Grass growing

If a new construction house is seeded and strawed, how long before I can predict those bald spots don't have seed? meaning I see bare spots after 7-10 days, should I put down more seed, or have some patience?
Some weeds were on dirt when seed as put in. Thoughts on removing the weeds? Do I risk killing the new grass planted close to the weeds?
Does straw disintegrate/ decompose or do I need to rake it? When do I rake it?
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jIM wrote:

It would help a lot to know where your new home is located. Advice for Seattle WA, Atlanta GA and Cleveland OH would not be the same. Also when was it seeded and with what kind of seed?
Assuming middle of the road cool weather grasses, I would suggest not worrying until the grass is well established. Make sure it does not totally dry out and that you follow the instructions you received about watering and the first cut. After the second cut, if you still have large empty areas, you might try to reseed them. Thin spots will fill in. After at least 60 days after the first cut, you can consider some weed control. I would suggest caution and use minimal applications, spot application if possible.
Fall will be the time to really take a look and address any remaining thin or bare spots. Fall is the best time of the year to start grass in most of the US. Trying to start grass in mid-summer is doing it the hard way.
--
Joseph Meehan

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Where do you live. That will determine advice. For northern grasses like fescue, planting during summer is wasted effort. For southern grasses like centipede or zoysia, mostly use sods or sprigs in summer.

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Art wrote:

Cincinnati, Ohio
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No need to repeat Mr. Meehan's excellent advice. I'll just add that it would help to know how you're keeping it moist. The instructions on seed bags is for people who are either unemployed, retired, or taking a week off from work: "Keep constantly & evenly moist". Water correctly before you leave for work, and if it's a warm sunny day, that moisture's gone in 2 hours. At the other extreme, you have to avoid what I call "splotch watering" - using a stream of water that blasts the seed out of one entire area, resulting in bare spots.
How are you watering?
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JoeSpareBedroom wrote:

I water each portion of lawn once per day. I do one area with a sprinkler at lunch, then more areas when I come home at 5:00 until 8:00, moving sprinker every 45 minutes. We are also getting some rain which is helping.
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Fir the weeds, don't use a herbacide yet, just rake them out or pull them for now. Keep them under control until it is time to use a systemic weed and feed product or at least long enough for the grass to establish before using a broad spectrum herbacide.
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PipeDown wrote:

what type of weed killer works with grass?
how soon should I fertilize the new lawn?
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wrote:

I use two kinds, Spectricide and Weed-B-Gone. I mix these concentrates into a 32 oz spray bottle and spot treat the weeds. Unlike RoundUp, these products won't kill the grass, although they can be harsh on grass, particularly newly established grass.

Use a "starter" fertilizer at the time the seed is spread. Look for the word "Starter" on the bag. It won't burn seedlings like other fertilizers. You can also use a processed organic fertilizer, such as Milorganite.
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Most grasses will germinate in 10 to 14 days provided there is adequate moisture. You can add additional seed on bare spots, but protect these areas with straw. I watered every other day unless there was rain.

I wouldn't be too concerned about weeds at this time, although I'd pull out any crabgrass and certainly keep it from seeding. Wait at least 6 months to treat weeds, better wait until next spring. Hand-pulling can be done now.

Leave it alone. It will continue to protect the grass, decompose, and add organic matter to the soil.
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How long grass takes to germinate depends on the type. Fescue will take 7-10 days, while blue grass can take 21 days.
Trying to establish a lawn at this time of year in Ohio is extremely difficult. You have the worst of everything. Increasing temps, strong competition from weeds, crabgrass germinating, the likelihood of periods with little rain and high temps ahead, etc. And these are cool season grasses, which want to grow agressively in fall and spring, not the high heat of summer. IMO, for any decent size lawn, unless you have inground sprinklers and water is free, it's just impractical to be able to successfully establish a lawn from seed now.
Watering once a day from the start might be sufficient in mid Sept or April, but it isn't going to give good results now. The surface of the soil needs to be kept constantly damp for the first several weeks. This time of year, that means watering several times a day. Somewhere around 11am, 3pm, then 8pm would be good. It doesn't have to be deep, just enough to keep the surface wet. As the grass comes in, you can gradually back off the watering frequency, but increase the duration, so you water deeper.
In all, you may be better off just giving up on what's there with the plan to kill off everything in early Sept, then reseed. This also gives you the ability to use quality seed, instead of the typical cheap crap that a builder will throw down.
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snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

My neighbor has been out mowing once already. he and I have the same builder, and in some places my grass is 4" tall, in other places it's still dirt.
My backyard is shaded during the day and looks "better" than my front, but there are still bare spots.
My sides are sloped (60 degree grade?) and there are many more bare spots.
My front is sloped (10 degree grade?) and the grass is not as tall, and this gets most of morning/early afternoon sun. There are bare spots here, mostly at the edges.
I plan on watering some each evening, seeing what grows, and if front yard hits 3", I will cut, then reseed the bare spots. I base this on suggestions above that grass doesn't grow well this time of year, so no reason to put too much effort into the bare spots. Once Fall hits I will add more seed and try to regrow the bare spots.
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jIM wrote:

if water hits the edges, grass grows... must have missed something early on with that sprinkler...
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