Help...Need Lawn Tips

Byrdblue

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I bought a house. The backyard has not been maintained. It was thick with trees, limited sun, and moisture. Removing the old rotten trees and trying to get rid of moss growth. Opening it up to the sun. Not done with the trees yet, but starting to think about he lawn phase. The issue is that there are years of leaves built up, moss, a lot of tree stumps cut to the ground, and tree roots. I want to place a few inches of top soil and plant grass with straw over it. Is it ok to put the soil over the thick leaves, old moss, and stumps? If so, any recommendations for soil thickness in inches or type of grass? Live in Western PA. Rains a lot.
 

Dekster

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I wouldn't seed over the leaves, but sure you could with some dirt. Next summer when the heat comes, you may lose your grass if the leaves haven't broken down (some do that more readily than others). Lime the yard. It will help with the moss but opening up the area to the sun should kill it off well enough in time. Moss feeds on water. Once dried out, it has no food. I personally would backfill around the roots high enough to make it safe to mow, rake/mulch up the leaves, then lime and seed. I would probably let the stumps rot. They should be gone withing a couple three years.

Pictures would be nice.
 

MarathonMike

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You might want to rototill the top layer of leaves and stuff to help it break down before you put the top soil down. Sounds like it would be really fertile as long as the drainage is good and the lawn gets the right amount of sun.
 
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Byrdblue

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Thanks for the advise. Yes, putting in drainage too. Forgot to mention that part. Both posts are very helpful.
 

thomosbaysore

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I think that it would be better for you to remove all garbage and weeds and only then put the lawn. Personally, I did just that and my lawn grass pleases me with its green cover every year. After you lay the lawn you need to properly care for it, every year I treat my lawn grass with weed control Blog Archives - Grass Killer so that the weeds do not destroy the integrity of the cover. This tool contains herbicides, which are pesticides that destroy weeds. With these products you can get the perfect lawn.
 

Natural Citizen

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I sodded my yard.

But, yeah, pretty much what Mike said if you're gonna just seed, straw and tackifier.

If you're gonna seed, I'd go with an 80/20 mixture of tall fescue and annual rye.
 

Picaro

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What Mike said: It needs a good tilling, which will also help with the drainage. Look around for stump killers, let them rot the roots for a year or two, then hew out the top parts and cover them over with dirt or whatever. I usually let yard grow 'wild' a couple of times in spring, and pull up what I can by hand, then spray with the weed killer after I mow a couple of times. Lasts me til the next year or two, depending on how wet it is that year. My main problems are carpenter ants and snails. I have a ton of Mexican Petunias in the yard, and they look great when they bloom, so I have the yard divided up into large squares of those instead of grass. I don't like grass that much, and don't mind it being yellow all summer, just means less mowing for me, lol. Depending on where you live, there are ground cover options besides grass.
 
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