Just moved, have no lawn !!

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texas_gardenia

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Just moved, have no lawn !!
« on: April 22, 2011, 22:20 »
Hi all,

I have not been able to do outdoor gardening for over a year due to many factors-- but my back is feeling better now, I have a small electric rototiller (so hopefully no more injuries from digging!) and am raring to go.

We just moved to a flat with a back garden. The previous tenants basically destroyed the garden. There is no grass whatsoever. The soil is bare dirt and has moss growing all over it. They had a large dog which was allowed to urinate all over the garden, so i suspect that the dog is mostly the cause of it's poor state. I can tell the soil itself is very compacted.

As I mentioned, I have an ongoing back injury, so I can't double dig... But I can at least use my tiller on the top layer.

The big question is, can I get any kind of grass growing from scratch being that it is almost May?? Maybe a hardier ground covering plant like some type of clover? It seems such a shame to go all summer with bare dirt. I really want to see if I can get it greened up. I will also be ordering some plants and shrubs to put in. But our little dog would love some grass.

If anyone has advice or suggestions for fast growing ground cover I would be so grateful!

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Yorkie

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Re: Just moved, have no lawn !!
« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2011, 22:25 »
You can either turf it or seed it.  You will need to cover the seed to stop it being eaten by birds, and water lots for the first season.  And I would advise keeping your dog off it for some weeks, even months, to allow it to grow without being pee'd on or scratched.

If you do decide to turf or seed it, use the tiller to break up the soil, then tread it down with your feet.  Make sure it is even / level.  Then just rake the top of the soil to scratch it, before laying turf / seed.
I try to take one day at a time, but sometimes several days all attack me at once...

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texas_gardenia

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Re: Just moved, have no lawn !!
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2011, 22:27 »
thanks so much Yorkie. Unfortunately there is no way I can kep my dog inside the house for weeks or months. She is quite small though, so she shouldn't affect it too badly. I will put some seed in for sure on at least half of it. Maybe for the other half I can find some other kind of ground cover which is less delicate.

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Yorkie

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Re: Just moved, have no lawn !!
« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2011, 22:29 »
I think female dog urine will simply scorch the grass wherever she urinates, leaving you with dead, bare patches.

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texas_gardenia

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Re: Just moved, have no lawn !!
« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2011, 22:32 »
She is litter box trained inside the house. She only plays outside :) ( she is an Italian greyhound so quite small)

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Goosegirl

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Re: Just moved, have no lawn !!
« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2011, 14:37 »
Noting your back problems, as Yorkie said, use your tiller to break up the top layer and also incorporate some sharp sand or grit to aid drainage and some good topsoil or compost (get help with putting this on beforehand). Once you have rotovated it in, put on some flat shoes or boots and tread all over the area using your heels - you will look like a waddling duck - then rake over to level it and waddle again if necessary. Now add some feed like Growmore or blood, fish and bone. (Raking can be hard on the back if done wrongly - use the rake head almost flat to the surface nearest to you - don't lunge at it from afar, and just "chip" away at the soil surface). Now tread again, then decide whether to seed or turf. Personally, I would get some good turf or you will be struggling to get a decent lawn for the summer as well as trying to keep your dog off it while it grows. At least your dog will have some grass to play on this summer.
Spring always comes when we sow the seeds of life.



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