Last fall they dug up a section of our front lawn to replace the gas
service. This winter the town plow did its usual fine job of tearing up the
front 6 feet of our lawn near the road. A contractor for the utility came
by a few weeks ago, raked it all out, added some top soil and hydroseeded
the area. We're talking about roughly 1000 sq ft. Everything was done to my
satisfaction - other than the hydroseeding.
After about 10 days of twice-a-day watering, it is readily apparent that
they applied the hydroseed very unevenly. There are bare spots and thin
spots all across the area they "fixed". I now have to add seed to fill it
in. The new grass is about 3" tall, almost ready to be mowed, but I now
have to over seed most of the same area.
What's the best way to fix this? Seed and keep watering twice a day even
though I won't be able to mow? Can I use starter fertilizer or will that
hurt the grass that has already come in? Should I care about the existing
new grass or should I just seed and fertilize as if it was bare?
Since the roots can't be too deep I guess I could just rake it all under
and start over, letting the existing thin grass feed the new seed. Good
idea, bad idea or waste of time?
On Tue, 3 Jun 2014 01:49:36 +0000 (UTC), DerbyDad03
What I do is toss seed, then toss topsoil over it. Keep it watered.
Sometime the grass seed is garbage, so you have to repeat.
I mow it when it needs it, but wait until it's a few inches before I
weed and feed it, lightly.
No sense turning the soil over.
Patience is needed. It's like watching grass grow.
I had a couple trucks of topsoil added to properly grade my lawns.
I don't expect it look "good" for a couple years.
I expect to add more seed yearly to move it along.
The alternative is sod. Rather have patience.
On Monday, June 2, 2014 9:49:36 PM UTC-4, DerbyDad03 wrote:
I'd suggest that the best option is probably to just live with it
until Fall and then overseed it. If you want to try to seed now,
you need to be able to water it several times a day, to keep it moist.
And then you'll have to water frequently in July/Aug to keep it alive,
because it still won't have substantial roots. That assumes of
course you live where it starting to get hot.....
If you seed now, I'd mow what's there before seeding. Then just
keep mowing it. It's not ideal, but similar is done all the time
and there isn't a better choice.
Can I use starter fertilizer or will that
Starter fertilizer is fine to use everywhere. The grass that's
already starting to come in will benefit too.
Should I care about the existing
Another reason why waiting until Fall is probably better,
Another reason why waiting until Fall is probably better. Then you
can rake the areas that need it and it won't completely disrupt the
grass like it will now....
Also, when you seed now, you're going to have more competition from
weeds than in the Fall. You can deal with that, but if you do it
be prepared to water a lot and in a couple months to start dealing
with the weeds. If you can't easily water it via automatic sprinklers
or you have to pay $$$ for city water, that can make the decision
It's June. I'm not waiting until fall to seed because I don't want to go
all summer with a patchy, weedy front yard. The town is going to rip up the
front 6' again next winter, so seeding in the fall is a total waste. I'd
never have anything nice to look at if I waited until fall.
This is the time of year that the town usually comes by and fixes what they
tore up and throws down loose seed. With the loose seed I can see how it
went down and decide if I want to add more or move some around. Twice a day
watering then gives me a good lawn In a few weeks so I can enjoy it for the
rest of the summer. It's been working that way for about 25 years. The
problem this year is that the contractor for the utility company that
replaced the gas service took care of their damage as well as the town's
damage and used hydro seed. It was not apparent that it was applied
unevenly until it started to come in and now I need to fix it.
On Monday, June 2, 2014 6:49:36 PM UTC-7, DerbyDad03 wrote:
Having read through the responses, I'm wondering why -- given the barbaric 6" plow damage every year -- you don't just fill those 6 inches with pebbles or low fence or something else to create a kind of border to your lawn. Could look nice.
Mow it all. Have them spray more where it is thin. Avoid overwatering,
particularly now when the roots aren't that long. I had to cut a plug
out of a newly laid sod yard for a bird bath. It was less than a month
old. Roots were already down 12 - 18 inches! I would put a light
application of fertilizer on it. Talk to the geek at the nursery (I
usually ask for the owner) and explain your situation. He can recommend
the proper 0-0-0 (fill in the numbers) fertilizer for your lawn at this
stage. If you have to, get in there with your weed wacker, and thin out
the tall stuff. Rake up the cuttings so it won't cause patterns on the
They did it, they should fix it.
On Tuesday, June 3, 2014 1:10:46 PM UTC-4, SteveB wrote:
It's when you're trying to establish a lawn and it
has little or no roots that you need to water it the
most. If it's 80F out, probably 3 times a day to keep it
constantly wet. Around noon, then 3PM, then 10PM is what
I typically do. It doesn't have to be watered deeply, but
you need to keep the top 1/2" or so wet. He said they
seeded it 3 weeks ago and it takes a week for fescue, 3 weeks,
maybe more for bluegrass to germinate. After that you can
start to back off the watering frequency, but water longer
I had to cut a plug
There is a big difference in sod, which is a mature grass plant
and starting a lawn from seed. I've never seen turf grass with roots
12 - 18 deep, but I guess it's possible.
Another problem he's likely up against is that when the town does
the seeding after a repair, they typically use cheap, contractor
type grass seed that isn't what you'd want for a nice lawn. They
are more concerned about cost, how fast it grows, can it establish
with min water from just rain, etc, as opposed to what kind of
quality lawn it makes.
I would put a light
Re-read the post. The town tears up 6 _feet_ of the lawn, not 6 inches.
However, even though I'll address your suggestions, my post was not a
complaint about what the town does to my lawn.
