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View Full Version : Reseeding my wooded lot (for dummies)


tacoma200
09-27-2007, 06:20 PM
Well I'm pretty much a dummy when it comes to reseeding. I am going to try to reseed my 13,000 sq ft area around my home. The problem is I live in a wooded lot and thinning the trees is not an option so I will just have to live with the results which haven't been too bad. I am just now learning about taking care of grass even though I've been mowing for several years now. I just send off my soil sample to be checked and bought a bag of tall fescue (falcon III). leaves will be falling in a few weeks, do I want to get this sewed ahead of the big leaf fall? Can I add fertilizer and lime when my test comes back on top (after the seed is sewn). Or am I too late to do it this year and need to wait and get the soil ready. I really have some heavy leaf fall here but I like the trees more than the grass so I'm willing to live with the results. I may put some creeping red in the heavier shaded areas. Be easy on me, I'm just now learning this stuff. I have never done anything to this lot except put down Ky 31 12 years ago and put some red creeping in the front which hasn't done all that bad considering I've never put fertilizer on it. This picture isn't much but you can see what I'm going to be dealing with. I'm definitely going to start keeping soil test, fertilize, and doing a better job of taking care of it. Should I sew before the leafs fall? Can I fertilize after ward? Falcon III was the best seed I could find in this area (rural) but I'm sure I'll be adding some fine red creeping to the mix in the heavier shaded area's. Like I said I'm a dummy at this but I've been reading some books by Scotts and others and am ready to start learning I'm not seeding the area in fore ground of the picture just a 100 ft border around the home, give or take.

BrandonV
09-27-2007, 06:25 PM
i'd go to lesco and get some shade mix, good stuff and plan on watering next summer the turf never wins when it fights trees for water

Marcos
09-27-2007, 06:40 PM
Looks like a real nice place. (Maybe around Cumberland or Laurel Lake area?) It looks like you might get more sun CLOSE to the house than you led us to believe? If so, the Falcon III is fine in that area. (but a blend of 3 or more turf type tall fescues is better). Moving into the 'treed' area, and into the shade, I would also use T.T.T. fescues at about 1/2 the normal rate ( 4# / 1000 sq. ft in your case), and also a small amount of the creeping fescue you described. At the outdoor field day I attended at the Ohio State U. campus this year, the TALL fescues 'endured' the best overall in the shade, and the CR fescues 'came back' the best!

gene gls
09-27-2007, 09:38 PM
Your at a catch 22 stage. If you can get the seed in and growing before the leaves accoumalate very much, you'll be good. But, if the leaves fall too much and cover the ground, the seed will smother. Chances are, you will tear up the ground when trying to blow the leaves off so that will also cause problems for the new seed growing.

tacoma200
09-27-2007, 11:23 PM
Your at a catch 22 stage. If you can get the seed in and growing before the leaves accoumalate very much, you'll be good. But, if the leaves fall too much and cover the ground, the seed will smother. Chances are, you will tear up the ground when trying to blow the leaves off so that will also cause problems for the new seed growing.

Yep Gene, that is a concern. I may have to get the seed into the ground and growing before the leaves fall, then maybe I can gently keep them off the new turf. When I first moved here and knew zero about grass i just spread Ky 31 and it actually grew Ok for 2-3 years and steadily declined. I threw a few red creeping seeds in the shady front of the home and they have actually done OK considering I've never fertilized or watered it much. I will have all the leaves off by early November but then It will probably be too late to seed. And I hear spring seeding usually doesn't yield as good of results but it would be easier for me because I wouldn't have to contend with leaves. Catch 22 as you say. I have 3 acres and most of it is low maintenance woods. The trees are wide enough to get in there with a mower/bushog 2-3 times a year. I only maintain a small area around the home as an actual lawn. Everyone that comes out to my place loves it because of the trees and privacy so my lawn takes second place. I have a friend with a seeder that may be a better solution. I know I'll have to keep the leafs off of it. Definately a catch 22.

tacoma200
09-27-2007, 11:28 PM
Looks like a real nice place. (Maybe around Cumberland or Laurel Lake area?) It looks like you might get more sun CLOSE to the house than you led us to believe? If so, the Falcon III is fine in that area. (but a blend of 3 or more turf type tall fescues is better). Moving into the 'treed' area, and into the shade, I would also use T.T.T. fescues at about 1/2 the normal rate ( 4# / 1000 sq. ft in your case), and also a small amount of the creeping fescue you described. At the outdoor field day I attended at the Ohio State U. campus this year, the TALL fescues 'endured' the best overall in the shade, and the CR fescues 'came back' the best!

