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View Full Version : When is the EARLIEST I can plant fescue seed?


ricsin1
01-31-2010, 03:27 AM
does anyone know the EARLIEST i can overseed my fescue lawn. I use a lawncare company and they like everyone else is AGAINST a spring seeding. they say the new grass wont be developed enough by summer yada yada..... i believe them... but i really think that IF DONE EARLY ENOUGH i can get SOME grass to come up and last until the FALL when I'll aerate and overseed again.....
my question is HOW SOON can I put this seed down.. It is Jan 31st... what about MID-FEB 2010 after a good cross core aeration... that should be enough time ( 1st day of spring is March 20,2010 ) ...

I am in Atlanta, GA 30314 zip code....
what are your thoughts....

RAlmaroad
01-31-2010, 05:50 AM
Fescue is some tough and hardy seed. You could over seed it now and be safe. However it will not sprout until ground temps stay around 55 at night. You also risk that most of the seed will be scavenged by birds. Just wait a little longer maybe to the end of March or so. Buy yourself a inexpensive meat thermometer with a Stainless Steel Probe and check soil and when it stays above 50 for a week, then sow the seed. The good thing about the seed being down is that it will begin to swell with some spring rain and heat. Up here in TN, I like to sow fescue on a light snow: It shows you where you've been, how thick the seed has been placed, and when the snow leaves; it takes the seed into the soft ground. Just a few tips. Fescue will grow on a rock with the right temp and water.

RigglePLC
01-31-2010, 12:14 PM
Raim is right. Get a soil thermometer. Wait for 55. Is this a new lawn? Keep an eye on nearby already mature-fescue. When it greens up and starts to grow--it is time to seed--about a week or two before the first mowing. Sowing seed into cold soil doesn't work well. Looks like you have about 35 degrees right now.
http://www.greencastonline.com/SoilTempMaps.aspx
Sure corn can be planted in February, but the farmers know better. Another option is to pre-chill and then pre-germinate the seed inside in warm water.
http://www.sportsgrass.com/info/plantingprep.html#PRE-GERMINATION

You might also consider pregerminated perennial rye, much quicker than fescue.
Maybe the sports turf people know how to warm up the soil faster. Water with well water at 55 degrees for a few days, for example. Black plastic and solar pool cover, is a possibility.
Be sure to use top quality seed--like Defiance TTTF. Be sure to use starter fertilizer and a starter booster every two weeks. Irrigate evey day for 6 weeks. No pre-emergent crabgrass control (except siduron) until the second mowing. Same for weed control. Drive can be used on most new grass.

Chilehead
01-31-2010, 12:21 PM
You might also consider pregerminated perennial rye, much quicker than fescue.

I was just going to suggest that. Furthermore, anytime I seed fescue I always mix it with rye grass. Do wait until March though. Your results will be much better.

ricsin1
01-31-2010, 11:00 PM
thanks for the info..... all great info....

Chile....siince you;re in the atlanta area... ( hampton,ga is only about 20mins away from atlanta ) when do you think is the earliest i should put this seed down.. i plan to do a core aeration + overseed (Lesco transistion blend) ......... you say you wouldnt wait until March... when would you aerate and seed?

can you guys recommend a good starter fertilizer? and what about the starter BOOSTER - what the name of this product.. I would like to research it....

Chilehead
02-01-2010, 12:10 AM
Go to JDL for your fert: 18-24-12. March 15 is your 80% safe-from-a-freeze date.

jnrogers
02-02-2010, 07:36 PM
I see you are in Atlanta, you would be fine anytime within the next couple of weeks. I too normally "prefer fall seeding" but if I miss someone in the fall you can do them in the spring.

ricsin1
02-05-2010, 12:08 AM
i think my plans of a early seeding may be ruined........... my lawn care company came today - feb 4th - and applied my late winter treatment... they sprayed BARRICADE pre-emergent and something called Ester-2 weed control.........

how long do I have to wait after this pre-emergent and weed control was put down
to overseed fescue seed ??? can i still shoot from March 15 or will this pre-emergent and weed control prevent my seed germination & I;d have to wait until Fall 2010??

ricsin1
02-05-2010, 12:22 AM
CORRECTION:

It was BARRICADE pre-emergent and something called 3Way Ester weed control that they applied today -- how long do I have to wait after this pre-emergent and weed control was put down to overseed fescue seed ???

nobagger
02-05-2010, 12:26 AM
As soon as the ground temp. is around a sustained 50ish degree F. Up here its usually May before we can plant anything.

DiyDave
02-05-2010, 09:03 AM
CORRECTION:

It was BARRICADE pre-emergent and something called 3Way Ester weed control that they applied today -- how long do I have to wait after this pre-emergent and weed control was put down to overseed fescue seed ???

I wouldn't risk seed on barricade, it will stop seed germination, and if you aerate, it will nullify the preemergent and allow crabgrass competition. If you are going to seed in the early spring, it should be well planned, and executed at the proper time. Save yourself the aggravation, and go with a fall seeding, now.:waving:

ricsin1
02-05-2010, 12:01 PM
so I guess its not wise to overseed first day of spring (march 19) since they just put down the Barricade on Feb 4...

i got a 25lb bag of Lesco Transition Blend that I can't return ( lost my receipt ) at a good price since the "expiration date " was April 2010........ I would hate for this bag of seed to go to waste! - how long does seed "last" after that "expiration date" .... would this seed still be usable in the fall ( september 2010)

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DiyDave
02-05-2010, 01:31 PM
so I guess its not wise to overseed first day of spring (march 19) since they just put down the Barricade on Feb 4...

i got a 25lb bag of Lesco Transition Blend that I can't return ( lost my receipt ) at a good price since the "expiration date " was April 2010........ I would hate for this bag of seed to go to waste! - how long does seed "last" after that "expiration date" .... would this seed still be usable in the fall ( september 2010)

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The "expiration date" is for the germination %. If its a 85% this year, by fall, it may lose a couple points, not much difference. Just hang the bag by a wire, in a cool, dry place, and it will still be good for this fall. :waving:

anotherturfgeek
02-10-2010, 01:41 PM
i think my plans of a early seeding may be ruined........... my lawn care company came today - feb 4th - and applied my late winter treatment... they sprayed BARRICADE pre-emergent and something called Ester-2 weed control.........

how long do I have to wait after this pre-emergent and weed control was put down
to overseed fescue seed ??? can i still shoot from March 15 or will this pre-emergent and weed control prevent my seed germination & I;d have to wait until Fall 2010??

Good communication is key! I make a habit of informing customers at least a week ahead of time before spraying or treating anything in there yard, also ask if there is anything they would like done ahead of time.

They could have planned the reseeding around the weed app. if they only knew!!!

Nothing is more important than communication!!!