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Discussion Starter #1
Okay, so I've got this new house, with no yard. I'm trying to decide what to do about it.

I've got two dogs, and I really need somewhere for them to relieve themselves, so the quicker the better. Right now, we have a piece of astroturf outside where I'm going to build a brick patio, so if I MUST seed, they can continue to use that until the seed grows in more. So what should I do?

I think no matter what I'm going to pay someone to prep the soil (rockhound, till, a little topsoil, etc) but I haven't decided if I'll do any of the work myself or not. Looking up and down the street, the sodded lawns (there's very few of those) definitely look the best. Smooth, uniform coverage and deep green Bluegrass. My next door neighbors have seeded, and right now they look horrible. I've also kicked around the idea of hydroseeding myself, but I don't know anyone that's ever done that before. To rent the hydroseeder, the cost is $185 per day, not including the necessary supplies.

What do you guys think? I'm tempted to just pay someone to do the sod, because of the dogs and all. HELP!
 

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I have never heard of hydroseeding, so I can't say anything there. If you want a lawn to look great from the start, there's no replacement for sod. Seeding never seems to turn out well before a few times around (and a few years). I'm not patient enough for that.
 

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Hydroseeding is that green shit that looks like paint you see on the side of highways and whatnot. It's a mixture of seed, fertilizer, glue and mulch that's supposed to germinate quicker than seed, without the risk of birds eating the seeds or water washing them away.
 

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Oh... reminds me of the bag stuff for ground cover flowers and such. They also sell it for patching lawns. We tried it once, and it doesn't work, even with extra seed added.

I'd stick with sod.

Get a Toro for when it comes time to mow it, too.
 

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Sod looks nice but it expensive but also the easiest way to get a lawn... Seed takes forever to grow, 3 weeks before you get a smidge of growth. Hydroseed is also slower than sod but WAY faster than seed. My lawn was seede by hydeo and it came up with in a week and grew quickly. We had a sink hole we seeded this year and well 4 weeks later no growth.. But here is another thought I have from experience. With your dogs going outside you are going to kill any patch of lawn that they pee on and each spring you will get a horrid brown, dead spot. My dog is only 22 lbs but we have a 4 foot by 5 foot spot where he went the bathroom in the snow. Ugly and brown. during the spring he walks far out to go and it is in weeeds not killing my grass. However, the neighbor has dogs in the electric fencing and they have destroyed his front and back lawn. Now he is putting in gravel in the area they frequently pee on. Keep that in mind. But I think your best bet is Sod for speed or hydroseed. Don't hand seed, inconsistent results. Get it done by a pro it is not a waste of money at all...

Hope that helps. If you have any ?'s just ask.
 

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go hydroseed
 

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I'd go with sod. That way, if a section doesn't take, you pull it up and slap in some new stuff.

Use GOOD topsoil underneath it. At least 3 inches of the stuff. That's what we used here, and it STILL wasn't enough, but CO has shit soil anyway. OH at least has SOME nutrients in the ground.
 

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Sod looks nice but it expensive but also the easiest way to get a lawn... Seed takes forever to grow, 3 weeks before you get a smidge of growth. Hydroseed is also slower than sod but WAY faster than seed. My lawn was seede by hydeo and it came up with in a week and grew quickly. We had a sink hole we seeded this year and well 4 weeks later no growth.. But here is another thought I have from experience. With your dogs going outside you are going to kill any patch of lawn that they pee on and each spring you will get a horrid brown, dead spot. My dog is only 22 lbs but we have a 4 foot by 5 foot spot where he went the bathroom in the snow. Ugly and brown. during the spring he walks far out to go and it is in weeeds not killing my grass. However, the neighbor has dogs in the electric fencing and they have destroyed his front and back lawn. Now he is putting in gravel in the area they frequently pee on. Keep that in mind. But I think your best bet is Sod for speed or hydroseed. Don't hand seed, inconsistent results. Get it done by a pro it is not a waste of money at all...

Hope that helps. If you have any ?'s just ask.
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I'm leaning towards letting the pros prep the soil and lay down the topsoil, and then hydroseeding myself. How hard can it be right? Don't you just "paint" the area evenly with the seeder? Can't be much to screw up there.

I think I'll either pay to have the whole thing done (sod or seed, depending on the quote I get) or hydroseed myself.
 

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When we bought our house, the price included sodding the front lawn and 5 feet of the back yard. The rest I used seed on. I would have to say the seeded part looks the best, but it did take awhile for it to come in. I also have 2 dogs and have roughly a 5' x 5' bald spot right outside of the back door from where they use to always peed before we got our fence.
 

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If you can afford it - get sod.

Second best is hydroseed or, depending on the grass type, sprigging. (that works for grasses that spread via their roots - like Bermud and Zoysia, although Zoysia is a very slow spreading grass.) Hydroseed must be kept wet to work best, so unless it is raining a lot, you will have to water often.

Seed will take a couple of months at the least and may not give the best coverage. Plus you have to get soil over the seed or the birds will eat it all.

When it comes to watering, all three processes will need more water than an established lawn, but sod needs less than seed and seed needs a little less than hydroseed.
 

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I don't know much about hydroseeding. As already stated, sod is most expensive but most likely less hassle.

I personally seeded part of my front lawn (approximately 40ft x 70ft) last fall. I dug up and raked lots of weeds and prepped the areas that needed seed. It took a lot of work and planning but within 1-2 months most parts came in very well. I spread the topsoil, seeded with premium seed, raked the seed in and then covered with peat moss to protect from birds. I watered for 5 min in the am and pm for 2-3 weeks and then cut back to once daily. Our house has an inground sprinkler system so watering was cake. It might not be so easy to tend and grow seed if you have to water with a hose. There are some patches that didn't fill in well that I'll probably overseed next fall.
 

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Sod is definitely the most reliable way to go - but if price is an issue then it might not be worth it. Sounds like hydroseed would work, but one of the landscapers I use swears by regular seeding (tilling and prep work before obviously) and then covering the lawn with a biodegradable canvas that you pin into the ground. He says that keeps out the animals, prevents the wind from blowing the seed away and helps retain moisture. The grass then grows through the canvas and eventually breaks apart under the lawn mower or over time. Good luck!
 

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I would hate to be the person mowing that lawn. Getting canvas in the mower is a good way to wreck it.
 

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I would hate to be the person mowing that lawn. Getting canvas in the mower is a good way to wreck it.
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This stuff isn't really canvas. It breaks up very easily even before it starts degrading. By the time the lawn needs to be mowed, it's already well on it's way to full breakdown.
 
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