Yes, I live near Lake Cumberland. Most of my best customers live in Ohio, and Northern KY and have homes on or near the lake. Lots of wooded lots and most of them go down hill (turf wise) after the first few seasons. I try to keep most of the property as a low maintenance wooded lot with natural cover such as ferns that only need attention a few times a year and keep grass around the home. I'm not familiar with the term T.T.T. fescue though. Maybe I should just work on the soil and try to get started next Spring. I just keep hearing that no one has much luck with starting in the Spring. What do you think?

tacoma200
09-28-2007, 01:16 AM
I have not found any Lesco or Scotts distributors around this area, not sure what Lowes carries. When you go into a farm, or feed store here and ask for tall fescue for lawns they don't know they make anything but KY 31. I'm guessing TTT is tall turf fescue Marcos?

Smallaxe
09-28-2007, 03:27 AM
I have many wooded areas that need help and you are correct that a low maintenance program is the best. IMO at least. I fertilize twice a year and water enough to keep the grass alive. Blow the clippings on the lawn to keep the top layer separate from tree roots.
Here we seed in August/early Sept. and blow the leaves off the new grass in October. I figure the leaves could sit for 2 weeks before damage unless they are 'soaked' into the turf. I blow every 2 weeks when the soil is dry, so you can get around the catch 22 situation. Spring time is good for annual ryegrass and a bit of your best adapted perenial seed.
My forest lawns are getting better but it is definately a challenge.

TAZ
09-28-2007, 06:46 AM
My last house was wooded. Like the others stated the competition for water with the trees is a problem as well as the acidity of the leaves. In order to keep it thick and full I ended up overseeding often. No matter what I did I couldn't keep it from thining out. The fescues are better in that environment for sure.

TTT = Turf Type Tall Fescue

-T

gene gls
09-28-2007, 07:23 AM
I have not found any Lesco or Scotts distributors around this area, not sure what Lowes carries. When you go into a farm, or feed store here and ask for tall fescue for lawns they don't know they make anything but KY 31. I'm guessing TTT is tall turf fescue Marcos?

Lance, Check out www.jonathangreen.com........They have a wide verity of seed blends and products. Thier catalog has a lot of very good information. I have used them for years. You will need a seed that requires less sun light to survive. As others have stated, you will also have to overseed more often in the shaded areas. I have the same problem in my shade areas and also moss sets in fast and will take over.

tacoma200
09-28-2007, 03:23 PM
Thanks Guys!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

BrandonV
09-28-2007, 06:28 PM
if your looking for real low mainenance, and green think about some mondo grass it makes a great carpet and like the woods

tacoma200
09-28-2007, 07:29 PM
Will I have any luck if I work on the soil this winter and seed in the spring. I will not have to deal with leaves and I will have the ph correct and have it well fertilized. How long will this new bag of seed last if I keep it dry? Because of the leaf fall (drought is making them fall some allready) I think I will hold off until I get the leaves cleaned, and probably till spring. I have so many leaves that it will be hard on the seedlings with the constant blowing during October. I guess I'll slow down and try to get everything right. No sense wasting expensive seed.

So will Spring seeding work? I can round up and start from scratch if necessay.

tacoma200
09-28-2007, 07:31 PM
So if I work on the lawn, get the ph right, fertilize, areate and have it ready to seed next spring will that work better? OOPS! Looks like I'm double posting.

gene gls
09-28-2007, 08:27 PM
Will I have any luck if I work on the soil this winter and seed in the spring. I will not have to deal with leaves and I will have the ph correct and have it well fertilized. How long will this new bag of seed last if I keep it dry? Because of the leaf fall (drought is making them fall some allready) I think I will hold off until I get the leaves cleaned, and probably till spring. I have so many leaves that it will be hard on the seedlings with the constant blowing during October. I guess I'll slow down and try to get everything right. No sense wasting expensive seed.

So will Spring seeding work? I can round up and start from scratch if necessay.

Yes, spring seeding will work. You may have to use more water to keep the new grass green if the season starts to turn dry early. If you have access to old cow manure, that will work good as a soil additive, spread it out and harrow it in.

TAZ
09-29-2007, 04:14 AM
Like Gene stated spring seeding will work. Up here by the time the soil temps get warm enough for good germination it seems hit and miss on the rain in mid-late spring and the temps start to get up there stressing the young grass with shallow roots. If you can water it you should be good to go.

-TAZ

tacoma200
09-29-2007, 08:35 AM
Like Gene stated spring seeding will work. Up here by the time the soil temps get warm enough for good germination it seems hit and miss on the rain in mid-late spring and the temps start to get up there stressing the young grass with shallow roots. If you can water it you should be good to go.

