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crothmeier

Best Time in Spring to Plant Grass

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I bought a house last fall, and needed to tear out a and replace a 6' Tall retaining wall that was crumbling, I also took out a dead tree and stump, after all this my backyard is pretty much tore up. I am going to have some new black drit hauled in and till it all up this spring and plant grass, (seed not sod). Is there a trick to when to start this or doesnt it matter?

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I would just plan on seeding as soon as you can get your black dirt spread, tilled, and leveled smoothly and hope for some light rains after you seed and ferilize. If we don't get much rain, plan on watering the seed often to keep the soil moist. You will probably get some weeds growing but don't worry to much about it...just treat them in the fall when your lawn is established.

If the spreading of the black dirt gets to be later, like around june or july, I would suggest holding off until late August or September to seed.

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Ideally, the best time to seed is in the fall, around Labor day. If you're going to get your dirt early and plant seed this spring then you should do so as early as you can. Temps and such really doesn't matter because the seed won't germinate until its ready. People do winter seeding all the time.

If you are going to seed, do not use any herbicide or crabgrass preventer in the area you plan on seeding.

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Some herbicides and crab grass preventers have a pre-emergent in them meaning they will kill seeds. Just be careful. Always read the label before buying any chemicals.

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hotrod1-- gots the idea. When I did my yard years ago I started in the spring it takes awhile for the seed to start comming up. I can tell you a few things that might help. One thing you might try is using mulch instead of black drit. I used some on the strip next to the driveway got real good results. If you can mix in a light amount of fertilizer down before you seed. Also keep adding seed far a while. Hard rains can wash things away and just have repair and seed more. You are going to get alot weeds I didn't use any weed killer that first season. Next sping there was half the weeds as in the fall. Then I used some weed killer.

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A couple of more things lighty rack in the fertilizer and seed.

Use a roller to compact it down. I didn't mowe it it for awhile either.

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Thanks for the tips, i've planted small patches of seed before but nothing this big. As soon as the snow melts off and i can get the area dug up and leveled I will be seeding.

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you can start your seed bed anything you can work the dirt. However, you are not going to get germination until your ground temps are 52. So, I'd be in no real hurry to get it the seed down. Those seeds are going to have to be kept moist as well. If you have a sprinkler system I'd put a chuck of sod around each head to prevent eroding. When we put in a new stand of grass on our golf course we also cross rake the seed in. I'd also being looking at putting down a starter fertilizer when you seed one with a high middle number when you apply the seed and be sure to get a good soil to seed contact with an empty roller. Typically, after you mow your new grass 3 times you could apply a broadleaf herbicide. What are you planning to use as a seed?

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You can seed in spring or in fall. You will notice better germination rates in the fall though. The spring it gets too hot too quick by the time the ground dries out and you get the seed planted and then it starts growing. Then it gets too hot and you have to water so much. You can always overseed a little in the fall also if it isn't as thick as you like.

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Get some oats or wheat seed and plant it with the grass seed,it will germinate sooner and act as a mother crop for the grass-when it gets about 4-6 inches tall mow it.

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paul, Im not sure what seed i will use? I dont have a sprinkler system, just will use the hose and a few sprinklers to cover the area. I was thinking of putting a starter fertilizer in. I have decent shade, so watering a few times a day with some shade hopefully wont get the seed too hot, and i was plannin on raking the seed in. What do you use to spread it? I have a wheeled broadcast spreader i was thinking of using.

I will need to plant in the spring, so not to have a "dirt" yard until fall, so the fall planting is out of the question.

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One thought.... don't get too excited about getting the dirt spread "immediately" before the snow melts, if you're getting it hauled in, it will take a while for the dirt to get a little dried out.

If it's good black dirt, it'll be clumpy and thick, and hard to rake smooth first thing in the spring. You're probably looking around May 15th before you can really work the soil.

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It will be well into may, im getting married the last weekend in april, so im sure i wont have ANY time to do it before that, and besides, fishing opener is the 9th!

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Wheeled speader will work. I used a hand one. I didn't plant until June. The biggest problem I had was wash out from rain. I got my seed from the feed mill in my town. Spical mix for Minn.

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Charley, did you get at the mill in Hugo? I just used some bagged stuff last Sept/Oct and it started to come in fairly decent, but the washout was pretty bad for me. I hope enough took to help reduce it this spring, but I still have lots more to see, including a hill. Going to get some oats as well to help on the hill, and will probably go up to Hugo to get it.

Thanks for info.

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If you get some seed that has a fescue mix in it, that will take off with in 7 days (weather conditions cooperate) and that should help hold some of it in place until the blue grass kicks in. Kentucky can take 2 - 3 weeks to germinate, where the fescue or perenial rye takes off right away. Not sure which one it is, rye or fescue but I'm leaning toward fescue...my brain is going.

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Boxmn--- Yes I did it's good stuff. Its called the Hugo mix. I saw your other post about your hill. I've head about oats too I guess it comes up fast and won't come the next year.

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croth, that wheel spreader should do just fine. We apply at 2 pounds per thousand. As mentioned above you can add allitle annual rye as a cover crop. Now, about that shade. You could run into problems with getting germination. Turf and trees arer in a constant battle of who surives. What is there 1st usually wins. I can't overstress the importance of good seed to soil contact.

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Thanks for the info, im actually taking out a tree before i plant now, and probably replacing it with a new autumn blaze maple the same time I plant seed. that will give plenty of sun to the new gras for a few years before the tree gets big.

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