Planting grass seed in the desert?! - Knowledgebase Question

Albuquerque, Ne
Question by seansarver
May 12, 2010
I have about 1000 square feet of REALLY hard soil in Albuquerque NM that hasn't grown grass in about 10 years. I was thinking I just need to rotatill the heck out of it, fertalize and seed it. Is there anything else you'd suggest doing to prepare the soil? What brand of seed and fertalizer should I use? (nice, thick, soft todler-friendly grass!) EXTREMELY windy; what could I do to hold seed down?


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Answer from NGA
May 12, 2010

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I think I would start all over by rototilling the area and tilling in some organic matter to help loosen the soil. You can spread 3-4 inches of compost or peat moss over the lawn and till it in to a depth of 6-8 inches. This will help your soil drain well and provide a loose and nutrient rich base for your new lawn. After incorporating the organic matter, spread some starter fertilizer on the area and rototill that in, then level the area, providing a slight slope for drainage away from the buildings. In general, turfgrasses like Bermuda grass, blue grama, zoysia grass, and buffalo grass do well in Albuquerque. Either lay sod or broadcast your seed, then cover with chopped straw or peatmoss to keep the seed bed moist. Water as often as necessary to keep the seeds moist and they will sprout in 7-10 days. Enjoy your new lawn!

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