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View Full Version : Help with recently re-seeded lawn - need some advice please


meth
06-21-2010, 07:18 PM
Okay guys I need some help. I live in the NY area and recently (last week of May) had some yard work done. I have about 2 acres in the back and the very back had some drainage issues so I had an excavator come in and straighten it out. Now the problem is that prior to this 3/4 of my property was magazine worthy, great grass, completely weed free, thick and green. Now after this, the excavator tore up a pretty good amount, more than half, by adding fill and tracking his machines back and forth. The last week of May we got some quality seed from Agway and planted about 2 50lb bags. It was new top soil so it was planted, starter fertilize and then straw on top of it. Well its now 4 weeks later and all I have is weeds and the yard looks terrible, needless to say the wife is on my @ss as well. The questions I have, is that I assume that if it hasn't germinated by now, it probably won't? How do I attack this now, being in the middle of the heat I know its now the worst time to plant any new seed? Should I:
1. Hit it with another round of starter fertilizer now and see if it sparks some growth? Or is it just too hot?
2. Rent a detather and get all the remaining straw up and let it be?
3. Wait until fall and rent a core aerator, seed the area again and then go over it with a roller?
4. Rent a slit seeder and go over the entire area with that? Can I do this now or do I have to wait until fall?
5. What do I do with all the weeds? Can I wait until some new seed germinates and then go about my normal weeding program to deal with them?

I really do not want to tear up this whole area again, any advice to get my show room lawn back would be appreciated. Please some advice guys!

bigslick7878
06-21-2010, 07:58 PM
Okay guys I need some help. I live in the NY area and recently (last week of May) had some yard work done. I have about 2 acres in the back and the very back had some drainage issues so I had an excavator come in and straighten it out. Now the problem is that prior to this 3/4 of my property was magazine worthy, great grass, completely weed free, thick and green. Now after this, the excavator tore up a pretty good amount, more than half, by adding fill and tracking his machines back and forth. The last week of May we got some quality seed from Agway and planted about 2 50lb bags. It was new top soil so it was planted, starter fertilize and then straw on top of it. Well its now 4 weeks later and all I have is weeds and the yard looks terrible, needless to say the wife is on my @ss as well. The questions I have, is that I assume that if it hasn't germinated by now, it probably won't? How do I attack this now, being in the middle of the heat I know its now the worst time to plant any new seed? Should I:
1. Hit it with another round of starter fertilizer now and see if it sparks some growth? Or is it just too hot?
2. Rent a detather and get all the remaining straw up and let it be?
3. Wait until fall and rent a core aerator, seed the area again and then go over it with a roller?
4. Rent a slit seeder and go over the entire area with that? Can I do this now or do I have to wait until fall?
5. What do I do with all the weeds? Can I wait until some new seed germinates and then go about my normal weeding program to deal with them?

I really do not want to tear up this whole area again, any advice to get my show room lawn back would be appreciated. Please some advice guys!

You can't throw seed down during summer and expect good results. Too hot, too dry and too many weeds just waiting for that water to germinate.

Best bet is to heavily spray the newly seeded areas and pray it works, it should unless you have crabgrass. Then wait until fall and fix the problem areas.

During summer there is almost nothing you can do to a lawn renovation wise and have it work, as you found out.

Some pictures would help.

meth
06-22-2010, 09:52 AM
Thanks, I will try to get some pictures up.

Mark Oomkes
06-22-2010, 10:15 AM
Has the seed germinated?

If so, hit it with starter fert, mow 3 times and spray the weeds. A lot of the weeds will disappear after mowing.

Keep up with the fert and spray the weeds in the fall again.

