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RigglePLC
12-12-2011, 03:33 PM
Here are some photos of my neighbor's yard where he had a big tree taken out. I offered to seed it if I could do a few tests to see what would work the best.
Sorry--the upload failed for the earliest--the September 30 photo.

I used Scotts "Classic" which is about 30 percent improved perennial rye. The best 2 foot wide strip was 12 pounds seed per thousand or about 4 times the usual rate, along with double fertilizer. 26-0-6.
Very dry when seeded, but rains began in early October. Not irrigated.

In the December pic I had seeded over the whole area and fertilized the entire left half of the lawn. The right half was fertilized about 30 days later.

RigglePLC
12-12-2011, 03:40 PM
And here is the early picture-- a few days after the initial seed (Sept 5) and and after the first rain, late Sept. Site refused to post Sept pic because it had appeared a few weeks ago, here:


Third try; the earliets picture:
http://lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=362372

Smallaxe
12-12-2011, 04:47 PM
It still looks pretty anemic, especially after a double dose of fert at planting time. No noticeable improvement from left to right...

What kind of soil is it???

RigglePLC
12-12-2011, 08:34 PM
Smallaxe,
Soil was medium loam, but it was yellow--rather low in organic matter in my opinion. Underlying soil is sandy. Somehow the December pic does not appear. I will try again.

Finally it seems to have uploaded. This is the last picture, December, about the 5th. If you look carefully, I think you can see that the left side, particularly the new grass is darker green.The right side was fertilized 27 days later, Nov 30th. The right half is still rather yellow.

It has about a inch of snow now, but snow is expected to melt in a day or two.

Smallaxe
12-13-2011, 07:35 AM
Yes it does show up in this pix...

So, What conclusions have you drawn from your experiment so far? ... :)

RigglePLC
12-13-2011, 01:43 PM
With his OK, on Sept 5 I seeded several different treatments on my neighbor's big bare spot after tree was removed and top soil added. Tree company's seeding failed due to no irrigation and hot spell in July. Treatments were numbered in this October photograph:
0)Seed
1) Seed, fert, raked
2) Seed, fert, no rake
3) 4Xseed, 2X fert, raked
4) Seed, fert, raked, straw
5) Seed, no fert, raked
6) Seed, fert, raked, Razorburn
7) Seed, fert, raked, packed
8) 3X seed, fert, no rake
9) Seed, fert,raked, mulched w crabgrass

RigglePLC
12-13-2011, 02:25 PM
Smallaxe,
I think that treatment 3, with 4 times the seed and 2 times the fert recommended was best, followed by treatment 4 which was mulched with straw (grsss clippings, actually). The treatment 2 which was not raked-in was poor. Treatment 6 where the seed was raked and sprayed with Razorburn 24 hours later was worst, but eventually took hold. Razorburn has glyphosate and diquat. Treatments 8, and 9 were difficult to evaluate due to clumps of grass already present.
Clearly, extra seed results in thick grass sooner. Clearly no raking-in to bury the seed results in poor "take". Mulch is a big help. No fert slows it down.

Kiril
12-13-2011, 09:22 PM
With all due respect Riggle, the results of this experiment are anecdotal at best. The reason is because your experimental design is flawed, therefore the results have no statistical validity. Any conclusions you draw from this study are therefore unreliable, even with respect to that location.

Also you said this area was where a big tree used to be. How did they remove the stump? Out here, when stumps are ground down we are left with a mix of soil and wood.

Smallaxe
12-13-2011, 10:58 PM
With all due respect Riggle, the results of this experiment are anecdotal at best. The reason is because your experimental design is flawed, therefore the results have no statistical validity. Any conclusions you draw from this study are therefore unreliable, even with respect to that location.

Also you said this area was where a big tree used to be. How did they remove the stump? Out here, when stumps are ground down we are left with a mix of soil and wood.

OK, that's a big deal...

Did riggle do the PC thing in putting the test in a labratory stiuation???

Riggle deals with things that we face everyday... The hidden factors tthat are too numerous to mention do not guide Riggle's POV... The main result is NOT in the egghead enivornment of the sterile lab test,,, but in the results of what happens in the lawn... IMHO... if you ain't got nom results to speak clearly and sensibly about,,, then you got nothing to say...

We're growing grass!!! can your lab say the same thing... :laugh:

Kiril
12-14-2011, 12:23 AM
It has nothing to do with labs Axe. It has everything to do with proper experimental design and statistically valid results.

Here is a short ditty (not all inclusive) with regard to experimental design.

http://www.stat.yale.edu/Courses/1997-98/101/expdes.htm

dKoester
12-14-2011, 12:57 AM
I bet alot of that nitrogen is being as they say "tied up" helping the microbes break down that mulch from that stump.

RigglePLC
12-14-2011, 09:08 PM
Actually the tree company was rather careful about removing the wood chips. It was probably required in the bid and their contract with city government.
I didn't have the acerage for a randomized block design. But I was able to view the progress every day, as it was close to home. I flipped a coin to determine which treatments went where. I did not intend it for statistical analysis, but rather for preliminary or anecdotal observations. In other words, if you can't see the difference at 60 miles per hour--there is no difference.