I call that 6' of lawn along the road "my lawn" but in reality it is a town
right of way. I live on a curve on a narrow street. As the plow comes
around the curve, the side plow takes out the front of "my lawn". My
neighbor has it even worse. He'll end up with a 3’ mound of dirt every year
while I typically get about a foot, a lot of which is his dirt that gets
dragged by the plow onto my property.
Due to town ordinances a fence is out of the question, even 6' feet back
from the road. I simply can not put a fence across the front of my
property. Besides, the push back from the pile of plowed snow would wipe it
Pebbles would be a real bear come winter when the plow would drag them from
the lawn area onto my driveway where my snow blower would send them flying.
Not a good idea. Besides it's cheaper and easier to rake and reseed every
year than to reapply pebbles. I can state with 100% certainty that the town
would not pay me to replace the pebbles nor would they rake smooth whatever
is left. It's town property and they would simple say that they are not
responsible for landscaping it other than reseeding.
There are trade offs. For the trouble of reseeding that area each year, I
get to live on a very quiet, tree lined street. I can sit at my kitchen
table and look out of the living room picture window and only see woods,
except when the occasional deer, fox or turkey strolls by. I can drag my
leaves over to the woods and dump them down the hill over looking a bay. I
haven't bagged my leaves in 25 years. I also get kindling and sometimes
larger pieces of wood for our backyard fires from those woods. All in all,
I'm OK with dealing with the plow damage each spring.
So, my complaint isn't about the lawn getting torn up, it's about the
application of the hydro seed, which was done by someone other than the
town this year, and not done very well. Many of the areas in my
neighborhood that the plow annually tears up were previously dug up when
the gas main and house service pipes were replaced last fall, with the
promise from the utility that they would fix our lawns in the spring. I
don't know if there was an agreement between the utility and the town that
the utility would be responsible for repairing _all_ damaged lawns, but
that was who did all of the work. I know for a fact that some of the
damaged sections of my own property were gas service related and others
were strictly plow related, but the same contractor repaired it all.
So, all I need now is suggestions for the best way to overseed the bad
hydro seeded areas.
On Tuesday, June 3, 2014 2:00:11 PM UTC-4, DerbyDad03 wrote:
Simplest thing you could do would seem to be to just apply
seed on top of the hydroseeded areas that failed. Your seed will be on top of the hydraulic mulch. Then lightly
cover it with either peat moss, top soil, hydraulic mulch.
The choice depends on what you have available, how big those
areas are and how much it costs. Given that you have the hydraulic
mulch from the hyrdoseeding, that will help hold water and get it
established. Apply some starter fertilizer and keep it wet.
As I pointed out in one of my previous responses, the town did not repair
the lawns this year. A contractor for the utility that replaced the gas
service in our neighborhood repaired the lawn.
Last fall the gas main and house services were replaced, with a promise
from the utility that they would come back in the spring and repair any
lawn damage. In the meantime, winter happened and the town plows tore up
some of the same sections that needed to be repaired because of the gas
main project as well as many areas that had not been damaged by the gas
Whether the town and utility had a formal "who will repair what" agreement
or not, I do not know. The one thing I do know is that the contractor for
the utility did all of the lawn repairs regardless of whether it was on
private property or town property and regardless of whether it was gas
project related or town plow related.
The difference was that the town never used hydroseed. They used regular
loose seed which always came in fairly evenly. This year, with the
utility's contractor doing all of the work and with them using hydroseed,
the grass came in looking pretty bad.
That is an option, although I think it would take longer for them to come
and fix it than for me to just take care of it myself.
Either way, I'm looking at 10 more days of twice a day watering, so it's
really just a matter of the best way to repair what's there and be done
I know that if I do it, it will be done right and I won't have to wait a
week or more to find out if they screwed it up again.
DerbyDad03 posted for all of us...
And I know how to SNIP
Call the utility co up and complain. They usually hold their contractors
toes to the fire. The Verizon guy left ruts in my lawn where the turnround
is. I called and complained and the next day it was all fixed and it's the
best grass at this old dump.
The yearly repair of snowplow damage would be tiresome by the second
time! I'd pester the town fathers to fix something....steer the plow
so's it doesn't scrape up the soil, put in curb, put in temp. reflective
marker where the edge of the lawn goes? I dunno. Ought to be a better
Our thirty-something inches of snow this year crushed/smothered some
grass, but the drivers know where the lawn is. They did a pretty good
job of hiding our mailbox, tho. There is always a drift right in front
of our garage door, and by next year I'll be too old to shovel it.
Now I'm waiting for RAIN! Damn....all kinds of flowers and veggies
going wilty two days after thorough watering. Weather forecast keeps
saying 50% chance of rain....I'll quit watching and just flip a coin.
If you saw the neighborhood you'd understand the problem. It's a very old
neighborhood with curving streets of various widths. For the most part
there are no sidewalks or curbs on the side streets (like mine) off the one
main road that runs through the neighborhood. They need to use the big
trucks with a front and side plow to do many of the roads, but that makes
negotiating the narrower roads (like mine) a bit of a problem. With the
amount of snow we get, they have to keep the roads as wide as possible,
which often means plowing up onto the lawns in some areas.
Some drivers are better than others, but the turn onto my street is very
tricky. It's kind of an "S" with trees on both sides. It's really tough to
get the big trucks around the corner while also trying to clear the snow.
Lawn damage is inevitable.
I don't want curbs on my street. It would take away the "country" feel from
my little oasis. It would also mean the loss of some of my front yard
because they would have to widen the street and probably cut down some
(A few years ago a crew came by to trim trees for a utility pole
replacement project. I talked to the guys and listened to their plan. They
were talking about completely removing 2 or 3 trees from my short street. I
immediately called the town and told them what the crew had said. They sent
over the "tree guy" from the public works department who agreed with me
that removing the trees would be a very bad idea from an aesthetics
perspective. The trees stayed.)
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