If you dethatch (there isn't any thatch to dethatch right now) or aerate you are going to do more harm than good. This should only be performed on established lawns.

meth
06-22-2010, 10:20 AM
Mark - thanks for your input - very little of the seed has germinated, I will get some pictures up but it appears that most of what is there is a wide blade lighlty colored grassy weed. I was thinking of throwing another round of starter fertilizer down since its been almost 5 weeks since I put the initial seed and fertilizer down, however am I just throwing more money away? I have already mowed the weedy/grass area 3 times, I waited almost 4 weeks from the initial planting of the seed. My only point in dethatching was to get all of the straw up. I will try to post some pics

RigglePLC
06-22-2010, 10:20 AM
Do you have irrigation or a hose and timer? If so, then go ahead and add more seed--stay with top quality blue/rye mixture. Seed sprouts fast in hot weather--if you can keep it moist. Weeds also. But mowing kills some weeds. And the rest can be sprayed in a few weeks and the rest will be killed by frost. I just planted some Lesco "Premium Athletic Mixture". I planted 100 seeds indoors in a coffee mug. After 4 days the first sprouts were a half inch tall, (the rye is first of course).
Seed now, or better, spray weeds and wait a week to add more seed. Keep plenty of water and turf fertilizer on it. 25-0-5 is good. Mow those weeds. About early August spray weeds again. In mid-August seed again, as needed. As the temps cool in the fall conditions will be best for new seed--still have to keep it wet and fertile if no rain.
Better yet call in an experienced professional from a small locally-owned company.
We are writing at the same time. Good advice, Mark.
What part of the country, Meth?
No need for starter go with regular fert for turfgrass--go heavy--once a month is not too much. I would not try to remove the straw. The light green grass could be wheat from the straw. (it does not withstand mowing for long. It could be crabgrass--it will be worse until killed by cool weather and frost. A professional could put down quinclorac to kill the crab, if that is what it is. Be patient--bluegrass starts out very slow.

meth
06-22-2010, 10:45 AM
Thanks Riggle, great advice. I have the hose and timer and can get to the areas closest to the house, the rest is over 1/2 acre away from house so I will have to rely on mother nature for that. I think I will try to put some more seed down, I went with Agways Wear Green since they said it was best for my area (hudson valley NY). I was thinking of hitting it with a power seeder, thoughts? Either way I will seed and get some 25-0-5 that you suggested. I will post a pic tonight

bigslick7878
06-22-2010, 12:32 PM
Throwing money down the drain trying to get seed to germinate right now.

Just my opinion.

If you like beating your head against the wall repeatedly go for it. It is almost impossible to keep the seed moist enough to germinate in the dead of summer.

phasthound
06-22-2010, 05:46 PM
Forget about seeding your lawn now. The best time in your area is from about Aug. 15 to Oct. 1. Plenty of time for you to do some research & do it correctly so you will love your lawn next year.

If you need something to work on now, start working on some landscaping that will reduce the 2 acres into something more manageable for you. Find out about low maintenance ornamentals and native plants for your area. They will provide you with a lifetime of joy and year round beauty if you do it right.
2 acres of lawn is boring. :)

meth
06-22-2010, 09:33 PM
Here are the pictures to help with the visual - The first is an overall view of the backyard, the second is a look at the section that the machinery was running on, this is the newly seeded and now weedy area. Third is a closer look at the problem area and last is a look at the grass in the area that wasnt touched and what I want to get back to.

The images are uploaded in the homeowner assitance thread, I think I am going to leave as is and rent a turf revitalizer/seeder in September

http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=321030

bigslick7878
06-23-2010, 01:08 AM
Here are the pictures to help with the visual - The first is an overall view of the backyard, the second is a look at the section that the machinery was running on, this is the newly seeded and now weedy area. Third is a closer look at the problem area and last is a look at the grass in the area that wasnt touched and what I want to get back to.

The images are uploaded in the homeowner assitance thread, I think I am going to leave as is and rent a turf revitalizer/seeder in September

http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=321030

Kill the entire crabgrass area now, it will spread if you don't.

Should have just sodded it that area is not big at all. (still an option if you want it fixed pronto)

RigglePLC
06-23-2010, 10:56 AM
I saw the pictures. I am still not sure if it is crabgrass or possibly wheat from the straw. You will know soon--crabgrass has a three-fingered seed head--usually purple in color. A professional would knock it out with quinclorac. Keep the fert and water coming--in the areas where you can reach it. In distant areas--buy the fert--wait for a prediction of rain--and sock it on.
I am not sure I like the Agway seed mixture. (85 percent TTTF, 10 percent rye, and 5 percent KBG: http://www.agway.com/catalog/home_and_garden/grass_seeds/heavy_wear/02142620_agway_wear_green_grass_seed_3lb.html

