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I purchased my new place last year, and I'm finally getting around to making the lawn look good again. I have really sandy soil conditions, the previous owners didn't aerate or fertilize at all, and only mowed once the city got on them about the grass being too long. I removed a line of pine trees this spring that were planted way too close together and in a poor location. As a result, the soil is pretty well depleted, and the yard is a patchwork of weeds and bare patches with some grass mixed in. I'll also have a few areas that I need to even out as I work on it.

As a part of my recovery efforts, I plan on putting in a sprinkler system for dry spells. Here's my dilemma. Should I: (A) Put down weed killer, cut up the lawn to put in the sprinkler system, and then put down compost and seed or (B) cut out the old mess, lay down compost, and re-sod. If I go with option A, it would be a bit less work, and hopefully save some money. Option B would (probably) cost a bit more up front, but would give me a nice even lawn to start over with. It would also be easier to even out the lumps and bumps in the lawn with option B.

As I'm up in Minnesota, I don't know if I should work on it this year or wait until spring with either route. I don't want to spend a bunch of money just to have all my work ruined by winter freeze. Anyone have an opinion?
 

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first thing you should do is a soil test if your soil is ok you could get a little bit of top soil to even every thing out and sod other wise if your soil is bad you will need to bring in a lot of soil you might want to look into hydo seeding thats were they use a machine and spry "green slime" on the dirt
 

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Exto your yard sounds like it looks like mine. I was thinking of trying Zoysia grass. Their flyer I have says it thrives in drought like conditions and will grow in any soil. And will choke out crabgrass.
www.ZoysiaFarms.com/bi
 

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I'm not in the frigid northern Mid-west so you'll have to make the plant decision based on your location and weather. I would get the sprinklers in this year; add soil to level the area. Rolling is a good thing to highlight your low spots that should be releveled. I'd let the ground rest for the winter. Next spring, depending on equipment available, sprinkle with grass starter fertilizer and do a shallow tilling of the area, (don't wipe out your sprinklers), then relevel and roll. If you can afford it put in sod, (instant green for a lot of green). If not, spread seed and keep it watered. You'll get some weeds but keep it cut, watered and fertilized and eventually you can get rid of the weeds.

"Zoysia" is a 6 letter, 4-letter word you should not use in front of children. I believed all the literature and ordered some and got the special 2 for the price of one deal. The box came via UPS. Half was pretty dried up. I took the best of the rest and started to plant. When they say they give you plugs, they don't tell you get squares of sod that must be cut into plugs. Each square is supposed to contain 100 plugs. I also bought the drill bit auger to drill the plugholes every square foot. After drilling the holes, then cutting, pulling, tugging, and ripping the squares apart into plugs, (I managed to get about 20 or 30 from a square) then planting my 25 or so plugs, I was so tired and frustrated, I quit. I kept what I planted, as well as the remaining 10 or so squares, watered. They didn't do anything. I eventually tilled up that planting area and put in grass seed, which is doing well.
 

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^^ Interesting. Some other threads I found seem to like it. I've been considering it for the front lawn that's full of junk grass and browns up almost every summer.
 
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