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Old 05-21-2007, 04:43 AM   #1
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Best way to re-grow grass?

Not a pasture, but a yard. With varying... uh.. climates? haha

In the pine section, there's no grass under the trees. They're very large, sparse trees and the lowest branches are about 20 feet high. They're old, and two have fallen, leaving two more which we'll remove as well. Do the pines do anything to the soil to cause grass and weeds and such not to grow? Only random, hard to kill stuff will grow there. There is not a lot of needles covering the ground.

The back corner has a vine... a very nasty one. It grows by leaps and bounds and keeps sneaking over the fence from township owned land. It has very dark, almost vinyl like leaves. Last time I was home it covered about 25 square feet. It even chokes Honey Suckle.

Where there's full sun and partial shade there's wild strawberries. The things with the little bulb like roots that just grow on the surface of ground, not very deep.

Everything else is kind of grass, kind of dandelion, kind of a lot of stuff.

I'm seriously debating sod, done a section at a time. I found a supplier that has a kentucky blue grass mix that does sun and shade.

But, does that mean I have to scrape the yard first of all the weird weeds? Can I spray it to kill everything with something that won't hurt grass?

I'll hunt down the vine roots and dig and spray that till it's gone.

What about borrowed goats? How close would they eat the stuff down?

Or I was thinking, since there's a lot of holes that need to be filled in and some low areas... getting a couple of loads of fill dirt, leveling it, then sodding it.

But reseeding seems like an impossible task at this point. How can reseeding get the weed covered areas? How long would that take?

And the bare dirt areas under the pines and in other random places, would the ground need to be tilled up to reseed it?

I see the neighbors out there with their perfect grass walking behind one of those yard spreaders... but I think dad's back yard is too far gone for that. What are they spreading, anyways? Grass seed and weed killer?
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Old 05-21-2007, 05:14 AM   #2
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Nothing grows under pine. Sigh... I cut vine at the root with an ax. It Keeps Coming Back!
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Old 05-21-2007, 05:18 AM   #3
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Is that because pine does something to the soil? Two have fallen so they're going to be gone. They just need cut up and the rest of the stump dug out. That leaves two standing which will fall at some point, so they're getting removed.

Once they're gone, will stuff grow? Or does that area where they were need to be resurfaced with fill dirt?
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Old 05-21-2007, 05:45 AM   #4
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Pine has to come down. It might help to add lime to the soil.
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Old 05-21-2007, 08:46 AM   #5
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Pine trees drip turpentine on the ground beneath them to keep the compettion down. Once the trees are gone, you might get grass to grow ther by using lime, but adding topsoil there would work faster.

As for the rest of the lawn, spray the whole thing with round up and let it coak. Then add soil amendments ( , lime, sand or vermiculate as needed) and till lightly. Seed with the grass of your choice and roll, then scatter straw or moldy hay over it (this is one good use for moldy or ancient hay). You'll have a new lawn in a few weeks.
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Old 05-21-2007, 10:05 AM   #6
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I would think the pine needles make the soil acidic,Lime would help neutralize the soil,or you could plant azalaes (sp) flowering bush under them .They love acidic soil. We had fescue planted in our yard under the pine trees back home and it did fine but be kept the needles mowed.
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Old 05-21-2007, 10:16 AM   #7
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I thoroughly rake the ground then lay down flakes of hay. The seeds fall through, the hay protects them and eventually rots to become soil and after a few years the grass grows well.
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Old 05-21-2007, 01:52 PM   #8
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Buy some Crossbow herbicide and spray it liberally onto the vine. It'll be absorbed and kill the vine down to its roots. I'd be a shame if it "accidentally" got sprayed onto the larger vine in the township owner land. Be careful though, it kills everything, including trees!

Oh yeah, cut down the pine trees.
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Old 05-21-2007, 04:40 PM   #9
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You can spray the yard with 2-4-D. That'll kill everything but the grass and clover.

Alternately, Spray with Roundup, wait 3 days and till the entire yard under to a depth of about 6 inches. Rake it smooth and plant good grass seed.

Forget the front tine tillers when you do it. Go to a rental equipment shop and rent the biggest ugliest hydraulic tiller they have. A hydraulic tiller can weigh 900 lbs. It moves itself and it definitely doesn't jump around on you. I used one recently and these suckers are incredible! I broke everything up by letting the tines spin forward on the first pass and then reversed them (flip of a switch) for the second. I was left with baby powder soil 6 inches deep.
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Old 05-21-2007, 04:56 PM   #10
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Now see that sounds more economical than sod. I was just dreading an entire summer of trying to grow grass. But if it only takes a few weeks and can be done in July/August, then that's a good way to go.

We plan on fencing a portion of the side yard to keep the dogs out of the back yard. I'm not sure if my dad will like the idea of chemicals, but to sod the whole thing won't be cheap and you'd still have to till it and then flatten it.

I forgot about the dang clover, there's a lot of that too.
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Old 05-30-2007, 06:34 AM   #11
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A neighbor rakes his pine tree yard in Spring and Fall. They pick up bags of needles. He neither seeded nor fertilized the sparse grass but after a few years of vigorous raking the lawn is beautiful.
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