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Old 08-14-2011, 06:19 PM
 
Location: South Tampa
1,163 posts, read 1,851,508 times
Reputation: 1059

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We lucked up on a great rental home in South Tampa, except the lawn in front and back was very unkempt and rugged. The front is spotty (only growing a little near the road) and the back yard is nothing but dirt/soil with a couple seasons dead leaves on top...and some weeds/brush as well.

I'm cleaning up the back yard now to prep for new grass planting. I'm going to attempt to just seed in the front yard and hope for the best.

So, what grows best in Tampa? My requirements:

- must be a SEEDED variety, much cheaper for me- I can't afford nor want to invest a lot of money on sod for a rental home.

- front and back yards are quite shaded. large tree in center of backyard gives good bit of coverage, but sun does get through.

- i don't mind the maintenance/cutting but don't want to have to fertilize every month or something crazy. i just want a good looking yard.


Sidenote:


The tenant before me made a walkway filled with white rock/pebble...not only do I think that is tacky and hideous (blows my mind people do that to a whole front yard!), but weeds have grown through. What would a good solution be to fix that problem on a budget?

Thanks!
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Old 08-14-2011, 06:48 PM
 
Location: Wake County, NC
2,983 posts, read 4,058,132 times
Reputation: 3516
Quote:
Originally Posted by SeaSpur View Post
We lucked up on a great rental home in South Tampa, except the lawn in front and back was very unkempt and rugged. The front is spotty (only growing a little near the road) and the back yard is nothing but dirt/soil with a couple seasons dead leaves on top...and some weeds/brush as well.

I'm cleaning up the back yard now to prep for new grass planting. I'm going to attempt to just seed in the front yard and hope for the best.

So, what grows best in Tampa? My requirements:

- must be a SEEDED variety, much cheaper for me- I can't afford nor want to invest a lot of money on sod for a rental home.

- front and back yards are quite shaded. large tree in center of backyard gives good bit of coverage, but sun does get through.

- i don't mind the maintenance/cutting but don't want to have to fertilize every month or something crazy. i just want a good looking yard.


Sidenote:

The tenant before me made a walkway filled with white rock/pebble...not only do I think that is tacky and hideous (blows my mind people do that to a whole front yard!), but weeds have grown through. What would a good solution be to fix that problem on a budget?

Thanks!
Try Argentine Bahia, it's drought tolerent. A yard covered in rock is not attractive imo, but it has advantages, little maintenance and no watering.
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Old 08-14-2011, 08:45 PM
 
204 posts, read 464,891 times
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If you have a yard shaded with trees chances are nothing is going to live long term; it's a photosysnthesis issue: bahia requires 6 hours sun a day.
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Old 08-14-2011, 08:46 PM
 
Location: Tampa, FL
1,389 posts, read 2,094,690 times
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i second the argentine bahia if you absolutely must have grass.

personally, i don't really see the point of a lawn down here unless you're rich.
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Old 08-14-2011, 08:57 PM
 
Location: South Tampa
1,163 posts, read 1,851,508 times
Reputation: 1059
Quote:
Originally Posted by user8 View Post
i second the argentine bahia if you absolutely must have grass.

personally, i don't really see the point of a lawn down here unless you're rich.
I don't necessarily think it has to do with money as it does with the work it takes...not being lazy about it.

Having a lawn gives me a personal sense of pride and just "fits" with a home in my opinion. I could never have rocks or whatever it is that I see people have in front of their home- that has to be the most tackiest thing I've ever come across.
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Old 08-14-2011, 09:00 PM
 
Location: Tampa, FL
1,389 posts, read 2,094,690 times
Reputation: 993
Quote:
Originally Posted by SeaSpur View Post
I don't necessarily think it has to do with money as it does with the work it takes...not being lazy about it.

Having a lawn gives me a personal sense of pride and just "fits" with a home in my opinion. I could never have rocks or whatever it is that I see people have in front of their home- that has to be the most tackiest thing I've ever come across.
part of that work includes massive amounts of watering especially during the dry parts of the year . my ideal yard down here would have a small patch of grass, a rock garden, and some tropical drought-tolerant plants. one day.
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Old 08-14-2011, 10:37 PM
 
Location: Wake County, NC
2,983 posts, read 4,058,132 times
Reputation: 3516
Quote:
Originally Posted by user8 View Post
part of that work includes massive amounts of watering especially during the dry parts of the year . my ideal yard down here would have a small patch of grass, a rock garden, and some tropical drought-tolerant plants. one day.
The rock yard is better for the environment. Unless you have a weed problem and need to spray a lot of chemicals.
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Old 08-14-2011, 10:43 PM
 
Location: Wake County, NC
2,983 posts, read 4,058,132 times
Reputation: 3516
Quote:
Originally Posted by SeaSpur View Post
I don't necessarily think it has to do with money as it does with the work it takes...not being lazy about it.

Having a lawn gives me a personal sense of pride and just "fits" with a home in my opinion. I could never have rocks or whatever it is that I see people have in front of their home- that has to be the most tackiest thing I've ever come across.
Your grass will need a lot of water, at least until it's established. I've seen yards that are very nice when landscaped with rocks and drought tolerent plants. I do agree though that a yard of just rocks is ugly.
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Old 08-15-2011, 07:45 AM
 
13,768 posts, read 35,411,037 times
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I think you are going to find it very hard to get a lawn using seed. You would do better to get some sod even a little bit at a time. It is a never ending battle.. You might want to ask in the garden forum too. If your backyard is mostly shade you are not going to get anything to grow very well.

Remember too if it isn't just the water or soil you also have different bugs that love to eat grass. If it isn't chinchbugs it is mole crickets or grubs.
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Old 08-15-2011, 08:13 AM
 
Location: Tampa, FL
2,637 posts, read 11,661,802 times
Reputation: 3579
Quote:
front and back yards are quite shaded. large tree in center of backyard gives good bit of coverage, but sun does get through.
Unless you plan to cut down the tree (please don't!), you are unlikely to get a nice lawn - grass doesn't grow well in the shade. The varieties that do well here need a lot of light and always are straggly at best in the shade. Consider ground cover instead. Asian Jasmine is a good choice for under a big tree, you can mulch the walkways.

As for seed, that's a northern thing, doesn't seem to work well here. I am not sure if it is the varieties or our sandy "soil" or perhaps a combination of those, but it seems like your real choices are sod, or plugs.
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