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
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
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.
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
How are you watering?
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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
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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