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Old 05-30-2012, 05:19 PM
Location: GA
430 posts, read 1,076,610 times
Reputation: 272


I have a small yard and the part between the curb and sidewalk-- about a 20' x 4' area looks awful, with some crawling weeds an no grass. So dirt and straggling weeds.

The soil is dense but red as we have in the south. I doubt it counts for topsoil. I've killed the weeds off once with a roundup product but some others got in.

I have 4 bags of topsoil. I bought some burlap garden fabric to put over the soil once the seed is in to start it. I have a bag of bermuda pre-mixed with mulch and fertilizer. But now I just read somewhere that I have to til up the soil and then make sure weeds don't come back again. So I'd have to wait before planting the seed? It seems like I'd need to scoop out the first couple inches of soil but don't have any heavy equipment. I have rakes and a flat shovel. I also have some lime and gypsum but I read that can take 3 years to make any difference. So can I achieve any success without a tiller and what I have? I really don't care if it's 20% weeds as long as some grass grows. I can't fool anyone with just the brown showing through.
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Old 05-30-2012, 06:39 PM
Location: Buda
97 posts, read 363,112 times
Reputation: 130
My first thought is rent a tiller from Home Depot.

But this is what I have learned about Bermuda Grass it is the devil. For you that is good. I have a Zoysia Palisades lawn and my neighbors Bermuda likes to drive me crazy. It spreads from runners but about every 6 inches the runner puts down new roots. So you can't pull it up with any success because it just breaks every 6 inches leaving 10 new plants.

What this means for you is at I am fairly certain that if you put down seeds and water them to germination that the Bermuda will win the war between grass and weed. It will after some time choke the weeds out.

So what I would do is kill all your current weeds with a killer that does not linger. So none of that kills weeds for 6 months stuff. Then put down your seeds. Water it till it starts to grow. Keep the weeds pulled to the best of your ability mainly the crab grass if you have it. And when you think all the seeds have germinated treat the area with corn gluten 2 times per year once in the early spring and once early fall. This will keep future weed seeds from germinating. Do this and the grass should win.
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Old 05-31-2012, 07:30 AM
Location: ๏̯͡๏﴿ Gwinnett-That's a Civil Matter-County
2,117 posts, read 5,090,866 times
Reputation: 3497
The area you are referring to is known in the lawn geek circles as the "hell strip".
It's name is derived from what it is like to maintain (usually cool season) grass in that strip as it bakes away in the heat.

I would recommend against seed in GA, particularly now when it's just to hard to keep it moist (especially in the hell strip) and if you do keep it moist it will be crabgrass galore.
The bermuda seed is also common bermuda which is a low quality appearance and will spread to other parts of your yard and everwhere else.

Save yourself the trouble and headaches as this is just a small area and go to pikes or somewhere and get some zoysia sod. It should cost literally only about $70 plus tax. For the time it will save you it will be well worth it.
Yes, definitely spread the topsoil first. I'd recommend at least a half inch of topsoil.

I would also highly suggest that you plant a tree in the strip.
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Old 08-05-2012, 12:21 PM
Location: GA
430 posts, read 1,076,610 times
Reputation: 272
Ok I have been procrastinating but now it is later in the season and I have a tiller that I just put together.
So if I do sod do I need to spray the weeds and let them die first?
Or can I just till them up?

Also, I guess I'd have to get in my watering before I left for work at 6 am for the first 2 weeks?
Finally, is there some type of low fencing to put in there or something to indicate that the little kids getting ready to go back to school shouldn't be running through it? Just need a roller now. I will do the backyard at some point once I get rid of some junk back there, so I think having some of this could pay for itself.
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Old 08-05-2012, 12:31 PM
Location: Dallas TX
14,294 posts, read 20,539,012 times
Reputation: 20153
Usually I have seen people put string and stakes around the new lawn with a small sign 'new grass please keep off'.

From past experience, do not spray the weeds. Every time I have sprayed when planting grass (not sodding) it kills everything including the new grass.
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Old 08-08-2012, 03:56 PM
Location: GA
430 posts, read 1,076,610 times
Reputation: 272
Ok thanks, I'm going to try grinding them up once I figure out the roller thing.
So much to do and I'm still behind.
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Old 08-11-2012, 04:54 PM
3,647 posts, read 4,631,085 times
Reputation: 5773
Follow all of Cittica's advice. Also, many of the Pike's have garden seminars or classes. They usually start back around this time of the year. If they fit into your schedule, they are worth getting up for on Saturday morning. The seminars have discounts, door prizes, etc.
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Old 08-11-2012, 05:02 PM
25,631 posts, read 29,103,055 times
Reputation: 23049
DO NOT till in the weeds. Since it is such a small area remove the weeds green if you can. If not then kill with roundup and remove dead. Then work in your top soil, grade and sod. I recommend working in a good starting fertilizer with the top soil as well.
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