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Planting a New Yard

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Buckeye
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 10 South-Central Ohio
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2002-06-25          39831


We have just finished up on building our new home and now we are staring down a large area of dirt that will need grass. Is it too late to start planting grass in the summer? Should we wait until the fall when cooler weather comes along? I would like to go ahead and plant some grass, spread the straw, etc. and I don't mind to water it. What do you all think?

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Planting a New Yard

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TomG
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 5406 Upper Ottawa Valley
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2002-06-25          39835


A few years back we had the house at our camp demolished and the cellar filled and capped with top-soil. The work was done in early July. My wife wonders what to do with the mud flat where the house was and wants to put in grass some seed. I say 'wait until mid-September. Even if it rains some and the seeds germinate, the heat will kill new seedlings. 'We'd also have to 'prepare a seed-bed you know.'

So my wife buys $40 worth of grass seed and says 'what do I do now?' I say 'well as long as you've got the seed, just broadcast it around and maybe rake some loose dirt over it.' 'Don't expect much though' says I. She just threw the seed around and didn't bother with a rake. Well, it didn't rain much and it was pretty hot and we also got pretty good grass--still pretty 'tufty' though. Guess I'm happy I didn't make too big a deal out of the inadequacy of my wife's methods. Of course, we didn't end up with what you'd call a suburban lawn either.

I'd say if you want to get rid of a mud flat, try what my wife did now, but don't spend much work at it. Grass seed is fairly inexpensive. If you don't like the results you can always till it under and do it properly in the fall.

We replaced the house with an old 40' construction, a new 40' deck and later a 10' x 10' wash shed.
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Planting a New Yard

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MRETHICS
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 190 Star City, Indiana
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2002-06-25          39843


I'll assume that "buckeye" means you are located in OHIO.

I'm from Indiana, here is a few things to consider:

NO 1) Get your soil tested. PH level is important.

NO 2) The best times to seed grass without irrigation is also an old rule of thumb. "There needs to be an "R" in the month".

NO 3) If you have acces to irigation, it will work great
if you apply the correct amount of water.
3a)water at night and every other night
3b)it takes alot of water to put 1" of rain
on 1 acre.
3c)Once you begin watering, you are commited to it
until cool moist weather sets in in late summer
or early fall

NO 4) You may do everything right, and Mother Nature may
have her own ideas. (if she wins...keep trying)


GOOD LUCK!! ....

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Planting a New Yard

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TomG
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 5406 Upper Ottawa Valley
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2002-06-26          39850


I forgot to say that a person down the highway recently planted buckwheat. The idea is to till it under in the fall and put in a lawn. I don't know if buckwheat would do any better than grass seed if planted without watering now, but whatever grows is supposed to be very good for the soil.

Such an idea might make a mud flat more acceptable over the summer. The expense and work of preparing a proper lawn could be delayed until fall when the chances of getting good results are better.
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MRETHICS
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 190 Star City, Indiana
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2002-06-26          39859


Buckwheat!!!!!

Great idea Tom!!!

We raised that on our farm a few years ago, sewed it after harvesting commercial wheat. Planting date for the buckwheet was on the 10th of July. My expeirience with it tells me it's very do-able. It darned sure wasn't profatable on our farm, due to low prices and transportation costs getting it to market, but it could be just the ticket in this case.

The Buckwheat grew really well with little moisture. But you may need to water a couple times to get good seed emergance. (When we planted it(buckwheat), there was adequate soil moisture at planting depth for good seed germination). After the buckwheat is up and growing, it will continue on it's own with very little water from Ma' Nature.

It will give good ground cover and protect your soil from the elements. A moderate frost will kill it off, and that will be a good time to seed the new turf.

One more comment,

I would mow off the buckwheat before it begins produceing seeds. The seeds may attract rodents and birds in your lawn weeks before you actualy sew your turf. Once these animals know where their dinner is, they usually come back, and you don't want them to find the grass seeds you've sewn.
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Planting a New Yard

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TomG
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 5406 Upper Ottawa Valley
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2002-06-27          39873


Soil! Good for the soil. I left out a word but fixed it with the edit.

Buckwheat is supposed to make great green fertilizer. I don't know if the plant also is nitrogen fixing but doubt it. It probably would attract rodents and birds if left to mature. Besides, there's not much experience in N.A. using it as a food except in pancakes. In Eastern Europe, it is called Kasha when it's cracked and cooked. I think of it as an alternative to rice.

I'm not familiar with growing buckwheat but I'm not surprised it does well with little water. It is a common crop in Eastern Europe where it is fairly arid. The same area also was the origin of most of the drought and rust resistant strains of wheat. Some of my ancestors were ethnic Germans who emigrated to N.A. from the Ukraine. They perhaps brought some of the wheat that eventually saved the day for North American agriculture with them.
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lbrown59
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 931 First Organized Permanent Settlement In The Northwest Territory.
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2004-10-07          97871


I've heard in Jan and Feb When there is a snow on is a food time to plant gras seed ....

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