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Joined: Mon Jun 06, 2016 11:10 am

Laying new grass suggestions?

I'm a total newbie with installing new grass..... Long story short, I have a fairly large area (20 x 20 feet) under a tree that has been bare/dirt for a few years now. We've now decided to do something about it but want to make sure we're on the right track.

The ground under the tree is very hard dirt, and some of the roots of the tree is showing throughout the dirt.. My wife says we could just throw down some compost, soil, sod (St. Augustinegrass) and then water daily...... Does that sound like a decent plan or does the hard ground make our situation different? -- We're not looking for anything fancy, just need some grass!

We live in Fort Worth, Texas.. It will stay pretty hot this summer.... I suppose we'll need something that grows in both shade & direct sun.

Thank you much!


Posts: 13761
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 8:32 am
Location: Hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

What kind of tree is it and how dense is the canopy?. If it has a dense canopy then a ground cover might work better. Compost won't cut it and if you have surface roots, the tree has not been deep watered. Grass will not do that well in the long run if you don't prepare the soil first and give it a good base. If the roots are above ground it will be hard to mow.

If you want grass you will probably need to put down a nursery mix (look for a composting facility you can get that by the truckload if you are willing to pick it up. You need to put down about 6 inches of the mix but nothing must go up against the trunk of the tree and you do want to cover the surface roots. You will need to add a starter fertilzer and I would suggest seeding a shade tolerant grass.
But I would wait and just prepare the ground now and install in the fall or early spring. You would have to put down a lot more water in the heat of summer just to keep it alive. If you are not going to walk on it much, I think a ground cover is the better option.

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