Asked on Jun 18, 2013

I want to overseed a dying lawn

The front lawn I had enough $$ to lay good local new sod. I don't have the money to do the back...besides the front has inground sprinklers not so much the back.

Last year I tried all of the hints and helps and did everything they asked and NOTHING! This year I did my own thing...I want to take wagers on if you think it will take or not..

Seed is Scott's Hardy grass seed (given to me by someone locally who has used it and worked perfectly)
I took a garden weasel sort of thing (or my friend did I should say) and roughed up the top 2 inches or so of the current whatever is there (mostly dead after weeding and feeding 2 weeks ago)
Then I went over it with some good fertilizer for excellent soils nothing special just no weed killer.
Then I took some of my leftover decent soils etc from other things I have gotten from (old purchased pots with potting soil and extra soils) and did a light coating of that over the seed, the fertilizer and the seed.
Then I watered it in really really good..... and will do so for about a week.

OK who wants to take a bet on whether I will end up with another mostly dead lawn or something that looks fun to play on? Extra information...the extra heat is supposed to let up for about a week will be In the upper 70s and lower 80s no moisture from the sky to speak of, and nothing more to be done to it except water.... So here is your turn

1. you think it will do great be perfect and lush and all the lawn I want
2. you think it will do good, have some good spots but much better than I had
3. You think it will do ok...will be better than before.
4. you think it will do not very much
5. you thin k I wasted all my time and money
6. you're wondering why in the world I would ask such a silly question...

Ok pros and friends here's your chance to get your vote in..... The attached picture was before the weed and feed about 1/2 of what was there is now brown..
i want to overseed a dying lawn, gardening, landscape, this is before weeding was done about half this was brown before I started
this is before weeding was done about half this was brown before I started
  24 answers
  • Tanya Peterson Felsheim Tanya Peterson Felsheim on Jun 18, 2013
    ok here it is after the weed and fred...

  • Gail Salminen Gail Salminen on Jun 18, 2013
    @Tanya Peterson Felsheim you have quite a job ahead of you. I would water the grass seed daily for 2 weeks. We used scott's seed and it took about that amount of time to germinate and grow enough. We also had to put some short wire fencing across some areas to keep the dog from lying there - he loves the mud and anywhere he is not supposed to be LOL Our lawn did look a bit worse than this one, but it has improved substantially. I think you will have medium to great success.

  • Our lawn was looking the same as yours - all dry and parched and full of weeds. Here in our part of Canada, we can't use chemical weed killers which means that weeds are a real nuisance. One of the things that has helped our lawn is aerating it in the spring, spreading a good layer of composted top soil on it and over-seeding. The key is water, water, water. We water it every other day. Not exactly environmentally friendly, but it gives us a much healthier layer of grass. And when the grass is healthier and thicker, the weeds don't come in as much.

  • Catherine Smith Catherine Smith on Jun 18, 2013
    You might want to contact your local extension office and get a soil testing kit( they have them for both lawns and gardens) . The kits come with directions on how to properly use them, once you gather the soil, you can sent it to your state lab for testing for a modest fee. The results can tell you exactly what amendments you need to add to make your soil better. If you have good soil, your grass will grow. Overseeding is good, because most grasses germinate in 10-14 days and need a ph of about 7, but the more seed that germinates, the more weed seeds that are choked out. The real key to a good looking lawn is not the grass seed but the soil your growing in. If you're using chemical fertilizers and herbicides you are killing of the beneficial microbes that help the grass gather nutrients to grow thick and lush. I am an organic and Master gardener, so I'm interested in using the least toxic methods to grow grass, flowers or veggies. I would suggest you look up probiotics (I use both Bokashi bucket juice and activated EM-1) on all our plants. EM-1 comes in a concentrate and you can make your own. It's loaded with beneficial microbes that you can spray on your lawn and garden to help replace the one's that have died off. It's totally non-toxic to humans, pets and other critters.

  • Gail Salminen Gail Salminen on Jun 18, 2013
    @Heather Benton there is one lawn weed killer on the market that can be used here in Ontario - Weed-be-gone. It won't kill grass but is pretty good with lawn weeds.