Kiril
12-14-2011, 09:58 PM
The results offer passing interest, but that is about it. I can't draw any conclusions from what I see because of the experimental design. The only thing I might see is what looks like potential microbial N immobilization going on .... but that is only a guess based on what I am seeing.

Skipster
12-16-2011, 12:56 PM
Smallaxe,
I think that treatment 3, with 4 times the seed and 2 times the fert recommended was best, followed by treatment 4 which was mulched with straw (grsss clippings, actually). The treatment 2 which was not raked-in was poor. Treatment 6 where the seed was raked and sprayed with Razorburn 24 hours later was worst, but eventually took hold. Razorburn has glyphosate and diquat. Treatments 8, and 9 were difficult to evaluate due to clumps of grass already present.
Clearly, extra seed results in thick grass sooner. Clearly no raking-in to bury the seed results in poor "take". Mulch is a big help. No fert slows it down.

I'm unclear why these treatments were chosen. Are you looking to change your seeding practices? The steps needed to get to turf establishment are well known, including proper fertility and correct seeding rate.

I really don't understand why you seeded at 4X or 3X, since seeding too heavy reduces stand vigor and quality by creating excessive competition among seedlings. I also don't think your seeding rate is right. Most university recommendations call for 5 to 8 pounds of seed per 1000 sq ft for perennial ryegrass. But your 4Xrate is 12 pounds, meaning your standard rate is 3 pounds, which is a bit light.

I guess I also don't get the "double fertilizer. 26-0-6" part. First, what was the rate? Second, why no P when planting seed? Third, was it all quickly available?

Because of all the questions, I'm still wondering what you were tryign to get out of all of this.

I do think that experimentation is a great thing to do and I encourage everyone to do it as they see fit. I won't get on the Kiril bandwagon and advocate fully designed and replicated experiments (not needed for most of what we do), but I will point you to the first step of the scientific method to guide further experimentation. Form a hypothesis or state a particular problem that you're trying to solve. That will help guide your treatment selection.

RigglePLC
12-16-2011, 08:26 PM
Guys,
Thanks for your comments. I didn't have enough room to try everything, but I couldn't pass up the opportunity right at my front door. I wanted to confirm what is "well-known" and/or--challange the proper fertility and seeding rate as conventional wisdom.

For the seeding rate I used the recommendation on Scotts bag "covers up to 900 sqft." Bag weighed 3 pounds. So does excess seed really reduce stand vigor and quality? If so by how much? 10 percent? 20 percent? Insignificant compared to greater customer satisfaction?

Fertilizer(26-0-6) rate was about a pound of nitrogen (nitrogen was about 50 percent sulfer coated Urea). No phos, because I didn't have any phos fert. And I suspected that the nitrogen was just as important. Question remains unanswered, as there was no comparison with phos added. No fert was markedly slow to fill-in.

One important question was whether or not (as in the rumor) one could spray Roundup and reseed immediately in five minutes. Only problem is that my vegetation killer "Razorburn" contained glyphosate plus one percent diquat. Emergence was poor, but not zero. Need further tests, with glyphosate alone.)

Conventional wisdom and recommendations--are just that. The ideas of years ago need to be challanged and confirmed or refreshed from time to time. I enjoy this stuff, but have very limited facilities. Suggestions welcome. No greenhouse available.

Skipster
12-16-2011, 11:52 PM
For the seeding rate I used the recommendation on Scotts bag "covers up to 900 sqft." Bag weighed 3 pounds.

If we're going to be professionals, we need to do better than follow Scott's recommendations for homeowners. Check out the recommendations published by the land grant university's turf program in your state. Those are based on unbiased research. Scott's recommendation is based on erring on the side of ultra-safe, so that the homeowner who puts down twice as much as directed doesn't get a bad result and talk bad about them.


So does excess seed really reduce stand vigor and quality? If so by how much? 10 percent? 20 percent? Insignificant compared to greater customer satisfaction?

YES excess seed reduces stand vigor and quality! The rule of thumb is that for each multiple of the recommended rate, stand vigor is reduced by 1/3. It will have a significant negative impact on customer satisfaction. The customer will think you don't know what you're doing. I had hoped the days were gone where the public thought of us as hillbillies who always think "if some is good, more must be better." I guess we're giving them reason to believe that.

Fertilizer(26-0-6) rate was about a pound of nitrogen (nitrogen was about 50 percent sulfer coated Urea). No phos, because I didn't have any phos fert. And I suspected that the nitrogen was just as important. Question remains unanswered, as there was no comparison with phos added. No fert was markedly slow to fill-in.

A pound of N is good -- follows research. But, half as SCU? Why? All you did was put down half a pound that was available at seeding, which was used right away and you left the young plants needing more that wouldn't be available for a while. Why not use all soluble (quick release, not necessarily sprayable)? If you're worried about leaching from one pound at a time, do split apps at half pound. SCU is a waste here and won't help you. P is important to seedlings -- you'll have a poor stand and sickly plant without P. Is N more imoprtant than P? They're both essential elements -- they're equally important. Just give the plant what it needs.

