I need new lawn help.

Hello everyone!
I've never planted a lawn before and I'm getting overwhelmed at the information at Home Depot's books and online. I have questions that I need answered before I get started. I don't have a big budget, I don't have time, I don't want to do it and I want to make my wife happy so please help me! I need to lay this out and maybe seed it in a weekend--maybe two--SOON!
I have to install two 15' x 15' raised lawn beds in my front yard. Because I don't want to deal with weeds or grading, I'm just going to install the boxes avove the ground, thrown some plastic on the base and level the borders and the soil. them--there, instant level grade! They'll be bordered by landscaping timbers or RR ties. Like this...
+---------------+ +------------------+ | | rocks | | | grass | | more | :-) <--happy wife!! | | | grass | _o, +---------------+ +------------------+ ....husband in the desert ---> ==( ((O7O even more rocks...retaining wall --> ____________________________ | house |
My questions are...
1. I have soil in my backyard that I can use but it has weed seeds all over it. How do I treat it so that I don't get the weeds? Is there some kind of super poison?? My wife made the suggestion to let the weeds grow and then pick them out--I think there's a better way but what?
2. can I use potting soil? I know it's a lot but at least it would be weed free? Is there another type of lawn soil cheaper than potting soil? 3. I'm in Southern Ca. what grass seeds do you recommend? 4. Despite my limited level or patience and budget, I can't use sod-- the cost is prohibitive to my interests. Is what I want to do realistic?
Please help! ( it just needs to be done)
...help?
thanks.
Alex
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Indoor - outdoor carpeting.
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I mentioned it to her and it's too expensive. I have to grow grass...
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Build Your boxes,,throw dirt in,tamp,throw more,,spread some grass seed that does well in Your area and in the specific amount of sunlight it will get..Add mild starter fertilizer recommended on the bag of seed and water as stated on the bag.New lawns are often covered with straw or possibly other material that water will penetrate,,I think covering keeps birds from picking up all Yer seed and keeps direct sunlight off new shoots. Weeding might be a pain for a while I guess but filling the boxes with special soil might break the bank. Other weed seeds will blow in anyway so Ya might as well get some practice right from the get-go. Regular watering is mandatory for new grass but ask around about how much to use in a raised box unless Your sure excess will drain if overdone.. After Your grass does well be prepared to learn about other stuff like flowers and shrubs or even veggies,,people can be tricky and I just ca'nt see raising two sections of grass,,if it was Me I'd be thinking there's an alterior motive,,like eventually You might be adding shrubs,flowers and backbreaking boulders for effect!! Dean
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Thanks, Dean...

But how do you get dirt that doesn't have weed seeds all over it? Should I treat it first? How??

very perceptive of you. I'm sure there is... but that's ok.. I just want to get this part right because I'm sure I'll get into it once I have started. I just need to get through the basics. I'm exagerating mostly, my wife is being wonderful about this project and if I never do it, she'll be ok. That's precisely why I need to get started, because she is so nice about things...
Anyway, thanks for your advice Dean.

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I dunno,I just wanted to give some kind of starting point..

I bow to Your Wifes' grace then,,no joke,,good people deserve good reactions.. I saw some referance(google) to "no mow" grass,,would be perfect for a raised bed *IF* it's the real deal..Could plant/place other stuff and less maintenance..

A hearty Midwest "Yer welcome" to You..Good luck(and grass)to Ya.. Dean
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I don't see how boxes installed above ground has anything to do with avoiding weeds. And it would ssem to have a minimal effect on grading issues. I would think the main reason to do this is aesthetic, and I don't recall seeing it done with just grass. Usually it's used for flower beds, shrubs, etc. Also, with grass, if it has raised edges, it's going to be more difficult to mow.

If there is more than seeds, like existing grass, weeds, etc, then I would apply Roundup/glyphosate to the plants that are there a week or two before moving the soil. That will kill any growing vegetation and prevent any of it surviving the move. Most of the seeds will wind up buried to deep to survive and you can just use an appropriate broadleaf weedkiller on anything that does come up after the new grass is well established.

You can have a small load of screened topsoil delivered. It won't be 100% weed free, but usually pretty close and what it's used all the time.

Not familiar with that area.

Establishing a new lawn is realistic. Given the small size (450sqft), I would reconsider using sod though. It's quick and easy. If you don't use sod, I would buy hydraulic mulch, which is available in bags at agri/landscape supply houses that deal with the trade. It's ground up cellulose that you sprinkle lightly over the area after seeding. It hold moisture, meaning you can water less, get a better germination rate, etc and is preferable to straw, which can contain weeds. It's the same stuff used on lawns that are hydro- seeded. Not essential, but for a job like this, it's a plus. Use a the best quality grass seed you can find and apply a starter fertilizer.
You need to keep the soil constantly wet to damp for the first several weeks, don't let it dry out. That means watering several times a day, more if it's hot. Then, as the grass establishes, back off slowly till you water only couple times a week, 1/2" or so at a time.

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snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

-snip good advice for brevity-

It won't be weed free at all unless it has been sterilized. No biggie.
--
http://NewsReader.Com /

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Alex, don't worry about the weed seeds now, because anything you do to them will likely impact grass seedlings. Now, type of grass, depends on what part of Cali you are in, but look into Bermuda or St. Augustine. Some people don't like them as they creep, but they require low water and can handle heat.
After the grass (and weeds) start growing good, hit them with a Weed n Feed.
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1. If you need some quick results and can afford it, go with sod, and have a local nursery or sod dealer (not a big box store) help you decide which variety to use. If you can't afford sod and can afford to wait for a few months, seed is a second-best choice. A previous post recommended St. Augustine grass as one choice but didn't mention that you can't buy St. Augustine seed -- it's a sterile hybrid. If St. Augustine grass is the prefered lawn you'll have to go with sod.
2. Most professionals don't recommend weed-and-feed. That's essentially an indiscriminate use of a pesticide, and if your lawn is that bad you should just kill off all the weeds and start over. Also, the fertilizer in a weed-and-feed is a high nitrogen water soluble type that isn't the best choice for a good/healthy lawn. (The high nitrogen is needed to combat the effects of the weed-killer, but also induces leaf growth at the expense of root strength. This in turn makes the grass more attractive to insects, fungus, etc.) Once you've got a good lawn started, pull or spot treat weeds and use a lawn fertilizer appropriate for your region, which probably will have elements in the ratio of 2-0-2 or 2-1-2, with most of the nitrogen being a slow release type. In my area I use a 17-3-17 Lesco product. Your extension service or master gardener program can give you written information on lawn fertilizer requirements.
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I'm gonna apologize in advance for this "brainstorm".. Do You know of a place that is scheduled for construction? Like digging a basement or maybe just Cat work? Maybe get permission and get Yer mitts on a sod cutter and cut Yer own..If I remember right from 20 years ago You can cut any managable lengths and roll it up to haul..I'll bet dollars to donuts You can get more info,tips n tricks online.. Dean
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Yeah, that's real practical advice. Most of the construction I see being built, they start with a nice green lush lawn and then start excavating.
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On Feb 9, 7:06 am, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

I'm pickin up what Yer puttin down..Then I think of all the add-on garages,sunrooms,swimming pools etc. in the world and figure it's a possibility at least..Oh well,,,whatever.. Dean
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