  • Gayle Valverde Gayle Valverde on Jun 18, 2013
    2...I have the same problem here. I had soooo many weeds this year, I finally just Succumbed to Scott's Weed and Feed, so there will be no over-seeding until fall. Give this Jerry Baker recipe a try: ********Jerry Baker's All-Season Green-Up Tonic*********1 can of beer (not light beer)1 cup of ammonia1/2 cup of liquid dish soap (not anti-bacterial or concentrated, trust me) I use Dawn1/2 cup of liquid lawn food (get this at a nursery or farmers' supply) I use fish emulsion1/2 cup of clear corn syrupMix in large bucket, pour into a 20-gallon hose-end sprayer and spray on everything (grass, bushes, flowers) every three weeks. One batch covers approximately 1500 square feet. I think you will see some real benefit. Good luck!!! :)

  • Gail Salminen - Thanks. I've used Weed-b-Gone with limited results. It does a pretty good job on dandelions, but not on crabgrass or clover. I'm learning to live with our new lawns.

  • Peggie Love Peggie Love on Jun 18, 2013
    I thought DIY showed this a few weeks ago saying the best to revitalize a lawn is Epson Salt.

  • Tanya Peterson Felsheim Tanya Peterson Felsheim on Jun 18, 2013
    Well...I might should have done something I am taking wagers on what I think what I did will make it or break it??? did I ever add the 2nd photo of what I really started with?

  • Tanya Peterson Felsheim Tanya Peterson Felsheim on Jun 18, 2013
    @Peggie Love I will have to look that up...been getting ready to buy some Epson salt in bulk for several of my plants and if that is a good tip I'm trying it!

  • Peggie Love Peggie Love on Jun 18, 2013
    Yea Im going to try it with my backyard. i sod cut and whacked the front out and then got a great deal for the front replacement sod and some shrubs and a tree. But now that I watched em and seen how this is done---I can do this myself better. But you can see my new front yard on facebook under Peggie Spinner Love. The backyard is a mess but i just ripped much of what I wanted to go out about 2 weeks ago. Now the tilling. The grass in backyard Im going to try this epson salt idea if that doesnt work, I will have my hanyman sod cut this old out later.

  • H.C. Lawn H.C. Lawn on Jun 19, 2013
    GRASS will grow great when the deit is right and enough water and no buges eating your grass roots .it likes sweet soil lime and fertlizer you can fertlizer every 6 weeks

  • H.C. Lawn H.C. Lawn on Jun 19, 2013
    i see they are asking about a soil sample if fertlizered need to wait 4 weeks - 6 week to tell you any thing

  • Christine Christine on Jun 19, 2013
    Your lawn looks like it's two things to me: old, dead dirt lacking nutrients fertilizer will not sustain, and/or grubs. If you've got grubs, you can weed, feed, seed and curse all you want, but they're going to kill your lawn and get worse. You can't just fertilize your yard out of this. Plus, chemical fertilizers don't sustain. You just need more. Nitrogen forces green growth, but doesn't make for a healthy root system. For the former, extremely poor soil, I'd also top your lawn by raking in some high quality compost, not just dead, decomposing, dry weeds (which have seeds!!). You can do this any time, but in the spring or late fall is best. Your dirt needs to be nutritious, if that makes any sense. Weeds grow well in poor soil conditions. Peggy, if you're tilling, take the time to till IN some good dirt. If it's grubs, usually manifesting after grass has germinated or come up for the spring in dry, dead circle-ish spots, you've got to kill them because they're eating the tender roots of your grass. Slow acting and organic, but worth about 10 years' of no further effort is Milky Spore. Quickly acting but chemical is Grub-Ex. Extremely effective. Keep in mind that grubs are (among other gross insects) Japanese Beetle larve, which 'morph into bugs that eat other plants. Keep in mind that watering deeply, not just in spurts, encourages a strong root system. Long enough to deeply wet the soil, but not long enough to wash away your seeds. I hope this info helps you have a beautiful yard. I've been battling both for years. You might want to consider a gorgeous lawn replacement called 'Yarrow' that can be seeded along with grass. It remains green year round, grows via roots or seeds, and doesn't require water or decent soil. I've been working this into my lawn for years and am finally seeing great results.