-TAZ

Good, I can water it. Its not that large an area. I feel like Spring may be a challenge but not as much as the leafs. And that will give me the winter to get the ground in good shape.

Marcos
09-29-2007, 09:03 AM
Yeah, Tacoma, TAZ is right, TTT fescue is 'turf type tall fescue', which the variety 'Falcon III' is a member of. A TTT fescue is any member of the tall fescue family that has genetically 'improved' over the years to be more 'turf like', meaning thinner bladed than KY 31, Yet (hopefully) still hold much of the durability '31' and similair forage fescues exhibit. There is a Lesco store in Lexington, KY off Man O' War Blvd if you're up that way. I know the girl that runs it, Gina. As far as timing is concerned- I'm inclined to agree with the consensus and say that in light of the fact that you'll have to contend with leaf drop soon, you'll probably be best off to wait and do a 'dormant' seeding. And that makes me change my mind about seed recommendations, too: Because you'll have bare ground exposed after you blow the fallen leaves off, you'll need some ryegrass content in the seed blend, maybe at least 20% or so. See if you can get to Lexington's Lesco and get their 'Team Mates' Mix, which is (usually) 80% (3 types) TTT fescues and 20% perennial rye. Or, if you just can't do that, use what you got ( 50lb 'KY 31') and try to find some (maybe 15-20 lb.) of ANNUAL rye. (Annual rye is UGLY, but it is a 'TEMPORARY grass' only, and if you HAND MIX it with your KY31 and spread it out after the leaves are cleaned up, the rye will (hopefully) come up and "hold" the soil from eroding! Meanwhile, if you're doing this in mid October, it's too late for the KY 31 to germinate (probably), but that's OK. It will sit 'dormant', and hopefully will not rot, and the rye will 'hold the fort', so to speak, until early next spring, when finally (hopefully) the KY 31 (or, if you use 'Team Mates', the 3 TTT fescues) will finally 'pop' for you.........And please DON'T....DON'T....DON'T fertilize before 'dormant' seeding! You can make the seed 'pop' when it shouldn't 'pop'! For 13,000 sq ft you'll need a bag of something like '18-24-12', again, from Lesco. Put THAT down EARLY next spring as the fescue is finally coming up. Good luck! If you stop at Lesco in LX tell Gina Mark in Cincy said Hi.

Marcos
09-29-2007, 09:16 AM
Hey, Tacoma ( A little off the subject ) But what's the latest news with the erosion problem around Cumberland's dam and spillway? I'm getting flyers, E-mails and calls up here almost DAILY in Cincinnati from everybody and their uncle from southern KY trying to sell dock space and land along Cumberland CHEAP !!! , and I can smell a 'rotting fish' somewhere! (pun intended) :) Is it really THAT bad? What's the time frame for fixing the problem from what you've heard?

tacoma200
09-29-2007, 02:51 PM
Hey, Tacoma ( A little off the subject ) But what's the latest news with the erosion problem around Cumberland's dam and spillway? I'm getting flyers, E-mails and calls up here almost DAILY in Cincinnati from everybody and their uncle from southern KY trying to sell dock space and land along Cumberland CHEAP !!! , and I can smell a 'rotting fish' somewhere! (pun intended) :) Is it really THAT bad? What's the time frame for fixing the problem from what you've heard?

Thanks for all the infomation Marcos. I will print it out so I'll remember.

As far as Lake Cumberland goes they just had an article in today's paper that they may raise it up 10 ft as early as the Spring of 08 because the repairs to the dam are going so well (we'll have to wait and see but the politicians are touting this). The Dam work is going fine, If you can get a cheap lake lot go for it because this water drop down is only temporary and theres still almost 40,000 acres of water. They did this years ago when I was very young and they will probably work on it again one day but the Lake will be its old self and the lots will be worth much more when the Lake is filled back up to normal pool. Absolutely no problems, everything is on or ahead of schedule on repairs. The trout fishing is absolutely great between the damn and Burkesville if anyone want to have a great time but there are a few shallow spots to navigate up. We caught trout until our arms were tired the other day and I'm hearing lots of good reports with the slower river flow. I can't believe people spook so easily. Its like they all run to Kroger and buy all the milk when there's a 20% chance of snow flurries, ha! Again thanks for the good info. I didn't want to waste good seed. Make sure you buy any land from a reputable real estate agent, there are a few company's trying to make a quick buck selling lots that are less than ideal and in the middle of no where. I would be careful, but not because of the Lake problem.

I don't know why they scare people with these rumors but I do know the Corp of Engineers is just being on the safe side as far as warning people because of what happened during the hurricane Katrina. Everything from here to Nashville would flood if the dam did go but its not going anywhere, just a leak that they are doing a fine job fixing.