I think a professional landscaper would have tried to match your present grass, and used something different for the Hudson Valley. And perhaps included siduron for crabgrass. The tall fescue is slow to germinate, withstands heat, but it does not have the ability to spread or creep. Be patient. In fall crabgrass stops growing when night time temps hit 40, and frost kills it completely (except for the seeds). This fall, you will probably be forced to seed through or on top of the crabgrass. At least it's green--sort of. I hope we have helped.

meth
06-23-2010, 11:07 AM
You have definitly helped, thank you all! In the fall I will definitly re-seed the area with the turf revitalizer

meth
07-20-2010, 03:37 PM
So the crabgrass has spread to almost the entire back section - about 3/4 of an acre. The little bit of grass that is remaining is growing at about 1/4 the rate of the crab. I was planning on renting the lawn solutions seeder in September and reseeding then and then putting a pre-emerg in spring. Now I am starting to question if I will have any success at all with this. This has been extremely frustrating - is there a granule type fertilizer I can put down now to help, and then still reseed the end of aug beginning of sept?

bigslick7878
07-20-2010, 03:49 PM
So the crabgrass has spread to almost the entire back section - about 3/4 of an acre. The little bit of grass that is remaining is growing at about 1/4 the rate of the crab. I was planning on renting the lawn solutions seeder in September and reseeding then and then putting a pre-emerg in spring. Now I am starting to question if I will have any success at all with this. This has been extremely frustrating - is there a granule type fertilizer I can put down now to help, and then still reseed the end of aug beginning of sept?

Nothing you can do about it now, no fertilizer is going to do anything.

When crabgrass gets going it spreads like wildfire, that is why I said kill it back then.

Just get the lawn nice and thick from Sept to the end of April next year, THEN put down the pre mergent.

I hate crabgrass with a passion.

meth
07-20-2010, 03:57 PM
Thanks - I wasnt sure if the new seed would take since this damn crabgrass is so thick. I went away for 2 weeks came back to knee high weeds in these damn areas. Ruins a good vacation

RigglePLC
07-20-2010, 09:21 PM
Bigslick is right, Meth,
crabgrass can get ugly at this time of year. Anytime you till the soil to form a seedbed, if there are crabgrass seeds from years past in the soil--they will sprout. A professional would apply quinclorac. It has a heck of a head start, though. Crabgrass will go to seed shortly and turn purple in the late summer period.

I think you should use a power seeder around late August or Sept first. Mow it very short first to get rid of some of the crabgrass and open up the soil for your new seed.
Fertilize when night time temps get down to 45 degrees; (crabgrass stops growing). Feed it again at frost. Feed it again in November. Gain as much thickness as you can in the fall. Use crabgrass control maximum allowed rate in April--and again in June.

meth
07-21-2010, 09:23 AM
Thanks Riggle

meth
07-22-2010, 10:26 AM
Riggle - do I cut it at the lowest setting? Thats pretty short, but I assume necessary.

Once I seed, am i just fertilizing with starter fertilizer? or what should I be looking for for each feeding?

So my plan of attack is last week of Aug or first week of sept:
Mow really short
Power seed the entire area
Fertilize same day as seeding
Fertilize again when night temps hit 45
Fertilize at first frost
In spring hit it with crabgrass control - pre-emrg?

I'm just not sure what products I should be using at a consumer level, I'm sure Scotts is not going to cover it.

bigslick7878
07-22-2010, 01:12 PM
Once I seed, am i just fertilizing with starter fertilizer? Yes

So my plan of attack is last week of Aug or first week of sept:
Mow really short And bag it.
Power seed the entire area Yep
Fertilize same day as seeding Yes starter fert
Fertilize again when night temps hit 45 Fert about 4 weeks after seed
Fertilize at first frost Fert again going into winter
In spring hit it with crabgrass control - pre-emrg? Yes

I'm just not sure what products I should be using at a consumer level, I'm sure Scotts is not going to cover it. Yes Scotts will cover that. I recommend Southern Gold from Lowes

meth
07-22-2010, 01:26 PM
sorry I just want to undersand clearly - I know the first feeding is starter fertilizer, are the additional the same? You have been really helpful

bigslick7878
07-22-2010, 02:55 PM
sorry I just want to undersand clearly - I know the first feeding is starter fertilizer, are the additional the same? You have been really helpful

1st starter fertilizer.( Sept 1 with seed)

2nd standard Scotts Turf Builder. (Early-mid Oct, depending on how fast the seed comes in)

3rd Scotts Winterizer. (Early-mid November, depending on what the temp is at)

meth
07-22-2010, 03:13 PM
Thanks again!

meth
09-02-2010, 01:19 PM
Okay guys - here's the latest update. I hit a couple of large patches of the CG with Round Up, a couple of weeks ago, still have some large areas I just couldn't get to with a small pump sprayer.