  • Debbie Silva Debbie Silva on Jun 19, 2013
    Thanks Christine! Ive just realized that I have a bug problem in my lawn.

  • Tanya Peterson Felsheim Tanya Peterson Felsheim on Jun 19, 2013
    Thank you @Christine I am pretty sure I do not have grubs, and the dirt I put on came from organic potting soil along with potting soil from other items I have planted last year and just haven't planted this year yet. We haven't seen to see many of the lawn bugs you speak of around here. Before I did a weed and feed the ground was relatively green but I was tired of just having lots of weed! I also didn't have the crab grass like I did in my front yard when I bought locally grown organic sod. I just hope the seed I used will take mom used it at her house and it did pretty well. You gave a lot of wonderful information that might really help a lot of people thank you for replying!

  • Christine Christine on Jun 19, 2013
    I just enlarged your photo and it actually looks like your lawn is pretty decent. Overseeding can be a great idea, and given your soil additions, can't hurt. Preventing thatch (deep watering) would be a goal, too. I get sick of weeds, too. But someone brought it to my OCD attention that a prefect, grass-only lawn is a product of Scott's, not nature. So... I keep buying yarrow and clover seed and putting it down. I'm dealing with 3 of 6 landscaped acres, so it's slow going. I did learn if I mow at 5" it takes the little clover flowers off and I have the greenest, most moist lawn! Good luck! :)

  • Tanya Peterson Felsheim Tanya Peterson Felsheim on Jun 19, 2013
    it actually rained here today (not normal at this time of year) so maybe my seeds have a chance! Thank you @Christine for taking time to look!

  • Tanya Peterson Felsheim Tanya Peterson Felsheim on Jun 19, 2013
    I will keep updated pictures to pique your interests hehe

  • Gail Salminen Gail Salminen on Jun 19, 2013
    @Tanya Peterson Felsheim I am fairly sure you don't have grubs either. You can tell by the way the birds and skunks disturb the soil to get at them, we had them a few years ago so we treat every spring to prevent it again. Looking forward to your pic updates :)

  • Cynthia Cynthia on Jun 20, 2013
    We had tons of bare spots and we threw down 1/4 inch of peat and top seeded. If you have thatch you could rake, but we just threw peat on top. After we watered it in each day for about two weeks, we fertilized with 38-0-0 fertilizer. You want grass, this works. It grows so fast we have to cut ever 2-3 days and it's super thick. Had to repair it to sell our home! IT WORKS!

  • Tanya Peterson Felsheim Tanya Peterson Felsheim on Jun 20, 2013
    The blessing of the back yard has been not thatch, but the front yard was awful and we killed it off too a long time then we used sod and so far so good there...but its a tiny front yard..but about double the size in the back just not the $$ yet!

  • Dav349927 Dav349927 on Jun 01, 2014
    1 u work so hard

  • Mrs P Mrs P on Aug 14, 2016
    My lawn in ct is thick and green. Have only used a couple of things for approximately 12 years. 1) I lime it with pellets., spring and fall., makes lawn nice deep healthy green., help with killing odor from other animals scat. Helps soil ph and more. Water after spreading 2) I get the grub mix by ortho., spring and fall., this is awesome kills grubs, ticks and all sorts of bugs., again make sure you give lawn good soaking., don't let pets out on lawn with any chemicals until yard is soaked good., 3) coffee grounds, I use mainly for black ants, I do a 1 ft border around my house., you can get used coffee grounds free from local coffee shop ., spread them dry., if it's real dry., after sun goes down if you can water., if if its only a quick misting affects each night and do above., I also buy a couple bags of peat moss and spread over grass that has bunch of nutrients. Even with our temps up in 205 my grass is still nice and green and not burnt., actually never got burnt., I see other yards they are nothing but dry burnt grass., simple cheap fixes. I do all the above instead of buying chemical fertilizers from Home Depot., I have had better luck and saved $$$. Good luck