The Q&A Archives: Grass

Question: We just bought a brand new house in De Pere, WI. We have no lawn yet, but the weeds are growing like crazy. We heard it's best to plant grass in the fall, so we wanted to wait. How can we stop the weeds until then and also get the ground in condition for grass this fall?

Answer: If you can keep the existing weeds from going to seed, the lawn you plant will have fewer weed problems. Depending upon the size of the area, you may be able to hoe them down or mow them down before they go to seed. Or, you can try spot treating with a weed killer. Spring and fall are the recommended times for seeding a new lawn because the air temperatures are cooler and rainfall abundant, which makes for healthy new grass. However, if you are dilligent, you can plant your grass now and not have to spend the summer battling weeds. Start by digging out the weeds, or by rototilling the area and raking out all the weeds and other debris (stones, sticks, etc.) Then spread a 4-5" layer of organic matter over the top of the lawn area (to help improve the soil) and till it in. Then rake to level the area (a slight grade away from buildings will help with drainage). Broadcast your seed, then top with a thin layer of peat moss. This will disguise the seeds so the area won't be raided by birds, and it will help keep the seedbed moist. Water several times a day to keep the seedbed moist and you should see grass appear in 7-10 days. As long as you keep the area well watered, the grass should grow well for you, even in early June.

Best wishes with your new lawn!

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