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Scarlawnturf
11-16-2007, 03:45 PM
Last year I started maintaining a football and a soccer field for a local high school. Because of the use they get from a variety of boys and girls sports throughout the year about the only time I can seed is after the second week of November and again in June when school is out for the summer. The June seedings work fine because the fields are irrigated. Last year I aerated, seeded and fertilized on November 11th and in the spring, the results were better than I expected. We had some warm days in November and even in December, had a little germination and a majority of it came up in the spring.
This year I like to try and do a true dormant seeding. I'm planning on waiting until after Thanksgiving and then aerate and seed or slit seed. Is there a need to fertilize when dormant seeding? I would think not because you are not looking for any germination. Any other comments or suggestions? I am licensed and do the applications also. I am aware not to pre-em too early in the spring.

ICT Bill
11-16-2007, 04:44 PM
I think a fertilizer would be a compete waste, it would probably just wash away over the winter. I believe the recommendation around here is don't fertilize after November 1 or before March 1.
Everything is dormant or just about
I'll be interested in the results

indyturf
11-17-2007, 12:11 AM
I would go ahead with a fall fertilizer application. now is the best time of the year to fertilize! I use a 34-0-10 mix this time of year, but in your case I would use a lower N and something with P in the mix. something like 19-19-19 would be a good choice at 0.5 lbs of N per K

Scarlawnturf
11-17-2007, 10:34 AM
Thanks for the response. Indyturf, I wasn't thinking clearly. I should still fertilize to take care of the existing turf for the winter, but not necessarily the seed that I put down in dormancy. I generally use Lesco 34-3-11 on my other properties in mid to late November. To ICT Bill, I'll let you know how things go. I work part time at a local golf course and I know there are lots of industy studies about how effective late fall fertilizer treatments are. They are probably one of the most valuble feedings you can give to turf. I was just curious as to the effect on seed that you don't want to germinate until spring.

Marcos
11-18-2007, 07:32 PM
I think a fertilizer would be a compete waste, it would probably just wash away over the winter. I believe the recommendation around here is don't fertilize after November 1 or before March 1.
Everything is dormant or just about
I'll be interested in the results

I completely agree with ICT Bill. Dormant seeding is just that, for establishing excellent seed-to-soil contact through the late fall and winter months. This allows you to not have to go out and trample through the muck and mire trying to do seeding when it's raining buckets in the spring.

So what's the point of fertilizing at the point of seeding? (Thanksgiving or soon after is good, I agree)
None!
All you'd be doing then is encouraging 'premature' growth of seed should you run into brief winter warm spells, which would more than likely get burnt out later.
Remember starter fertilizer doesn't 'cause' germination of seed, it only helps to establish the earliest plant processes after germination!
Thus, the real reason for not applying fertilizer on a dormant seed project until early next spring, after you see some 'action' going on.

beaglegun
11-25-2007, 04:31 PM
When your talking about dorment seeding are you talking about slit seeding or broadcasting the seed on top of the turf? I know alot of farmers here in Ky that frost seed their pastures every Feb. They just broadcast the seed on top. Most are true believers in doing this during the proper moon phase. What do you think about that?

I'd like to dorment seed some Ky bluegrass and per ryegrass on a baseball field I've been working on. How should I go about it if I should and will the results be worth the money and time?

Marcos
11-25-2007, 11:16 PM
When your talking about dorment seeding are you talking about slit seeding or broadcasting the seed on top of the turf? I know alot of farmers here in Ky that frost seed their pastures every Feb. They just broadcast the seed on top. Most are true believers in doing this during the proper moon phase. What do you think about that?

I'd like to dorment seed some Ky bluegrass and per ryegrass on a baseball field I've been working on. How should I go about it if I should and will the results be worth the money and time?

Slicing while doing dormant seeding is not necessary.
What is more necessary, more than usual if you're doing sloped areas, is a little extra straw or thicker hydromulch, to keep erosion in check for the longer haul.

As far as doing it when the moon is full :laugh: I think they may be throwing a little 'english' into their seeding (and their stories, maybe) that isn't necessary.
I believe that there's some truth to the age old notion of planting during a full moon something that you want to grow right away, such as a spring crop. But certainly not a dormant endeavor like this.
The term you used 'frost seed' is a good one, and I hope you don't mind if I borrow it.
The idea these farmers you talk about have is to simply broadcast their seed over a 'frosted' or a 'honeycombed' soil when the travel over it is firm, and not sloppy and wet. The soil (whether there's some vegetation on it or not) will 'accept' the seed into it as the freeze and thaw patterns continue in the winter.

With the baseball field you have, I guess I'd need to know some background.
I'm assuming you already have a blue / rye turf there, right?
Is there a lot of thatch in the way of the seed making 'contact' with the soil, or is it the opposite, where you have bare ground sparse areas to deal with?
And do you already have the winter annual weeds creeping in now? (chickweed, henbit) They could get in the way of your dormant seeding success.

beaglegun
11-26-2007, 11:29 AM
I renovated the infield area in Sept. I aerated and then topdressed sand. The sand was drug into the holes with a mat drag. We have poor clay soil. I then powerseeded Midnight and Midnight Star (I think that was the variety) Ky bluegrass. I added a 10% per ryegrass blend. (Grey hawk I believe it was called) This did well but we had no rain in Sept and Oct. We have irrigation but it doesn't compare to rain. The turf was in terrible shape before this was done. I have a few thin spots and I'd like it all to be thicker. To keep the crabgrass from coming back. I have very little thatch. I've been mowing at
3".

