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View Full Version : Is something wrong with the fescue I planted?


1999frontier
10-07-2011, 09:18 AM
I bought a 50lb bag of TTTF last year and only used half. This year I aerated and seeded the other half of the bag. I aerated and seeded on 9/26/11 and I've watered every day or every other day atleast once per day on the days I watered. Today makes 10 days. I'm seeing a few sprigs here and there. The temps for the past 10 days have been:

9/26-9/30 were highs around 84 and lows in the 60s
10/1-10/7 have been highs in the 60s but have warmed into the low 70s for the past 3 days. Lows have been between 43-49.

Do you think its still early for some of the seed or do you think the seed is too old. If its too old, what should I do?

Smallaxe
10-07-2011, 09:24 AM
There are lots of reasons why seeds don't germinate and a humid summer may very well be one of them... the other deal may be your seedbed prep...

What did your seedbed look like after the aeration...? Are you at least getting doll hair clumps?

1999frontier
10-07-2011, 09:45 AM
You could definately see the holes where the aerator went. I'm seeing grass coming out of some of the holes. Not seeing any grass in between the holes yet. Its been a couple of days since I've walked the edges of the yard to see but I think I'm thinking I should atleast see a green color from a distance where the dead grass is. Maybe its a little early. i was planning on getting some starter fertilizer this weekend since I thought the grass would be coming through better than it is. Do you think I should wait or go ahead and put it down?

RigglePLC
10-07-2011, 11:25 AM
I think, go ahead with the starter fert. Be patient. Keep it wet. Cool nights may have slowed it down. Aeration may not be the best seedbed preparation.
Prolonged storage in warm humid conditions is hard on the germination percentage. Do you still have the bag and label. What is the date of the last germination test? You will lose about 5 to 10 percent in year to year storage, unless conditions are cool and dry.

It is always wise to save a sample in case you need to have it professionally tested. It is always wise to plant about 20 in a coffee mug on your desk. So you can keep an eye on under room temperature conditions. No drainage needed if its only for a short time in the coffee mug.

1999frontier
10-07-2011, 11:50 AM
I don't have the bag or label, after I finished spreading it I threw it away. I want to say it was tested early part of 2010, I think. When I buy seed I do look to see when it was tested and try to buy closest to that date if possible. I think I'm just not patient enough. My wife tells me its not going to happen overnight. :-)

bigslick7878
10-07-2011, 11:25 PM
Seed sat too long, in the ideal conditions right now you should see grass after 7 days. 10 days it should be an inch or so high all over. I planted some TTTF 2 weeks ago (bare soil) and it is already on the verge of being mow height in some places, inch or so minimum in others. And my temps up here have been colder than yours.

It is almost impossible to screw up a seeding this time of year, unless the seed is not up to par for some reason. That is really the only logical explanation if you have watered like you said.

Smallaxe
10-07-2011, 11:43 PM
You could definately see the holes where the aerator went. I'm seeing grass coming out of some of the holes. Not seeing any grass in between the holes yet. Its been a couple of days since I've walked the edges of the yard to see but I think I'm thinking I should atleast see a green color from a distance where the dead grass is. Maybe its a little early. i was planning on getting some starter fertilizer this weekend since I thought the grass would be coming through better than it is. Do you think I should wait or go ahead and put it down?

You actually are able to witness the ability of grass to germinate... nothing growing between the holes of aeration is quite common... if you want to create a seedbed for new turf.... then ... ??? AERATE??? ... I don't think SO... :)

1999frontier
10-07-2011, 11:52 PM
I thought that's what you do is aerate and then overseed? I'm seeing grass about 1"-1 1/2" tall in the holes. Should I go buy another bag of seed? I don't want to crowd seedlings out and thin out later. Not sure what I need to do.
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jsslawncare
10-08-2011, 07:49 AM
The older it is the lower the % of germination. There is a tag on the bag with a date, Oregon Seed told me not to buy anything over 9 months old. I did the same thing one year but I called them to see what was wrong.

1999frontier
10-08-2011, 08:03 AM
This week the temps are going to be back in the 70s. Should I get new seed and put more out? If so, should I aerate again and disturb what grass is coming up.
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bigslick7878
10-08-2011, 12:14 PM
I thought that's what you do is aerate and then overseed? I'm seeing grass about 1"-1 1/2" tall in the holes. Should I go buy another bag of seed? I don't want to crowd seedlings out and thin out later. Not sure what I need to do.
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It is what you do, I think you are misunderstanding what our recent "aeration to overseed" convert said. He was talking about aerating again AFTER you just seeded (and aerated), which I would not recommend either.

Just throw some more seed down and keep doing what you have been doing. Make sure it is fresh this time!

Smallaxe
10-09-2011, 10:36 AM
I thought that's what you do is aerate and then overseed? I'm seeing grass about 1"-1 1/2" tall in the holes. Should I go buy another bag of seed? I don't want to crowd seedlings out and thin out later. Not sure what I need to do.
Posted via Mobile Device

I'm the one that condemns aeration for seedbed, for the exact reason you just described on your own lawn... the ONLY time aeration works for seedbed is : multiple passes to bust up the surface enough to allow a garden weasel to work up a seedbed for the grass...

BTW grass seed can stay good for 5 yrs if properly stored... If you got germination, there is nothing wrong with the seed because it just ain't gonna grow sitting on top of smooth surface soil...

Smallaxe
10-09-2011, 10:39 AM
It is what you do, I think you are misunderstanding what our recent "aeration to overseed" convert said. He was talking about aerating again AFTER you just seeded (and aerated), which I would not recommend either.

Just throw some more seed down and keep doing what you have been doing. Make sure it is fresh this time!

I wasn't talking about aerating again after seeding... that wouldn't do anything either... :)

RigglePLC
10-09-2011, 09:27 PM
I do not have experience with tall fescue. I suggest you are right--more seed is the best course of action (costly, of course). My suggestion is spread the seed--then--a light raking or some action to bury most of the seed 1/4 inch deep. Maybe a nail drag would work best.

Reserve a 1 sqft area for perfect soil prep. Plant someseed inside so you can watch it. Save a sample of the seed and the seed tags. Give the customer a copy--so he can see that the germination is tested at 85 percent. Give customer a copy of the seed sales brochure so he can see how great the seed is. Note the soil temp. Note the customer's water meter reading and give him a copy.