How do I get grass to grow- big lawn with big problems


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Good afternoon! I'm looking for any advice you guys have! I'm definitely new to lawn care

We live on a large hill in the mountains of Colorado. Last year we had an excavator come out and flatten the hill behind the house so that water wasn't running toward our foundation. Our backyard and side yard are now raw dirt. We also put a fence around the property and by the time we were done, we didn't put as much effort into the yard as we should have before winter hit.

We placed seed down and then polypropylene single net erosion control blankets before winter, but I am concerned that the yard was not properly raked of leaves and the seed wasn't fully incorporated in the dirt before the mats went down. Now that the snow is melting, I am trying to determine what the next steps should be to seed the yard. We would like grass around the house. Should I remove the blankets, leaves, and start again? If I start again- do I reseed/fertilize/rake it into the ground/then recover with straw? Any advice of what type of straw/erosion mats?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Thank you so much!
 

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I have relatives in Colorado Springs and helped them with their new house and landscaping so I am slightly familiar with your questions. The most common grass is Kentucky Blue Grass which is what they used. By all means remove the blankets now if it is the type that should be removed. What type of seed? Did you add compost and fertilizer before you put out the seed? When seeding a lawn proper measures should be taken to ensure a good lawn in the future. One doesn't just throw out seed and hope for the best.
 
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I agree, we did a very poor job. We did not fertilize and place a mountain blend of seed recommended by our local ACE.
We are at 7,300' elevation

What fertilizer do you suggest? After fertilizing and seeding, would you place straw or something to help it all stay in place till it sprouts? Thank you!
 
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I agree, we did a very poor job. We did not fertilize and place a mountain blend of seed recommended by our local ACE.
We are at 7,300' elevation

What fertilizer do you suggest? After fertilizing and seeding, would you place straw or something to help it all stay in place till it sprouts? Thank you!
The seed you purchased is probably a mix of Blue Grass, Perennial Rye and Fescue. One of the three will more than likely become dominant. The way to seed a lawn is as follows: Apply about 1 inch of good compost to the entire area and till it in to about 4 inches deep. Fertilize. I would never fertilize anything without it being an OMRI rated organic fertilizer.....NO SYNTHETICS. Never any Weed N Feed products, ever. Rake smooth. Sow the seeds. I always like to put a little more seed down than called for. The next step is an important one. Apply about 1/4 inch of compost. Just enough to protect the seeds from birds and wind. It will also help keep the soil moist. Water it in slightly with a spray nozzle two or three times per day until germinated, usually about a week, depending on the temperature.
 
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The seed you purchased is probably a mix of Blue Grass, Perennial Rye and Fescue. One of the three will more than likely become dominant. The way to seed a lawn is as follows: Apply about 1 inch of good compost to the entire area and till it in to about 4 inches deep. Fertilize. I would never fertilize anything without it being an OMRI rated organic fertilizer.....NO SYNTHETICS. Never any Weed N Feed products, ever. Rake smooth. Sow the seeds. I always like to put a little more seed down than called for. The next step is an important one. Apply about 1/4 inch of compost. Just enough to protect the seeds from birds and wind. It will also help keep the soil moist. Water it in slightly with a spray nozzle two or three times per day until germinated, usually about a week, depending on the temperature.

I'm with the advice about "over-seeding."

An old English farming adage about planting seed.

"One for the rook,
One for the crow,
One to rot,
One to grow."

Seems about right.
 
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Why do you not like Weed N Feed? I don't know much about lawns either, and I'm trying to get my new lawn under control.
I have 2 reasons, one is that giving chemicals to grass starves the soil in which it grows and the other is that the herbicide chemicals are never quite right, either not inclusive of the weeds I have or continued usage of the same thing producing a void into which grows weeds that cannot be killed with that chemistry. Same thing in a garden when fighting fungi. You can participate in creating "Superbugs" by throwing the same thing at them time after time as they adapt and overcome to survive.
 
