Question: I need to get grass going on about one acre near our house. I want to use bermuda, but that’s a lot of space to water so carefully at the outset. What tips do you have?

Answer: Consider planting blocks of sod on 4- or 5-foot centers. Granted, it may take one entire season for them to cover, but it’s so much easier to do that than it would be to rototill the entire acre, rake it, sow the seed and then water it lightly twice daily for a couple of weeks until it’s established. If you use the sod, you can use a rear-tine tiller to create the planting holes (assuming the grade is already smooth and even). Rear-tine types move forward via their powered wheels (front-tine tillers are propelled by the tines pulling through the ground). You can walk alongside your rear-tine tiller and merely drop the tines to the ground every 4 or 5 feet, and then only for the length of each piece of sod. That way you won’t have to rerake the entire acre, but only to scoop the soil out of each planting hole. Rake the soft soil around the edges of each piece of sod. Hand-water the pieces for the first week using a water breaker at the end of your hose. By then, they’ll be rooted well and ready to grow.

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