The Q&A Archives: Advice In Seeding My Lawn

Question: i recently moved into my 1st home about 9 months ago. in my backyard i cleared out a great deal of weeds and shrubs. there is no grass there at the present time. how do i begin the process of attempting to grow grass in this area?
i have all the necessary equipment but not the knowledge of what to do next?
thank you for your help
all this yardwork is new to me, i always lived in condo's before buying this house.

Answer: First of all you need to run some basic soil tests so that you can prepare the soil right from the start. This is critical for optimum results. Your county extension should be able to help you with the soil tests and interpreting the results. At a minimum you will probably need to add some lime (how much depends on the test results) and some organic matter such as compost.

Your county extension should also be able to help you select the most appropriate varieties of grass for your soil and microclimate. Selecting a locally suited variety is critical to long term success. You will also need to decide if you want to use seed or sod, or possibly sod the front and seed the back or use seed everywhere.

Establishing and caring for a lawn is an ongoing process, so I would suggest you read up on it a bit before launching into the job. A book I like is "Lawn Care for Dummies" by Lance Walheim. It includes discussions of the points I mentioned above plus handy references for calculating how many pounds of material you would need and when to do what over the course of the year.

Since you are new to this, you might also look at Landscaping for Dummies and Gardening for Dummies. Many libraries as well as bookstores have these books. All of the books in the series assume no prior knowledge and provide very practical step by step instructions on what to do.

Enjoy your new yard!

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