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  Reply # 770520 26-Feb-2013 14:53 Send private message

Make sure you choose the correct grass seed for your area and intended use. The "mix' grass seeds can offer better resilience but can be patchy and hard to look after. My last lawn went with tall fescue and its worked out great.

Buy grass seed from a reputable lawn place, NOT the local hardware store. Get good advice to suit your local conditions, weather, soil etc...and the seed often works out cheaper that way too.

It's also the completely the wrong time of year to plant. With the current weather I would say it is doomed to fail if you sow now. Better to wait till around the end of March when it's a bit cooler.

Just my 2 cents...





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  Reply # 770527 26-Feb-2013 15:04 Send private message

NonprayingMantis:
they are based out in Kumeu. I think they deliver anywhere in NZ, but cost presumably goes up the further away you are.

whether you want Rye depends on what you want to use the turf for.  In my case I have a couple of toddlers so wanted the softest grass - and rye is quite hard.

If, on the other hand, you want to play soccer or something on it with teenage boys, then go for more rye.

You might also find that with the amount of watering you need to do for growing from seed, the extra cost of instand turf might not be as much as you think.


Water is flat rate in Wellington, not per litre, so no extra charges there. The water gets used whether it's done at my place or at a lawn farm, I figure.

scuwp: Make sure you choose the correct grass seed for your area and intended use. The "mix' grass seeds can offer better resilience but can be patchy and hard to look after. My last lawn went with tall fescue and its worked out great.

Buy grass seed from a reputable lawn place, NOT the local hardware store. Get good advice to suit your local conditions, weather, soil etc...and the seed often works out cheaper that way too.

It's also the completely the wrong time of year to plant. With the current weather I would say it is doomed to fail if you sow now. Better to wait till around the end of March when it's a bit cooler.


Agreed. I don't have kids, but it's possible in the future. I'll sacrifice some appearance for function, especially for a more hardy grass that can survive extremes more easily. The lawn sometimes has some sitting water if we get heavy rain after a dry spell (it drains quickly enough usually), and in summer can get very dry unless it's watered daily.

There are different types of rye. The one I just killed off grew tall and had ugly seed heads at the end, totally unsuitable for a residential lawn. It looked like a farmers field. You can get a fine rye that's hard wearing but looks ok. Fescue is quite fine and looks great, very lush, but it's not as robust. This site suggests chewings fescue mixed with a specific rye grass. It also says fescue mixed with bent browntop is an older mix that looks better but is less robust. I'll probably go for a variety of fescue 70-80%, then rye 20-30%.

What's the difference between fine fescue and tall fescue?

The hydroseed company I'll use has been experimenting with different seed mixes for the past few years. They're based in the same suburb I live in, so they have plenty of experience in the area.




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  Reply # 770544 26-Feb-2013 15:28 Send private message

scuwp: It's also the completely the wrong time of year to plant. With the current weather I would say it is doomed to fail if you sow now. Better to wait till around the end of March when it's a bit cooler.


I've looked at recommended air and soil temperatures for fescue germination, the average temperatures in March are usually ideal. April gets a bit too cool usually, and May it'd be pretty slow. However with it being hotter and drier than usual yes I'll be waiting until mid to late March to plant the seed, and I'll be watering it well.

The added advantage of hydroseed is it's partially germinated when it's laid.




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  Reply # 770556 26-Feb-2013 15:40 Send private message

Tall fescue produces quite a thick blade that is very hardy. Looks best when mown a bit longer (like most lawns - people tend to mow then far to short).

http://www.finelawn.co.nz/index.asp?PageID=2145848635




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  Reply # 770586 26-Feb-2013 16:05 Send private message

I think I prefer the look of fine fescue, perhaps mixed with a little tall fescue or rye to give it more hardiness. The tall one looks a bit course compared with what I want, more of an individual blade type grass than clumps.




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  Reply # 770835 27-Feb-2013 06:12 Send private message

You will still get weeds, irrespective of using seed or ready lawn. But there is Wool Gro, a sheet of wool offcuts with many layers of seeds embedded. The wool acts like weed mat that disintegrates over 6-9 months while the lawn establishes, and the wool also feeds the lawn. We are going to plant a lawn soon and looking at this as an option, we have 100 sqm which I think is around $600 or $700. Work out similar to ready lawn, but if you have flat rate water then it will give you a weed free lawn. With ready lawn you also have an added expense of having to level it later, to fill the gaps (been there, done that).