I purchased a quality TTTF seed and rented a Turf Revitalizer. I've been cutting the lawn progressively shorter over the past couple of weeks in preparation for seeding. I will be seeding next weekend 9/11 and have gone over the entire area with a dethatcher to pull up any thatch and left over straw from the last time i seeded. The problem is I do not have a mower with a bagger so instead I dethatched and then triple cut the lawn to cut everything up the best I can.

I know its proper to cut low and bag prior to seeding, however since I do not have a bagger on my mower can I just triple cut again and then run the turf revitalizer?

Thanks for the help!

bigslick7878
09-02-2010, 04:53 PM
Okay guys - here's the latest update. I hit a couple of large patches of the CG with Round Up, a couple of weeks ago, still have some large areas I just couldn't get to with a small pump sprayer.

I purchased a quality TTTF seed and rented a Turf Revitalizer. I've been cutting the lawn progressively shorter over the past couple of weeks in preparation for seeding. I will be seeding next weekend 9/11 and have gone over the entire area with a dethatcher to pull up any thatch and left over straw from the last time i seeded. The problem is I do not have a mower with a bagger so instead I dethatched and then triple cut the lawn to cut everything up the best I can.

I know its proper to cut low and bag prior to seeding, however since I do not have a bagger on my mower can I just triple cut again and then run the turf revitalizer?

Thanks for the help!

You should be fine if you triple cut it and ground up all the clippings very fine.

Best thing to do would be to aerate before the seeding, it will help with the clippings that are leftover and help overall with the seeding. Yes you can aerate and then run the turf revitalizer right behind it. It makes for a great seed bed.

RigglePLC
09-02-2010, 07:53 PM
You should be fine Meth. Triple cut. The idea is to expose some bare soil so the seed does not lay on top of old grass. A tiny root comes out of the seed on about the third night--it must establish a tiny foothold in moist soil before the sun comes up in the morning. Use plenty of seed so that even if some goes not take hold you will still have a good thick stand of grass. Try to have about 5 to 10 seeds on each square inch. Start now when soil is warm--quicker germination. Try to get seed in at least 6 weeks before frost.

meth
09-03-2010, 11:17 AM
Thanks guys - I plan on triple cutting and running the dethatcher through one more time as well. I wasn't going to aerate since most of the area is new soil put down in may.

meth
09-13-2010, 02:36 PM
Okay so I tried to tackle this project on Saturday. Rental center delivered the Turf Revitalizer and I took it out for a test drive on the lawn. Since I already ran a pull behind dethatcher over the lawn 3 times I didn't expect it to pull up much, but man was I wrong, this thing was pulling up large amounts of thatch. At least I hope it was thatch and not the grass! I only had the machine for the day so I went over about halfo the property without the seed first and kind of just roughed it up to prepare a decent seed bed. The areas that had heavy CG I went over twice at a deeper cut to really improve the bed. This machine certainly has enough power, but it still takes some work to maneuver. I had 200# of seed for an over seed job of about 1/2 acre and a full reno of about 1/4 acre, which is the area of CG that I hit with roundup and its just dirt at this point. I cut the seed rate in half and went in 2 different directions, 3 in the bare areas. The parts of the yard that were strictly overseed I only had time to run the machine in one direction, but they looked decent prior to the renovation.

I picked up what thatch I could but time was just getting away from me and it was the last weekend I had this machine, so hopefully it will just be used as a top dressing of sort and break down to cover the seed. After laying the 200# of seed and picking up what thatch I could I cehcked out my work. Man my lawn looked like hell! Could just picture the wife coming home and saying what did you do all day? It looks worse than when you started!

