Ask a Question forum: RE: seeds and weeds

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dfing
May 17, 2017 6:39 AM CST
Hello, last month I patched up some barren areas of my backyard lawn by adding some grass seeds and soil.
Two weeks later, I did the same for another backyard area where my dad used to grow vegetables. For some unknown reason, I still don't see any new grass over the barren area. For the area that was used to grow vegetables, I see new grass sprouting on the surface. What did I do wrong?

Also I have a lot of weeds on the both the front and backyard lawns. Is there a natural way of getting rid of them?

Lastly, I would like to know how to get rid of moss on a tree?

Thank you.
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
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RickCorey
May 17, 2017 12:08 PM CST
Hi dfing. Welcome to NGA!

>> I still don't see any new grass over the barren area.

Well, if not even weeds were growing there before, I assume the soil is very hard and dry, or inhospitable some other way. Grass seed (like most) seems to need constant moisture even though they sit on the surface and tend to dry out quickly. I think that, once a seed is wet and starts to germinate internally, ANY period of dryness is likely to stunt or kill that seed.

Did you scratch up the surface before sowing grass seed on the barren patch? Mist it daily or more often in heat or wind? Protect it from birds and squirrels?

I usually scratch the surface with an iron rake, and mix in or sprinkle on top at least a little compost or some real soil. I figure that holds more moisture in contact with the seeds, and maybe makes it easier for a new rootlet to penetrate the surface.

If the barren area is a low spot, possible the water is close enoguh to the surface that the new grass seed "drowned" after sprouting.

But I've only done that a few times, so I'm not the voice of lawn experience! Personally, I think that the only thing lawns are good for is for uprooting the sod to put on a compost heap, when I till that patch and turn it into a raised bed! And yet, I have patcged a lawn, too, like when trying to sell a house.

Edited to add:

BTW, it helps people make suggestions if they know about where you live. This will appear in the upper-right corner of every post you make, which is convenient.If you go to the blue "head and shoulders" icon in the upper-right corner,
"Your Profile",
"Change your public profile",
"Your location",
you can put in your state and region. It also helps if you put something like "hot and dry" or "swampy" or whatever is remarkable about your location. Really, you can use those fields that get displayed in posts any way you want.
[Last edited by RickCorey - May 17, 2017 12:14 PM (+)]
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Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
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Weedwhacker
May 17, 2017 3:06 PM CST
Welcome to NGA, @dfing .

I agree that it would be helpful to know where you live.

I suspect the grass "took" in the vegetable garden area because the soil there is more fertile, having been used as a garden.

Do you have any idea as to why those other areas were "barren"? For instance, we have a penned area in the back of our house for our 2 collies, and have to struggle to keep grass growing there, from the combination of them creating distinct paths and also, of course, from the urine and feces. We've also been known to have a spot or two where the grass died because a lawnmower or other piece of equipment leaked some gas or oil; in that case we've had the best luck by digging out the entire "spot" for a few inches down, then either filling it back up with soil or sticking in a piece of sod that was cut from somewhere else.

As Rick said, loosening the soil up will really help, as will covering with a loose straw mulch or a piece of "floating row cover," which is sold under various names such as Reemay and Agribon, and, I believe, "Grass Fast." And be sure to water at least once a day, more than that if the weather is sunny and hot. If the seeds begin to sprout and then dry out, they will die.

Also, be sure you are using a type of grass seed suitable for your area. Smiling
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Name: greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
May 17, 2017 5:05 PM CST
How did you prepare the soil in each of the two areas? What type of grass seed did you plant? Did you keep both areas watered at all times or were they allowed to dry out?
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Sally
central Maryland
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sallyg
May 18, 2017 5:20 AM CST
Good lawn care, for strong grass, is a natural weed control. Look for advice for your area from a university agriculture program.

The moss (or lichen?) does not hurt the tree. But if you don't like the moss scrub it off with a brush, or spray with dilute ammonia would probably kill it. I like lichen. It is natural.
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