I am trying to prep front yard prior to selling house. I do not like
grass so covered yard in oak leaves past 10 years and planted some
azelias, bushes etc. realestate agent says I need to plant grass.
Can I just till ground and leaves and plant fescue now. I live in
If not fescue any suggestions. Would rather not pay big bucks for
Yes, you can do it now. I'd remove the leaves first. While they would
make a nice humus, having them mixed in will make it impossible to rake
and level. If you can get some compost material, that would be ideal
to mix in. It's likely the soil will need lime, so I'd get it tested
either by an agricultural service or with one of the self test kits you
can buy. Add in the right amount of lime before tilling, use a starter
fertilizer, and keep it constantly damp until it germinates, then
gradually back off watering.
I'd make sure to use a quality grass seed. Check out seelland.com,
they have a good selection and info.
I live in Atlanta, and in my opinion, you'll have a real mess on your hands
if you till and plant fescue right now. Fescue is a very difficult grass to
maintain in Atlanta, because the summers are too warm for fescue to be
happy. It is even worse with newly seeded fescue, because the individual
plants don't have a good enough root system to find the water to stay alive
during the summer.
If you water religiously all summer, you have a chance, but with most
summers bringing watering restrictions, I don't think it is a good idea.
Why don't you call your county extension agent and get their opinion?
Can't disagree at all w/ others, but just because the real estate agent
says so isn't <necessarily> a reason to do it. If it looks ok and isn't
totally out of place in the neighborhood, you may be just as well (or
even better) to leave it as to have a non-established new yard in the
spring (which, as others noted, is exactly the <wrong> time to try to
establish a cool-season grass in the South).
If you really need something done, and have a fairly dense stand of
trees, I'd suggest asking into other ground covers other than just
The best time is usually fall, but hey that is a long time off.
All those oak leaves over the years are going to make your job
difficult. You soil is now likely very acid and few grasses will grow in
I suggest you start by contacting your local county extension office.
Explain what you already told us, and add how soon you expect to put your
home on the market. They should suggest a soil test. From that they can
tell you what products you may need to sweeten the soil and augments you
will need to make the soil grass friendly. They also may suggest a
different type of grass. Listen to what they have to say.
You may also find that if you want sell anytime soon, your only choice
will be sod, not seed.
Don't try to substitute the county extension office with some local
garden center. They are after your money the county extension office is
there to help you.
Is much of the area in shade? That could be another issue.
Thanks for the advice so far and I will be calling the extension agent
tomorrow. 1/3 of the lawn is heavly shadded by giant oak. Fescue
seems out so I will see what the extension agent says. Unfortunately
all the lawns in neighborhood are grass and no one is into natural
woods look which is what I was gradually going to.
I would say screw what the neighbors do. If the new guy is really a
green grass freek he will want to grow his own anyway and if he isn't
he will probably end up with the woods look too. Get them used to it.
Growing a lawn under an oak tree is a full time job.
The question is what action Is likely to give the largest return on the
(short term) investment and quickest sale? If it's in a neihborhood of
manicured green, that may be best, but agree not necessarily as I
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