Oh well, I'm sure we all have one of those :) The only real complaint with the machine was the depth setting, I couldn't tell how to guage the settings to set the seed at the correct depth, so my fingers are crossed in hopes I got it right.

Afterwards I spread lime and starter fertilizer and prayed to finally have some rain! We finally got some on Sunday but now none is expected for a few days. It really sucks depending on mother nature. Between seed, fertilzer and the rental, this was at least a 1k project so I hate to lose that.

A tiring day, but now I wait and pray that it fills in and it was all worth it. I will hit it again with another round of fertilizer in 30 days as well

RigglePLC
09-13-2010, 08:46 PM
Good going, Meth. Take a break. Take some pictures. Water whatever you can reach with the hose. Use an electronic sprinkler timer. You should be able to run two hoses at once--you get two 85 foot circles--if--you have good water pressure.

meth
09-14-2010, 09:46 AM
Thanks Riggle - I dont have good pressure, on a well and its very difficult. Mother nature cooperated again yesterday with some rain and cooler temperatures so I am hopeful it will all turn out okay

meth
09-19-2010, 05:15 PM
Day 8 and I have zero germination, I am really starting to get worried!

RigglePLC
09-19-2010, 10:38 PM
Keep the water coming, Meth; don't quit now! I am not clear if there is any rye in the mixture. If so, it should be up by now, if the soil was wet and the weather was warm. Get down close--get your eye near the soil. Look in the wettest areas and in the shade. The new sprouts are always vertical and they are about the thickness of a human hair, and only about a quarter inch high the first day. The is a slight red coloration at the soil line.
IF...OTOH...the mixture contains no perennial rye then the fescue should arise in 10 to 14 days and the KBG in 14 to 21 days. If conditions are good. {warm and wet.)

meth
09-20-2010, 10:57 AM
Thanks Riggle - Conditions have been perfect weather wise, 70's in the day and 50's at night - however not much rain and problems with the well so I have been watering very little. Hoping mornng dew and cooler temps will help me out here

RigglePLC
09-20-2010, 03:42 PM
Dew doesn't amount to much--and it evaporates when the sun comes out. Keep watering and hope for rain.

bigslick7878
09-20-2010, 04:41 PM
Day 8 and I have zero germination, I am really starting to get worried!

10 days minimum, usually more like 14 for germination of TTTF. And that is under ideal conditions with water every day.

Don't worry just yet.

Smallaxe
09-20-2010, 11:57 PM
Dew doesn't amount to much--and it evaporates when the sun comes out. Keep watering and hope for rain.

Hahaha, Every place is different, but we had a heavy dew Friday morning, and nothing has dried out since.
When the sun breaks though and the soils are no longer swamp like you may discover that cool season grasses germinate more quickly than cattails. :) Especially for shallow seed.

Light, is an important ingredient for germination.

Also, plants germinate and grow in areas that fit their habitat.
Swampland is not habitat, for KBG. That's what we've had for several weeks now.

Here in Wisco, we are hoping for sun, to make it's presence felt... the mud to cure a bit..., so that germination and root setting can actually occur, b4 freeze off.

In a nutshell, There is such a thing as too much water...

I watched a documentary one time about 'ancient' seeds that 'sealed' during a flood. They 'unsealed' , then germinated, a couple thousand years later, when the environment, was more favorable.

After this summer in Wisco... I can believe, that very few seeds say, "Hey, let's live here!" :(

I have had excellent germination, without additional water, BTW.

meth
09-21-2010, 10:27 AM
Okay I will try to be patient - problem is I can't water at all. I am now having some well issues and think I need to pull the pump and find out whats going on. Either that or I may have to drill a new well, its been drying up on me I think. Probably having to do with such a dry summer.

Anyway, that leaves the seed to mother nature and she hasn't been kind. I am praying for some rain it just never happens. How long can the seed sit there and wait before its no good anymore? The rest of the lawn needs to be cut again, I'm afraid to do it since I have no germination of this seed yet and dont want to drive the tractor over it, thoughts?

Smallaxe
09-21-2010, 10:51 AM
Just mulch mow when the soil is dry enough for the tractor tires to not be causing excessive compaction. The seed has more resiliance than people give credit for. How did seed procreate over that past few thousand years? :)