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Ideas to rebuild a lawn

Mr_Yan

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,469
Location
Western Michigan
Planting Zone
6a
I hate my lawn.
My lawn sucks.
I hate the waste of potential garden space.

I will need to overseed and rebuild a lawn this fall and this is a small lawn. I can't just nuke the whole thing though as this is my backyard and the dog and kids will make a mud pit (did I mention I am too cheap for sod).

This is a subdivision which was divided from a farm in 1917 and the house was built sometime in the 1920's and we're in northern IL. The lawn is over ground which can grow great grass but is rather devoid of organic matter but I have been mulching in fall leafs and the grass clippings for a few years. Typical first frost is Oct 15.

My thinking was to:
> cut the existing grass and weeds as short as I can
> rake some compost across the top (1/4 to 1/2 inch) and maybe work it in with a garden rake a little
> over seed with blend from a local shop thinking they know the area and what will work well
> cover with some grass starting netting or straw
> apply something like weed and feed in the spring

Any thoughts on this or do you see any problems with my idea?
 

Mr_Yan

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,469
Location
Western Michigan
Planting Zone
6a
I'll take your two cents. After all I did ask for it.

I'm hoping to do this for under $50 or $60. I do only have about 250 sq feet to rebuild. The front of the house is larger but will just need over seeding as it looks ok.
 

finkikin

Well-Known Member
Messages
207
Location
Tomball
Planting Zone
8B
Kill and Till should be cheap to do. The filling of the soil and the sod will be the biggest cost.
 

Mike

Might know the answer
Administrator
Messages
971
Location
Kentucky
Planting Zone
6b
Kill and Till should be cheap to do. The filling of the soil and the sod will be the biggest cost.
I've heard this tends to be the easiest and best way to re-do a lawn.
 

Mr_Yan

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,469
Location
Western Michigan
Planting Zone
6a
Suggestions on how to till a lawn in the absence of a tiller? I don't really have the car to get a tiller in it either (2002 chevy caviler) nor do I have any neighbors with tillers that I know of.
 

w_r_ranch

Master Gardener
Moderator
Messages
4,267
Location
South Central Texas
Planting Zone
8b
Many rental places have a delivery/pickup service (at least around here), although they do charge for it, as one would expect.

Also, plan for it to take longer than you think it will... I recently rented a big trencher for a day... it took 1 1/2 days & I didn't screw around (no breaks)... Just my 2 cents...
 

Mr_Yan

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,469
Location
Western Michigan
Planting Zone
6a
Also, plan for it to take longer than you think it will...
IT ALWAYS DOES. I'm now 6.5 years and 95% + into the rehab of a 90 year old arts and crafts style bungalow. At this point the framing, floors, many of the windows, and most of the floor plan is original. Drywall, insulation, rewire, new kitchen, new supply side plumbing, new landscaping and paver patios... It's the last 3% or so that never ends. Except for the siding, roofing, furnace, and spray-in urethrae foam insulation on the roof deck I did all the work.

I'll talk to my wife and see where we stand with the kill and till method. I still have two or three weeks (average weather year) before we cool off. While this week is cool, we almost got to 70 today, we'll be back in the upper 80s by the end of the week.
 

finkikin

Well-Known Member
Messages
207
Location
Tomball
Planting Zone
8B
I would also suggest a rental place. Good luck and post up some pictures of the process!
 

Mike

Might know the answer
Administrator
Messages
971
Location
Kentucky
Planting Zone
6b
Suggestions on how to till a lawn in the absence of a tiller? I don't really have the car to get a tiller in it either (2002 chevy caviler) nor do I have any neighbors with tillers that I know of.
Check rental places near by, they will have tillers of all sizes and will also have away of getting it to you. Might not hurt to check a lawn care company or two just to see how much they'd charge to clear and till for you.
 
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