The Q&A Archives: new lawn

Question: My husband and I just purchased an acre of ground that used to be farmland. Just last year, it was a portion of field of soybeans. We want a lawn, but we aren't real sure where to start and how to do it without going broke. Just before we purchased the land, it was fertilized with the rest of the field. We currently have an acre of horseweed, ragweed, and what I call water grass (very large blades & grows in clumps). What do we need to do to get started, and when? Thanks!

Answer: Fall is a good time to start a new lawn. I'd suggest starting small rather than trying to revamp an entire acre. With that said, the best approach is to remove the weeds, either by digging or by using a non-selective herbicide such as Round-Up. After killing the weeds, rototil the area and rake to remove the weeds and their roots. You can amend the soil with organic matter, till again, then rake to level the area. Broadcast grass seeds, cover with a thin layer of peat moss to keep the seeds from drying out. Water as often as necessary (several times a day) to keep the seeds moist. They should sprout in 7-10 days. Once the grass is growing, water every few days to keep it green. Mow when it reaches 3" in height. The roots will continue to grow until the ground temperature drops below 40F. Next spring it should spring to life. Enjoy!

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