: :headbang: :headbang: :headbang: :headbang: :headbang: :headbang:

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sow perennial rye grass, it germanates in 5 to 7 days. Mulch with straw and water until it is established. It does need to be cut regulary though.

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Maybe I could plant some ginger too then I could drink rye and ginger all summer ;)

 

cheers, thanks for the advice.

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Worked as an estate gardener for 16 years and a bachelors in horticulture at Oregon State in 99. Focus of studies - Turf Landscape management.

 

I followed a general contractor from job to job restoring commercial and residential landscapes following installation of sewer systems in the town where I live. Did a little over a hundred landscapes.

 

Some observations of your dilemma. Ground is compacted where heavy vehicles traveled. Sod is torn up along edges of ditches, Lumps where the vehicles set their "feet" for stability, area of excavation probably uneven.

All of these environments you will need to repar.

 

Start first at the torn sod dimension. Cut it off with a shovel or hand edger or if you have a gas edger it will work just as well. Where the feet sat - cut the turf off as well. Trying to lift this area is going to be difficult. Cut it out.

 

Next you will need a level playing field. Any uneven areas will either pool water or cause problems with the mower scalping. Get it level. When adding soil to an existing soil try your best to match the soil type. Don't go buy amendments to add to this environment and apply them at a heavy rate. The dilemma is known as a perched water table. Penetration of water over layerings is not good. The layers hold water and do not let it go readily into the profile. A little is a lot. 8% amendment or less will suffice. This is not a lot - be careful adding.

 

Turf or seed. Turf and your done. Cost can be prohibitive. Turf will allow you to procure a variety of grass that is conducive to your area. Seeding is definitely cheaper but it too has a few complications. Germination of seed is dependent upon the introduction of water. Enzyme activity begins at the onset of water. The seed embryo has sufficient nutrient to germinate the seed but - the embryo has only enough for one try. If you let the seed dry during this process you are beat. Too much water and the seed floats away. Seed germination is dependent upon soil temperature. The process begins at 58 degrees.

 

Any colder and the seed merely sits but the embryo got water. Thus, too soon and you will have to reseed. To help retain water apply a very, very loose topping of sphagnum moss. Water frequently at very short intervals. Germination usually occurs in 5-7 days with most varieties. If you have computer controlled irrigation set it to run at least 3 times a day and only for about 3 min. Your purpose is only to keep the seed wet. After seeding stay off the area. Your shoes will pick up the seed and you will have blank spots.

 

I would fertilize a little after germination. 21-0-0, and just a light sprinkling. Do not let the grass grow to 2 or 3 inches prior to mowing. Sun burn or yellowing can occur on scalped lawns after a lapse in mowing.

 

a variety - now that is a dilemma. You would have a cold or cool season grass. A fescue is a deep rooted grass able to withstand some drought - drought tolerant not drought resistant.

Perennial rye would be my suggestion. Would be good to match what you have. The purpose in seeding is to immediately replenish the area. If you have patience and don't mind the blank spot for a time merely restore the environment. On average most grasses deposit any where from 20 to 25 thousand seeds per sq ft of area. You present grasses will simply take over. Apply new seed at a fairly heavy rate. Cover the area. Unless you intend to use a bent grass variety there is no danger of overseeding.

 

I tried to be brief yet provide a sufficient amount of information to answer your question.

 

Hope this helps. Not sure how turf got to fly tying. Pm me if you have any further questions. Any other tiers - if you have landscape dilemmas pm me and I would be happy to help. Whether it be pruning or plant selection, I would be happy to share my knowledge and experience.

later

fred

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Wow, thanks Fred, obviously you have a lot of knowledge about this. You response if quite detailed and that may be enough to get me started but I may take you up on your offer of more advice.

 

This morning I looked at some home and garden shops and most of the grass seed mix is the same: a mixture of two kinds of fescue (red and another which I forget), Kentucky bluegrass and perennial rye. I gather from that, that this is the right kind of mix for the climate but these are chain stores and their products are not necesarily reflective of local conditions. Only one brand (CIL) had a guarantee of 99.9% pure grass seed and the others, though cheaper, probably have a lot of weed seeds in them.

 

Is Kentucky bluegrass a high maintenance grass? From what I could gather from reading the seed bags, it is able to withstand a lot of traffic which could be a plus with two kids running around on it. This climate ain't exactly Kentucky though.

 

The advice of not planting too early is really valuable. I do not want to seed twice but I was thinking of planting quite soon though woke up to new snow this morning so I suppose it is too early :D One of the fears I have is that if I leave it too long, the soil will run off. We are on a bit of a bump and a heavy rain can create a small stream away from the house so I think I should plant something though it need not be the most beautiful lawn this year just having the function of holding the soil and allowing us to walk without sinking 2 ft into the mud.

 

Sincere thanks Fred.

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Just because it snowed doesn't mean that it is still too early. You should measure the temp of your soil.

The mix that you saw is a very commonly sold mix. The idea is to have a profile of green though the environment is not conducive to one variety the year through. The hint was in drought tolerant and drought resistant. Kentucky blue grass is prone to thatching. The development of a thick root mass which is hard to decompose

 

Regular thatching will alleviate this problem. You should that on a yearly basis. Spring is the best time to accomplish this task.

 

Buy the three seed mix. If the seed in your lawn soil bank are stronger they will just push the new one out. The seeds you plant will germinate more readily than the soil bank reason being You've just placed them and they have been exposed to sunlight.

 

The key to your new lawn for this spring lies in preparation. If you can pick up a handful of soil and squish it and after opening your hand the soil retains the squished shape - then your soil is too wet to work. The end result of working soil at this time is caking and clumping. Once these lumps or clods are created they are very difficult to break. Thus creating more work for yourself.

 

I believe I have found the link. The light doth shone.

 

Patience, time, fishing ----it works!!!!

 

later

fred

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