Marcos
11-26-2007, 02:08 PM
I renovated the infield area in Sept. I aerated and then topdressed sand. The sand was drug into the holes with a mat drag. We have poor clay soil. I then powerseeded Midnight and Midnight Star (I think that was the variety) Ky bluegrass. I added a 10% per ryegrass blend. (Grey hawk I believe it was called) This did well but we had no rain in Sept and Oct. We have irrigation but it doesn't compare to rain. The turf was in terrible shape before this was done. I have a few thin spots and I'd like it all to be thicker. To keep the crabgrass from coming back. I have very little thatch. I've been mowing at
3".

(If you can post a couple of 'broad angle' pictures on here, it may help.)

Here's what I would do, based on what you've given me so far:

Go to ntep.org and find the seed you want.
This site lists all of the turf grass seed tested for various strengths and weaknesses at all different college campus ag department turf sites all over the country. And it's the best over all comprehensive way to pick and choose grass seed.

Hints:
Choose 'bluegrass' and 'Lexington KY' as your test site
You'll then see the list of seed varieties.
A rating of '9' is best. And it goes down from there.
But don't get too excited about the differences between a '8.6' and a '8.4', for example, because the tolerances in the testing are so small that there are usually no noticeable differences between two that close together.

I wouldn't recommend using ANY ryegrass in your dormant seeding.
Your existing turf is your 'nurse' grass. And you obviously have a flat setting.

Don't fertilize until you see some germination in the early-mid spring, and then use something high P like a 16-26-12 at at least 200# / acre.

Prep work:

Make sure your mower blades are good and sharp, and then lower the mower height from the present 3" down to about 2 1/4" to 2 1/2" and mow the areas thoroughly.
(You may want to double -cut; once at 2 1/2" and the second time the other direction at 2 1/4")
Try to mulch everything up well, if you can't pick up the clippings.

Then seed before the freeze...
If you want to do it during the full moon, have fun! Send pictures!
But don't hurt yourself out there at night! :dizzy:

Marcos
11-26-2007, 02:16 PM
I renovated the infield area in Sept. I aerated and then topdressed sand. The sand was drug into the holes with a mat drag. We have poor clay soil. I then powerseeded Midnight and Midnight Star (I think that was the variety) Ky bluegrass. I added a 10% per ryegrass blend. (Grey hawk I believe it was called) This did well but we had no rain in Sept and Oct. We have irrigation but it doesn't compare to rain. The turf was in terrible shape before this was done. I have a few thin spots and I'd like it all to be thicker. To keep the crabgrass from coming back. I have very little thatch. I've been mowing at
3".

(If you can post a couple of 'broad angle' pictures on here, it may help.)

Here's what I would do, based on what you've given me so far:

Go to ntep.org and find the seed you want.
This site lists all of the turf grass seed tested for various strengths and weaknesses at all different college campus ag department turf sites all over the country. And it's the best over all comprehensive way to pick and choose grass seed.

Hints:
Choose 'bluegrass' and 'Lexington KY' as your test site
You'll then see the list of seed varieties.
A rating of '9' is best. And it goes down from there.
But don't get too excited about the differences between a '8.6' and a '8.4', for example, because the tolerances in the testing are so small that there are usually no noticeable differences between two that close together.

Then see if you can find some of those varieties of bluegrass from a vendor around you. (ideally 2 to 3 varieties blended)
Without seeing your field, I can't say for sure. But a safe bet for dormant seeding bluegrass is 2# / 1000 sq ft, or about 1 1/2 bags to two bags an acre.

I wouldn't recommend using ANY ryegrass in your dormant seeding.
Your existing turf is your 'nurse' grass. And you obviously have a flat setting.

Don't fertilize until after you see some germination in the early-mid spring, and then use something high P like a 16-26-12 at at least 200# / acre.

Prep work:

Make sure your mower blades are good and sharp, and then lower the mower height from the present 3" down to about 2 1/4" to 2 1/2" and mow the areas thoroughly.
(You may want to double -cut; once at 2 1/2" and the second time the other direction at 2 1/4")
Try to mulch everything up well, if you can't pick up the clippings.

Then seed before the freeze...
If you want to do it during the full moon, have fun! Send pictures!
But don't hurt yourself out there at night! :dizzy:

beaglegun
11-28-2007, 11:23 AM
You can see the thin spots if you look close. They're hard to see from the angle.

http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=186130&page=3

Marcos
11-28-2007, 12:30 PM
You can see the thin spots if you look close. They're hard to see from the angle.

http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=186130&page=3

Not bad!

I was expecting to see something MUCH more desolate!
I wish the 'thin spots' on my head were as thick!:laugh:

You'll be fine... :waving: