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Old 29-05-2012, 07:53 PM
allen73 allen73 is offline
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First recorded activity by GardenBanter: May 2011
Location: California
Posts: 271

Originally Posted by Tintac View Post
Hi I have a 100 square metre weedy lawn in an orchard, more daisies and dandelions than grass. Would like to replace this with nice grassed area. What would be the best way to tackle this considering the hosepipe ban and so on.
The ideal solution here is to remove 5 to 6 in. of clay soil, replace it with topsoil and replant with a hardy seed or sod. But ours is a landscaped yard, with terraces, flowerbeds, fences and underground sprinklers. It allows little room for earthmoving equipment that might damage our concrete sidewalk and drive. And finally, this method is expensive.
We preferred a more manageable alternative--one that allowed us to do most of the work ourselves, using familiar lawn and garden rental equipment. We knew from gardening in this soil that it could be made workable with enough clay-busting mulch tilled in. And with 2 in. of thatch underfoot, we knew where to find the dead plant matter. Include the green grass and a little sphagnum peat moss, and we would have enough decaying vegetation to improve the soil structure down to 6 or 7 in.

We also added a double dose of pelletized gypsum, which reduces acidity and breaks down the clay. Finally, we put down a double application of Milorganite, an organic nitrogen fertilizer made from sewage (Milorganite, 260 W. Seeboth St., Milwaukee, WI 53204;
As for the new grass, we chose a locally grown sod containing a blend of turf-grade fescues. For our climate, fescue offers several advantages. It grows deeper roots and is therefore more drought tolerant. It's naturally more heat and disease resistant, and, because it's a clump grass, it needs less aerating--about every three years. Fescue sod breaks apart relatively easily, so it's shipped and installed with a biodegradable plastic mesh beneath it. The latest fescue strains are very close to bluegrass in color.

Still, there are some tradeoffs. Fescue is not quite as pretty as bluegrass in that its leaves are a little wider. Fescue doesn't propagate through the roots, so bare spots won't fill in on their own. In fact, it's a good idea to add more seed after aerating. But what you get for your trouble is a hardy lawn that requires less work, less water and fewer chemicals. New lawns are best established in spring or fall.

Read mo How To Replace Your Old Lawn With New Sod - Popular Mechanics
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