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  Reply # 770853 27-Feb-2013 07:53 Send private message

I know, the aim is to minimise the weeds. WoolGro sounds like a good idea, I think I'll stick with hyrdoseed though, as it's local so they know the conditions.

I turned over a square meter of grass yesterday, it took about half an hour and was moderately hard work. It wasn't even quite ready to plant seed in when I was done either, it was clumpy and would need to be broken up a lot. I think mechanical work with the rotary hoe is the way to go, and someone else doing it for me is definitely preferable.




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  Reply # 770897 27-Feb-2013 09:33 Send private message

Sounds like an interesting project. Would you mind posting a pic of what it looks like now?

I'd like to improve the look of our front lawn; it's got quite a few hollows and some of the grass looks very different from one side to the other.



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  Reply # 770901 27-Feb-2013 09:41 Send private message

I have before photos, right now it looks like dead grass. I'll post before, during, and after photos once I'm done, but it will just change from looking like random grass to good grass.

DarthKermit, if your grass isn't built up too high the best solution I can see is to roundup the lawn, give it a couple of weeks, then put down 2-4cm of grass growing mix and seed. I couldn't do that as the soil is already up to the concrete level. I was originally going to take all the topsoil away and put in new soil, but it costs a lot of time or effort to do that, and our soil's actually fine - good topsoil put in a couple of years ago.




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  Reply # 770916 27-Feb-2013 10:06 Send private message

We have done our lawn 3 times, and it's only 100M. We used lawn spray twice and would never do that again (much more prone to weeds) and the third time readylawn. Readylawn was about the same price but lasted much longer, but a year or so on, after my German Shepherd has used it as a bathroom, it's looking pretty grim again. Watering is the key.



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  Reply # 770920 27-Feb-2013 10:13 Send private message

What do you mean "lawn spray" networkn - hydroseed? My hydroseed took fine, and I made sure I got a good amount of spare seed so I could fill gaps myself.

Sounds like you need to do some overseeding.




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  Reply # 770923 27-Feb-2013 10:18 Send private message

timmmay: What do you mean "lawn spray" networkn - hydroseed? My hydroseed took fine, and I made sure I got a good amount of spare seed so I could fill gaps myself.

Sounds like you need to do some overseeding.


We have decided having such a small lawn with such a large dog is fighting a battle we can't win. Hydrolawn grew quickly but the weeds were a real problem which it wasn't with a prelaid lawn. Also the lawn type with hydrolawn looked nice but wasn't very robust and it was either completely weeded out or dead within 6 months. 



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  Reply # 770924 27-Feb-2013 10:20 Send private message

Hydroseed is the same as regular seed, using the right seed for the conditions is important. Lawns take maintenance, not just mowing - you need to water, feed, remove or spray weeds, etc. Also most people mow far too low, the highest setting on the mower is usually about right.




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  Reply # 770932 27-Feb-2013 10:38 Send private message

timmmay: I have before photos, right now it looks like dead grass. I'll post before, during, and after photos once I'm done, but it will just change from looking like random grass to good grass.

DarthKermit, if your grass isn't built up too high the best solution I can see is to roundup the lawn, give it a couple of weeks, then put down 2-4cm of grass growing mix and seed. I couldn't do that as the soil is already up to the concrete level. I was originally going to take all the topsoil away and put in new soil, but it costs a lot of time or effort to do that, and our soil's actually fine - good topsoil put in a couple of years ago.


Here's what my front lawn is looking like now:


It would normally look a bit better, but of course it's been one of the dryest Febs I can ever remember. I might dig a trench and install conduit for a future UFB connection before I go ripping up any grass.



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  Reply # 770937 27-Feb-2013 10:44 Send private message

The easy way might be to wait a month, break up the soil with a fork or rake so seed can get into the soil, then overseed. Putting more soil down doesn't look like it'd be ideal.

What I'd do is level it off, build a retaining wall, and plant a new lawn... that's actually what I did as all my lawns were on slopes and I didn't like them. Expensive and time consuming though.




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