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Why do you not like Weed N Feed? I don't know much about lawns either, and I'm trying to get my new lawn under control.
Also, to add to what @DirtMechanic stated, continued use of the product can damage trees or shrubs. Also, it is a time sensitive product, meaning that it must be applied in a certain "time frame" and these "time frames" are different from one locale to another. Another thing about it is that the chemicals flow through the soil during heavy rains and end up downhill on some poor slubs vegetable garden. The stuff is not healthy to be around, for yourself and your pets. Just read the instructions and it will tell you to not walk on the grass for X amount of time. To follow the manufacturers instructions. If this product is so safe why all of the warnings? It is a major pollutant in our waterways, for both the herbicides it contains and the synthetic fertilizer in it. Weed and feeds are for lazy people. The best anti-weed product one can own is a good lawnmower and a Grand Pa's Weeder but one must use them regularly. I won't even go into the high nitrogen fertilizer part of the equation.
 
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Thank you, @DirtMechanic and @Chuck. That's great information! What are your thoughts about something like Turf Builder as opposed to a weed killer? I haven't read the label on the Turf Builder so I'm not familiar with what is in that. As for the weeds, I think you both know that I've been spending weeks on my hands and knees, crawling around my lawn pulling weeds manually. In the course of that, I've had poison ivy, wood and deer tics, flies, mosquitoes, bees, and other critters share their disdain with me for upsetting their environment. LOL

I've been wondering about something more natural for helping the grass to thrive and choke out the weeds. I wonder if I could use something like diluted Hydrogen Peroxide. That extra oxygen molecule is a miracle worker for so many things. Any thoughts on that?
 
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Thank you, @DirtMechanic and @Chuck. That's great information! What are your thoughts about something like Turf Builder as opposed to a weed killer? I haven't read the label on the Turf Builder so I'm not familiar with what is in that. As for the weeds, I think you both know that I've been spending weeks on my hands and knees, crawling around my lawn pulling weeds manually. In the course of that, I've had poison ivy, wood and deer tics, flies, mosquitoes, bees, and other critters share their disdain with me for upsetting their environment. LOL

I've been wondering about something more natural for helping the grass to thrive and choke out the weeds. I wonder if I could use something like diluted Hydrogen Peroxide. That extra oxygen molecule is a miracle worker for so many things. Any thoughts on that?
Put 1.28 oz of sugar or molasses into a gallon of whatever you are spraying for your "poison ivy, wood and deer tics, flies, mosquitoes, bees, and other critters". This would be akin to feeding plankton in the sea except its bacteria in the soil. Bacteria are something plankton eats. The trillions you feed will do all that work for you, up to and including increased organic matter as they die Ala' Milorganite.
 
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Thank you, @DirtMechanic and @Chuck. That's great information! What are your thoughts about something like Turf Builder as opposed to a weed killer? I haven't read the label on the Turf Builder so I'm not familiar with what is in that. As for the weeds, I think you both know that I've been spending weeks on my hands and knees, crawling around my lawn pulling weeds manually. In the course of that, I've had poison ivy, wood and deer tics, flies, mosquitoes, bees, and other critters share their disdain with me for upsetting their environment. LOL

I've been wondering about something more natural for helping the grass to thrive and choke out the weeds. I wonder if I could use something like diluted Hydrogen Peroxide. That extra oxygen molecule is a miracle worker for so many things. Any thoughts on that?
That Turf Builder is just another Scotts product Weed N Feed. You are worrying too much about getting rid of weeds instead of growing healthy grass. A healthy stand of grass will eventually choke out any weeds especially when mowed regularly and the weeds are not allowed to go to seed. And with a Grand Pa's Weeder you don't have to even bend over to pull weeds. Make your soil healthy. You will NOT have healthy soil if you use synthetic fertilizers and Weed N Feed garbage. Building a healthy soil is not a one time use and it is fixed proposition. It takes time and effort but in the long term well worth it, both in monetary savings and aesthetics. Hydrogen peroxide will not do anything to weeds except maybe make them grow a little faster. HP aerates/softens the soil with very minor properties of a fungicide. If you want to use something that is very beneficial, use molasses. It softens the soil, plus, it provides a food source for soil microbes. It also helps greatly in the decomposition of thatch. You can get it in dried form or liquid. The dried is form is a tad expensive as it is made from ground up corncobs soaked in molasses. With the liquid just get a hose end sprayer, fill it up with molasses and start spraying. You must fertilize also. During my lawn service years I fertilized my customers lawns every 3 months for the first year. Any OMRI rated fertilizer is great for grass. After the first year every 6 months.

Most folks have never even heard of a Grand Pa's Weeder so here is a picture of one.
 

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