I am a total newbie here when it comes to gardening and lawn. I have a backyard made of paver tile which has gone bad over years, in the sense, too much weed is growing between tiles.

To fix this, last year, at one part of the back yard, I removed all tiles, put landscaping fabric underneath and put the tiles back, finally sealed the gaps with good polymeric sand. That part is still looking good this year, no weeds.

For the rest of the bad area of backyard (almost 700 square feet), I was planning to replace with grass lawn. As an experiment, I took out tiles from a 17 feet X 2.5 feet rectangular area, and looked under, what appeared was mostly gravel, mixed with crushed stone and dirt. I put no effort to take out the gravel or put any additional material (top soil, etc). I just used a manual hand shovel and hand tiller to dig up 3-4 inches of the compacted bed material repeatedly to loosen up the bed and then raked it. Then I put some fertilizer and spread seeds 2 days ago. Has been watering it since then 3 times a day (morning, afternoon, evening). No signs of germination yet. Do you guys think this will actually work? The concerns I have regarding why it may not work 1. Not enough depth (I put a screw driver in and without considerable effort I can go 5-6 inches deep), so is that enough or I should have loosened up more of compacted bed underneath 2. When I was digging up, beneath the gravel and dust layers, I stumbled upon a layer which felt like clay, reddish in color and sticky in nature, not sure what is that and is it a friend or foe 3. Not enough nutrients, I did put fertilizer but not sure if that will help 4. Birds are eating seeds...is that a big problem?

Please help me out folks! I am so looking forward to my cute experimental lawn :) Any help or advice appreciated.

I am attaching a couple of picture of how it looks like enter image description here

enter image description here

Thanks Souvik.

  • Depending on your climate, grass seed may take anything from 4 days up to 4 weeks to germinate. 2 days is nothing to worry about. If you raked the seeds into the soil after you sowed them and you can still see a few seeds on the surface, birds haven't eaten them all. In any case, there is an old saying in the UK about sowing grass seed - you sow 1/3 for the birds, 1/3 for the mice, and the remaining 1/3 to grow!
    – alephzero
    Commented Jul 16, 2019 at 18:42
  • Which fertiliser did you use?
    – Bamboo
    Commented Jul 16, 2019 at 20:24


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