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Establishing my dream lawn  RSS feed

 
Tina Paxton
Posts: 283
Location: coastal southeast North Carolina
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My current "lawn area" is a mix of various grasses and weeds. Some areas of the yard the sod is extremely dense (it is hard to push a shovel into it and even difficult to push a mower over it). Eventually, I will be establishing some hugelbed/berms but for now, I'm want to just work on soil building here plus growing fodder/hay for my rabbits. So, I want a mix of perennial rye, clovers, dandelions, HealAll, and other edible weeds. But, before I just start tossing out a huge amount of seeds, I was wondering if there is something I can do to weaken the existing sod to give the new seed a fighting chance (without having to get a sod cutter to remove it)? Or, am I not giving these seeds enough credit?

Also, when is a good time to start seeding? (After last frost date or N weeks before or whenever)
 
Dale Hodgins
gardener
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Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
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If you spread an even layer of coffee grounds over your grass, the worms will eat it all, and you will have hundreds of little holes for the grass seed to sink into. Your new grass seed will be in fertilized, well-drained soil. Worms do the heavy lifting.
 
Tina Paxton
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Location: coastal southeast North Carolina
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Dale Hodgins wrote:If you spread an even layer of coffee grounds over your grass, the worms will eat it all, and you will have hundreds of little holes for the grass seed to sink into. Your new grass seed will be in fertilized, well-drained soil. Worms do the heavy lifting.


So, I need a big supply of coffee grounds. Sounds good. I like the idea of putting the worms to work.
 
Dale Hodgins
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I've gathered about five tons of coffee grounds in the last two years. An average stop by Starbucks yeilds 300 pounds.

No till potatoes are a great way to eliminate an existing lawn.
 
Tina Paxton
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Location: coastal southeast North Carolina
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How thick do you layer the grounds?
 
Dale Hodgins
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I layer it more than an inch thick, but I'm going on bare soil. If you went really deep,  it should be possible to kill the existing grass using critters.  Slugs and other things would come to eat the coffee grounds and the rotting grass. As little as a quarter inch, seems to raise the earthworm population or at least raise the number of sightings.
 
Tina Paxton
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Location: coastal southeast North Carolina
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Dale Hodgins wrote:I layer it more than an inch thick, but I'm going on bare soil. If you went really deep,  it should be possible to kill the existing grass using critters.  Slugs and other things would come to eat the coffee grounds and the rotting grass. As little as a quarter inch, seems to raise the earthworm population or at least raise the number of sightings.


ummm...that would require a large amount of coffee grounds. I may have to reserve that to the areas with the thickest sod matts. I'm also thinking of torching the lawn...I've not done that before but many folks around here do it as a regular Spring ritual. Tends to freak the Yankees out as I guess they don't see that up above the Mason-Dixon. Burning it and then spreading some dried molasses and rabbit manure and then seeding it... but, until then, I could work on getting as much coffee grounds as possible and spreading it...
 
Landon Sunrich
pollinator
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Location: Western Washington
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Couple thoughts. I wouldn't burn. There are advantages especially if you do it right but its outweighed by the disadvantages IMO. It vaporizes your OM into CO2 for one.

Have you tried seed balls? Go heavy on the clay if your sod is heavy thick, put them on when the grass is short and your expecting rain. Now in the PNW. Larger seed balls make sense for thick thatch. Like softball sized maybe? Also don't get afraid to get there and fuck things up with a shovel. Just breaking up the surface a bit to drop in a bunch of seed.
 
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