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Old 09-18-2012, 08:29 PM
 
48 posts, read 64,261 times
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Default Need Help--How to Overseed and Topdress My Lawn

We are trying to grow a little more grass and a few less weeds in our yard. We only have 0.1something acres, so it shouldn't be that hard to grow a little grass (one would think).

Anyway, we did the weed and feed last summer. I fertilized once for the fall already. We are getting our lawn aerated tomorrow.

Everywhere I read says after the aeration to use a fine compost to topdress the lawn, about 1/4 inch, and overseed, and then rake it in. Where do you get compost? Or what else besides compost does everyone use?

Also, what kind of grass seed is good for northern VA?

Any help is much appreciated.
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Old 09-19-2012, 01:34 AM
 
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We get our compost from Saunders Landscape Supply, and we always just get whatever grass seed Merrifield tells us would be best.
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Old 09-19-2012, 06:29 AM
 
Location: Censorshipville...
2,437 posts, read 3,458,028 times
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If you're putting compost down, it probably wasn't necessary to fertilize. The compost will fertilize naturally. Check with your county landfill. In PWC, they take the tree/shrub trimmings and grass clippings that are dumped there and turn it into mulch and compost. They charged me $20 to fill my Tacoma bed with compost from a front end loader. I got another truck bed to fill an 8'x4'x1' raised vegetable garden and there was extra.
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Old 09-19-2012, 06:56 PM
 
Location: Fredericksburg, Va
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Most of the grass in our area are "cool weather" grasses, like fescues...but NEVER use Fescue 31....it's awful stuff!

If you have lots of trees and shade, it's hard to get a good stand of grass. You can topdress with pre-packaged topsoil or compost that you buy....it's available in most gardening centers.
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Old 09-20-2012, 06:09 AM
 
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You should read elsewhere. As correctly pointed out by oneasterisk, fertilizer + compost = overkill. Unless your soil is especially sandy for some reason, I'd skip topsoil & go w/a sand & peatmoss mix. I've had excellent results by heavy raking (aerate every few years), mowing & bagging, leaf raking, then sand & peatmoss (1 small bag construction sand/3 cu.ft. of PM),rake, then new seed (BG/Fescue mixes) & lightly leaf rake again. Water well for a week, and voila!
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Old 09-20-2012, 06:23 AM
 
Location: Censorshipville...
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I did this a few weeks ago and it seems to be filling in. First I mowed the grass low, lower than normal but not where it would damage the existing grass. I dethatched the grass. I put down some compost and I spread the grass seed. I don't think it's necessary to rake the grass seed in. Once you start watering the grass will find it's way down into the compost. This is the 2nd time I've done this and both times the grass grows without raking it in. I'd water daily in the mornings for about 2 weeks. I'm on my 3rd week and I'm watering every other day now. The grass is about 2" tall now. I'm going to cut the grass because the existing grass is really tall with all the extra water it's been getting.

The grass looks great with all the extra nutrients and water it's been getting. It's a deep dark green color at the moment.

Also this is a local resource that has helpful tips: Garden Plot - WTOP.com
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Old 09-20-2012, 09:23 AM
 
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Neat link! Thanks!
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Old 09-20-2012, 07:32 PM
 
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Thank you for all of the replies.
Thank you, oneasterisk, for that nice link. I see some interesting articles that I plan on reading.

I found some hummus/manure mixture in bags which I mixed with topsoil for the topdressing. Maybe next year I can search out a good compost source if I get an earlier start on this. Thank you for the leads on that.
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