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Old 04-07-2009, 12:43 PM
 
228 posts, read 769,619 times
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Hi all,

We moved in last November, and the temps were already near freezing, now its thawing out here in NC, and spring is upon us. First i know nothing about gardening, zippo. However, I do know that our lawn is supposed to have grass in it, instead it has...clover, daphidiles, you name it, anything other than grass. Its like that for both the front and backyard. My impression is that at one point when the home was new, 15 years ago, it had grass, and it slowly got overrun by other things.

What do I do about it? Do i just uproot everything and start over? Do I throw down grass seed in the hopes it will bloom? Is it too late to plant grass? I think we should have done this during the winter but the ground was frozen over for most of the time (that and we dont like gardening in 40F weather).

Thanks for any help.
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Old 04-07-2009, 01:28 PM
 
Location: Albemarle, NC
7,730 posts, read 13,600,674 times
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If I were you, I would overseed with a good fescue for your area. In NC, Kentucky 31 is a good one. Or Rebel IV which is a blend of seeds. Use a seed starter fertilizer. Have someone come in and aerate your soil and sow the seeds. In a few months, you can use a weed and feed mixture to kill the weeds and fertilize the new grass. In the winter, throw down a pre-emergent and use weed and feed again in the spring for anything that comes up then. Do this every year until you have a lawn. Or, just tell the neighbors it's a new "green" lawn, ie, no chemicals and it's greeen. Eco lawns are all the rage now.
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Old 04-08-2009, 07:26 AM
 
37 posts, read 102,267 times
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I guess I would go the other way and first get rid of all weeds and then prep the soil. Since the grass is dead, I'd take that as a sign of dead soil and work in something with micro-organisms like well composted manure or better yet - make compost tea and save yourself the trouble of more weeds in the lawn.

At that point - ask yourself - is the landscape the way you want and plan a Master Plan. Plan out garden spaces, play areas, seating areas and what you want to use the lawn for will determine how much lawn space you really want. Many people are reducing lawn space for gardens (as insurance against the economy, energy upsets and whatever life throws your way). Work on the Master Plan for as long as you think you need to - since you get a good freeze, you can plant ANNUAL rye if you need to buy some time. The Annual rye will die off over winter and you will again have fresh ground to work on.

As for the lawn, I would go with a low maintenance lawn. Try either a no mowing grass (cheapest) or zoysia (a little work but worth it) or something that will not take up all your future time and money.

You have a chance to make this lawn everything you want so why not take advantage of it and do a little every year toward your goals.
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Old 04-09-2009, 04:40 PM
 
596 posts, read 2,769,843 times
Reputation: 202
Quote:
Originally Posted by gibbie99 View Post
Hi all,

We moved in last November, and the temps were already near freezing, now its thawing out here in NC, and spring is upon us. First i know nothing about gardening, zippo. However, I do know that our lawn is supposed to have grass in it, instead it has...clover, daphidiles, you name it, anything other than grass. Its like that for both the front and backyard. My impression is that at one point when the home was new, 15 years ago, it had grass, and it slowly got overrun by other things.

What do I do about it? Do i just uproot everything and start over? Do I throw down grass seed in the hopes it will bloom? Is it too late to plant grass? I think we should have done this during the winter but the ground was frozen over for most of the time (that and we dont like gardening in 40F weather).

Thanks for any help.
You have some great advice it sounds like. I am like you, zippo on the fundamentals of lawn and garden...I do well to plant the little crates of flowers from walmart and keep them alive for the summer!

I will tell you something we did last year, though. We bought something in a spray bottle from Walmart, I think it was a weed and feed solution. Anyhow, it attaches to the garden hose. You literally spray the whole lawn with this stuff. (Funny side note: the next day I was really bummed when I didnt see dead weeds all over the place. Turns out, it took a few WEEKS to take affect). Anyways, about a month and a half later, we had a ton of compliments on our lawn from friends over for bbq. Had they seen the yard a month earlier, they would have been shocked. For a few weeks, there are some patchy blotches where there is just nothing but dead weeds...but after mowing and growing, the lawn sort of filled in on itself with nothing but grass. This year, we're going to step up our knowledge and become better gardeners...we think.
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Old 04-13-2009, 03:35 PM
 
228 posts, read 769,619 times
Reputation: 99
Thanks everyone! I am doing the seeding followed by weed/feed route. I have a test section which i overseeded fescue yesterday, and watered it. I mowed the weeds first. I still need to aeriate it. Guess i can get the tool this weekend. Upon further inspection, we do have some actual grass, but its only a minor component. The weeds are growing like crazy, so I think the soil underneath is good, its just growing the wrong stuff.

Hopefully in a few weeks we'll have some actual grass!

Last edited by gibbie99; 04-13-2009 at 03:52 PM..
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Old 04-13-2009, 05:58 PM
 
2,779 posts, read 7,248,875 times
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I'd look into the clover...may be intention. Dutch white clover is excellent as a lawn substitute.
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Old 04-14-2009, 04:40 AM
 
9,821 posts, read 29,051,084 times
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Gibbie,

What part of NC are you in? Here in Raleigh the best time to do a fescue lawn rennovation (aerate and seed) is the fall. It gets too hot too quickly here in the spring. Any fescue grass you start now will need to be watered A LOT all summer / spring becasue it will have weak shallow roots when the hot weather rolls in. I know it stinks to have a poor lawn, but if you are going to invest the time and the money I would do it when you are likely to get the best results (in the fall). Good luck!

Also, check out this city data discussion for some general lawn care tips for NC residents: Do you have a lawn care question?
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Old 04-17-2009, 12:28 PM
 
Location: Sometimes Maryland, sometimes NoVA. Depends on the day of the week
1,501 posts, read 11,425,400 times
Reputation: 1133
Quote:
Originally Posted by gibbie99 View Post
Thanks everyone! I am doing the seeding followed by weed/feed route.
Ooh, I hope its not to late. If you see, then put down a weed and feed, you run the risk of your seeds not coming up. Its possible that is only true of a pre-emergent (I know you never want to put that down after overseeding). Maybe someone else can come along and say I'm wrong, but I want to give a warning to at least check
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