The Q&A Archives: Establishing a new lawn

Question: I need some advice because I want to start a lawn in my backyard. The area is about 80 feet wide by 100 feet deep. When I bought this house two years ago, the entire backyard and trees were covered with English ivy. I have cleared all the English ivy and dropped the smaller trees. The remaining trees are very tall pines with a few hardwoods. This area gets about 4 to 6 hours of good sun. Please give me pointers on my planning to establish the lawn,
1) Spray Roundup to kill all weeds
2) Drop two trees and grind about 10 stumps
3) Manually clear the ground of pine needles and organic matter to get down to the soil.
4) Bring in compost to smooth out the area and fill holes
5) I want to use Southern Gold fescue combo to seed the area. I plan to spread the seed first and then a starter fertilizer
6) Cover the whole area with hay and water everyday for a week and then three times a week for two weeks.

Other questions, do I need to till the soil after I laydown the compost or should I do it before laying down the soil?

Do I need to wait two weeks until all the weeks are killed before I start the project?

Any other suggestions would be helpful. Thanks

Answer: Jeffrey,

I am sorry for this delayed reply to your gardening question. We are transitioning to a new Q&A system and your question was unfortunately lost in the transition. I have discovered it now and hope this reply is not too late to be of help.

Your plan it right on up to #4. I would use topsoil rather than compost to fill the low areas. You can mix a couple of inches of compost over the entire lawn if you like once it is leveled but if you use it to fill in holes those areas will sink later. For #5 wait for a few weeks after seeds emerge to start a very light fertilization schedule every few weeks to nurse them along. Tilling the soil helps loosen and level the area. Stay just 2-3 inches deep to avoid damaging a lot of tree roots. By now the waiting for weed killer to work question is a moot point but in general a week is long enough.

Thanks for the question. Please stop in again soon!

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