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CanesFan
04-27-2011, 01:41 PM
I originally had this in a different forum, this one seems more appropriate.

I recently had a request to put together a quote to reseed a lawn. The lawn is in pretty bad shape, the homeowner cuts it himself and he waits until it's extremely long before he cuts it. Lots of built up old grass.

I figure I should dethatch and aerate the grass. Rent that equipment.
Spread the seed and starter fertilizer.
Tell the homeowner to keep it watered.

Anything else? I'm located in the NC mountains 3500-4500 feet and our growing season has just begun. Thanks a lot!

RigglePLC
04-27-2011, 09:44 PM
Can you convince the guy to mow more regular? Is it thin--ask your self why--correct the problem--or it will happen again. Shade? No watering? Acid soil?
Aeration, with holes ever 6 inches, is just not intended to prepare soil for new seed. Can you cut short and rent a slit seed machine and get the seed in full contact with the soil? (Thereby avoiding the labor of dethatching?) Use a mixture high in a quality perennial ryegrass--it has a quicker, more vigorous seedling. (Needs to be disease resistant.) If temp goes above 90, more than a couple times per year, maybe you are in tall fescue country. (Select one resistant to brown patch fungus).

mattb84
04-29-2011, 10:22 PM
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mattb84
04-29-2011, 10:34 PM
Charge the customer for a soil test. Apply what the soil test recommends. Wait till Aug 15 before seeding the lawn. You should, without any doubt, rent a slit type seeder as Riggle recommends.
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Smallaxe
04-30-2011, 08:31 AM
If mowing is not a big concern I wouldn't do more that just seed it down, now and tell him it should be done again in the fall. If he shows any interest in caring for the turf by then, then perhaps it would be worth investing a little time and effort...

A bill for everything you've suggested will ensure he'll never call any of you guys again... :)

mattb84
04-30-2011, 10:05 PM
Respectfully, he cannot effectively overseed a lawn in the condition he describes with no prep. There will be little to no seed/ soil contact. Amend the soil per test results and educate the homeowner in reguards to proper mowing practices. Take time to check out the condition of the blades on his mower as well as the height he is cutting.
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CanesFan
04-30-2011, 10:40 PM
Thanks for the replies. I would never go to someone's yard and just throw down seed. I want to do a good job and if the homeowner messes it up, maybe I'll get called back to do it again. More money. :)
I have told him that he has to cut his lawn on a more regular basis. Not sure that I convinced him though. He might be interested now in stripping the grass and hydroseeding. I think that would be best with the state his yard is in right now.
Matt, I hydroseeded the yard at my house in Boone in May and it turned out good. Would you still recommend waiting until the fall?

Smallaxe
05-01-2011, 10:08 PM
Respectfully, he cannot effectively overseed a lawn in the condition he describes with no prep. There will be little to no seed/ soil contact. Amend the soil per test results and educate the homeowner in reguards to proper mowing practices. Take time to check out the condition of the blades on his mower as well as the height he is cutting.
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There should be no real thatch problem from a lawn like that... A lot of dead brown hay, lieing atop some pretty rough stubble and a soil that is akin to that underlieing forest debris...

The seed may very easily work it way into the lower regions of this environment and germinate in moist mulch quite easily...

I've had hay piles of Brome Grass really take off in piles larger than what a mower could do... You guys might be to educated to understand the benefits of a redneck lawn... :)

mattb84
05-01-2011, 10:36 PM
You could try. If there is southern exposure I would not advise it. My plan would be to mow properly first for a while letting the extra clippings work into the soil. If the grass the owner has now is of good quality make a dry run with the slit seeder NS and EW then a run with good quality seed. If the exhisting grass is not of good quality apply a non selective 1 week before seeding. Top dress with 1/8th in. compost if possible. More effective than hydroseeding unless it is steep. Could you give us some more specifics? Size of the lawn, grade, sun or shade, what is wrong with the lawn now, why you are aerating, etc.
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mattb84
05-01-2011, 10:43 PM
And axe owning your own business means you can do things however you choose. If it works for you go for it.
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Smallaxe
05-02-2011, 01:04 AM
And axe owning your own business means you can do things however you choose. If it works for you go for it.
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All I'm saying here is that, it is never a perfect world with the ideas that a client has in comparison to what should be... And I wouldn't invest time or money in changing his ideas... Nor can I change your ideas about what will or will not work in the real world... I was addressing the idea of a mulch covered ground haboring seed that may indeed grow to fruition...

None of us have been there to plug the soil and see what the environment really is like... Everything that is stated, is theorietical based on some one else's description or even possibly based on 'interpretive feelings' haha...

If I was there and plugged the soil, dug about in the hayfield a bit, saw what was growing and what was not, I would be able to make a definitive decision...

You were talking about doing things a certain way for a while then speculating on the - 'ifs' and going from there... I'm talking about working with what you got... Making the client do what you think he should do in order to make your strategy work, is not an option...
It is possible to make grass grow in the client's framework, and that is what we professionals are paid for...

mattb84
05-02-2011, 08:21 PM
I prefer to give each expensive seed the best opportunity to grow. So, I feel, that wasting money is throwing seed on a lawn without educating this obviously clueless homeowner how to manage and maintain his investment or by not being informed about the condition of the soil. This is neither expensive nor difficult.. I feel that I am helping our fellow LCO by recommending a solid plan. Whether your method produces results or not I am unsure but It would not be a method I would use to improve the homeowner's situation.
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Smallaxe
05-03-2011, 06:48 AM
I prefer to give each expensive seed the best opportunity to grow. So, I feel, that wasting money is throwing seed on a lawn without educating this obviously clueless homeowner how to manage and maintain his investment or by not being informed about the condition of the soil. This is neither expensive nor difficult.. I feel that I am helping our fellow LCO by recommending a solid plan. Whether your method produces results or not I am unsure but It would not be a method I would use to improve the homeowner's situation.
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I agree with all of that, I try to talk with clients all the time... If they give me the brushoff and nothing is going to change, then I act accordingly...

Throwing seed onto a lawn will have the best possible chance of survival, IF the conditions are right for it... Some overseeding needs to be done with a garden weasel or mantis... Sometimes using the freeze/thaw cycle of winter and spring works best...

Then, of course let's not forget the greatest seedbed preparer of all:
The Aerator/Plugger :laugh:

For the most part a mulch mowed lawn that is seeded in the spring will eventually have seedlings popping up through the grass clippings at some point... It is really a natural strategy designed into it ecology... The seed eventually drop into the 'duff' and grows when needed... :)