Planting grass seed

Gardening with Rabbits

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I have an area under 2 walnut trees where the old rabbit hutch was and I want to plant grass there so that next year I can put some things out there for the kids to play with and have grass. Can I plant grass seed now or should I and what happens when the leaves fall? Should i rake the leaves or will it mess up the seed when I rake? The amount of leaves from these 2 trees will be very deep.
 

Ridgerunner

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What variety of grass? Some might be OK seeded this late in your season but I'd really want to know which kind you are sowing.

Will it grow in that shade? That depends on how shady that tree is.

I personally would be greatly concerned that the leaves will smother it out if you sprout it now. I'd want the leaves raked before I sowed them and by then it's probably too late to start the grass. I'd want the grass roots established before I raked. Without knowing what kind of grass it is I'd lean toward waiting until spring.
 

Ridgerunner

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Good catch. I missed that walnut tree part when I first read this. Juglone affects some plants a lot more than others. It doesn't stop germination but it can stunt some plants. May plants, including some grasses, will thrive under a walnut tree. It is not a case that you cannot grow anything under there, you can. But you need to check it out because it will kill some.

This brings up another point. Do not use any part of a walnut tree in compost. It will kill things like cabbage, tomatoes, and potatoes. Plants like beans, beets, and corn do OK. So be careful with it.

Horses can be allergic to black walnuts. I don't know the details but hors people like @thistlebloom or @baymule might know something about that. We had black walnut trees in pasture fields where we kept plow horses and it wasn't a problem but it can be.
 

thistlebloom

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Re: Ridgerunners mention of black walnut toxicity and horses, it's the fresh shavings of black walnut that you don't want to use for bedding. It causes laminitis in horses bedded in it. Probably not an issue for you GWR ;) .

Ridge and Pulse already addressed the juglone issue in the soil. I don't know how that affects grass growth.
What I would add is that you can sow grass seed on top of snow. It will get worked down over winter and additional snow on top will keep birds from eating it presumably. Then it germinates when temperatures favor it. Not that I have done this, just passing it on as a possibility, after the leaves are raked up. Of course the catch there is that if we have an early snow that sticks before all the leaves drop you're pretty much stuck until spring. I would not sow until the leaves were cleaned up.
 

Gardening with Rabbits

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Well, I was just going to buy some grass seed that grows in the shade. These are English walnuts, but I have read about they are not good for the garden, so I have raked them and hauled them off. They usually just kind of all fall at once when it gets a real cold day and they will be on the ground long before the maple trees. I wondered about the snow. I think I will just wait until the leaves fall and go from there. I do not remember what was there before the rabbit hutch. On the other side of a 6 foot fence is my neighbors grass and his grass is growing on the other side of the walnut trees and his maple tree grows over on my side, and we both have grass under that tree. This is just dead from the hutch and walking back and forth and I have not had a sprinkler over there in years, but next year I can water there. It is not a good spot. The roots in places show through the top of the ground. I need to haul some topsoil in here. These trees have really grown in the 12 years I have lived here. DS used a gas tree trimmer today to cut back some of the branches and other trees in the yard.
 

ducks4you

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Articles with mulching advice:
 

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