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Old 01-10-2008, 09:52 AM
 
Location: Oz
2,238 posts, read 6,493,941 times
Reputation: 1299

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I want to remove the ratty lawn from one of my houses and reseed. The house is in Kansas. I'm assuming I need to wait until after the threat of hard frost has passed before I seed.

What's the best way to remove the old lawn? Dig it out, or kill it and reseed after the old lawn is completely dead? I know nothing about grass other than mowing it and keeping it green. The lawn area that I want to redo is in full sun. I want grass that doesn't normally grow too high but will look good. The soil probably isn't the best, but it grows things like vegetables and flowers just fine.

Anyone give me any pointers?
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Old 01-10-2008, 01:55 PM
 
7,745 posts, read 11,016,320 times
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I dealt with a lawn that was ratty and becoming overgrown with ivy. I used one of those gas powered tilling machines that you can rent at hardware stores. It was very cumbersome and I would have to stop to pull the ivy vines out of the blades.

But it worked. When I was done, it looked like a sand dune as all the grass and ivy was gone. I then bombarded the area with grass seeds making sure to water it each evening and again in the morning. Sod would have been better but I was doing it on the cheap. Today it looks like a golf course in Ireland.
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Old 01-10-2008, 04:03 PM
 
Location: Oz
2,238 posts, read 6,493,941 times
Reputation: 1299
Quote:
Originally Posted by Moth View Post
I dealt with a lawn that was ratty and becoming overgrown with ivy. I used one of those gas powered tilling machines that you can rent at hardware stores. It was very cumbersome and I would have to stop to pull the ivy vines out of the blades.

But it worked. When I was done, it looked like a sand dune as all the grass and ivy was gone. I then bombarded the area with grass seeds making sure to water it each evening and again in the morning. Sod would have been better but I was doing it on the cheap. Today it looks like a golf course in Ireland.
Cool, thanks. This is a rental so I'm not going to put down sod. The current tenant's dog has totally ripped up the yard by digging and such, and I'm not renewing their lease this spring. I'll have about 4-6 weeks of empty house in which to get the grass going pretty good before putting it back on the market.
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Old 01-12-2008, 01:56 PM
 
3,368 posts, read 7,366,242 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moth View Post
I dealt with a lawn that was ratty and becoming overgrown with ivy. I used one of those gas powered tilling machines that you can rent at hardware stores. It was very cumbersome and I would have to stop to pull the ivy vines out of the blades.

But it worked. When I was done, it looked like a sand dune as all the grass and ivy was gone. I then bombarded the area with grass seeds making sure to water it each evening and again in the morning. Sod would have been better but I was doing it on the cheap. Today it looks like a golf course in Ireland.
What kind of seed is best for this - I'm in Austin area and have a fair amount of shade from trees. I've heard rye grass can cope with shade???
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Old 01-12-2008, 02:46 PM
 
19,542 posts, read 22,778,250 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by southdown View Post
What kind of seed is best for this - I'm in Austin area and have a fair amount of shade from trees. I've heard rye grass can cope with shade???
In early spring go to a local nursery and ask them what to use. They will know what grasses work best in your area.

If they stay open year long there you could ask now.

Go to more than one and see if you get the same answers...
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Old 01-12-2008, 03:18 PM
 
1,764 posts, read 3,855,942 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoaminRed View Post
I want to remove the ratty lawn from one of my houses and reseed. The house is in Kansas. I'm assuming I need to wait until after the threat of hard frost has passed before I seed.

What's the best way to remove the old lawn? Dig it out, or kill it and reseed after the old lawn is completely dead? I know nothing about grass other than mowing it and keeping it green. The lawn area that I want to redo is in full sun. I want grass that doesn't normally grow too high but will look good. The soil probably isn't the best, but it grows things like vegetables and flowers just fine.

Anyone give me any pointers?
One of the native "great plains" grasses is Buffalo grass. It's very drought-tolerant, only grows to about 4-6", and even spreads by itself. You may want to check if it grows in Kansas, but I think it does. It is a "warm-season" grass and is therefore sown during the summer.

You should totally kill the existing grass IMO before planting a new variety. Buffalo goes dormant from late fall thru late spring, and turns a straw color. Personally I think it's attractive, but it wouldn't mix well with patches of surviving green grass. If you want a manicured, green lawn, buffalo is NOT for you. If you want a drought-tolerant, low maintenance lawn, buffalo is GREAT, once it's established.
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Old 01-18-2008, 11:41 AM
 
Location: Oz
2,238 posts, read 6,493,941 times
Reputation: 1299
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Rankin View Post
One of the native "great plains" grasses is Buffalo grass. It's very drought-tolerant, only grows to about 4-6", and even spreads by itself. You may want to check if it grows in Kansas, but I think it does. It is a "warm-season" grass and is therefore sown during the summer.

You should totally kill the existing grass IMO before planting a new variety. Buffalo goes dormant from late fall thru late spring, and turns a straw color. Personally I think it's attractive, but it wouldn't mix well with patches of surviving green grass. If you want a manicured, green lawn, buffalo is NOT for you. If you want a drought-tolerant, low maintenance lawn, buffalo is GREAT, once it's established.
Hmmm, well since this is Kansas there isn't a problem with lack of moisture most of the time. I don't think I've ever had to water my lawn since I've lived here (about 7 years now). And yes, since I'm intending to put the place on the market I need the lawn to look fairly nice. Maybe I'll just bite the bullet and sod
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Old 03-02-2008, 11:38 AM
 
359 posts, read 1,297,829 times
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I am a big fan of "grow native" and xeriscaping, but I opt out when it comes to buffalo grass. Some neighbors of our have it and it is very unattractive. Because it is a warm season grass, it looks brown almost all year, only greening for about2-3 months in thge heat of summer. It also has a rather shaggy look about it. Maybe they aren't taking care of it well or something like that. To be fair, it is the only example of buffalo grass I have seen personally.
We have some other neighbors who swear by Lesco brand tall fescue at Home Depot. It is a course blade, not golf course style, but it stands up to intense traffic and looks green all year, and stands up to heat and disease. They should know as they have 5 dogs, yet their house and yard is always immaculate. Maybe I can post a pics of the 2 yards..........(runs off to find camera)
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