One important question was whether or not (as in the rumor) one could spray Roundup and reseed immediately in five minutes. Only problem is that my vegetation killer "Razorburn" contained glyphosate plus one percent diquat. Emergence was poor, but not zero. Need further tests, with glyphosate alone.)

This would be a good test if you wanted to see for yourself what you can expect from gly apps at seeding.

Conventional wisdom and recommendations--are just that. The ideas of years ago need to be challanged and confirmed or refreshed from time to time. I enjoy this stuff, but have very limited facilities. Suggestions welcome. No greenhouse available.

The ideas of years ago have been backed with scientific research. That doesn't mean that those ideas can't be tested from time to time, but maybe they should be checked against ideas that make agronomic sense. There's no need to reinvent the wheel. You can try to improve it, but re-testing something that's been proven time and again for 60+ years seems a bit redundant.

Smallaxe
12-17-2011, 10:21 AM
Springtime will tell what was the best result in durability... By mid-Summer it will likely all be the same, except for some areas thinner than others... The crowded(2X seeded) grasses will thin them selves out , is my guess...

phasthound
12-17-2011, 10:38 AM
My questions pertain more to site preparation as this experiment was done where a large tree has been removed. Was the stump ground out or removed?
If ground, were the shavings removed or mixed with existing soil? If removed was compost mixed with back-fill? The health of the soil will best influence long term results.

RigglePLC
12-17-2011, 12:10 PM
The tree was a 4 feet diameter elm...(dead due to Dutch elm disease), which also infected the 24 inch diameter elm on my property probably by root graft transmission. After many calls, it took the city about 9 months to arrange a contractor to remove the street tree.
http://www.integritytree.com/Home.aspx

Barry, the stump and a few roots were ground out to about 6 inches deep. The area was filled with topsoil (low-quality in my mind). No wood chips are visible. You can see in the earlier photo it was not dark from organic matter, but more yellow in color. So Axe thinks that the thick grass will thin itself out, but Barry thinks the health of the soil will best influence long term results. Snowing now, so we have to wait awhile to see more results. Of course, opinions are available anytime.
I agree there is a limit on how thick grass can be. And this whole problem is complicated by the mixture of blue, rye and fine fescue seed present in the bag. Each species and cultivar probably has maximum number of blades or culms per sq inch under defined conditions of fertility and climate. I don't plan on counting grass blades--but if anyone else wants to do it--knock yourself out.

RigglePLC
12-17-2011, 05:07 PM
Seeding rates can be a bit mysterious. Perennial rye is recommended at 8 to 10 pounds per thousand sqft. Bluegrass at 1 to 3. So if you have a mixture, what rate do you plant?How does one calculate the rate? Or do you go by the recomendations of the seed company?
And, oddly enough, for overseeding perennial rye, authorities recommend up to 20 pounds per thousand.
http://turf.arizona.edu/tips1096.html

Hydroseeders and those who seed a lot--what is your opinion?

RigglePLC
12-17-2011, 05:29 PM
This is getting rather strange. Mountain view seeds says about their Apple GL perennial rye.
"For overseeding dormant warm season grasses, a rate of 30 to 40 lbs per sq ft is suggested."
Who proofread the paragraph?

http://mtviewseeds.com/downloads/datasheets/ApplePDF.pdf

I think they meant to say 30 to 40 pounds per THOUSAND sq ft! They go on to make the same mistake in several other perennial rye seed types and blends.

Skipster
12-17-2011, 09:44 PM
I don't think that seeding rates are mysterious. There are some small variations, but not a lot. Optimal seeding rates are expressed as a mass of pure live seed (PLS) over a particular area. PLS is determined by mutiplying the weight of seed for a particular cultivar by its germination percentage (listed on the seed label). If your mix was 50:50 perennial ryegrass:kentucky bluegrass and the rye had a germination % of 50 and the bluegrass had 80 (just using round figures here -- likely not at all realistic), each pound of seed mix would have 0.25# pure live ryegrass seed and 0.40# pure live bluegrass seed. This is important because nto all seed is created equal. Sometimes you get better germination percentages, sometimes less. Higher germ % means less total seed is needed.

So, how much do you use? I would go for the rate that puts each species or cultivar as close to its optimum without going over. You get no extra points for using too much seed.

The overseeding you referenced was overseeding perennial ryegrass into warm-season turf stands for winter color and function -- not the "overseeding" you do when you add seed to a lawn (remember, you referenced work from Arizona, where winter overseeding with a cool season species is common). The name for adding cool season seed to an existing cool season lawn would be more accurate if it were called "interseeding." Overseeding warm-season turf requires more seed because you're trying to grow it in less than favorable conditions and not all of the seed is expected to survive. Additionally, overseeding is treated as an annual crop -- it doesn't even live one full year, so the turf doesn't have the time to develop the tiller density that it would have in a perennial lawn situation.

RigglePLC
12-18-2011, 10:24 PM
Well Skip,
thanks for your helpful comments. I knew you would want to know.
Scotts Classic is their cheapest and lowest-quality mix It contains (I am sure it varies depending on seed avavilabilty), rounded numbers. Not coated.

30% Aruba creeping red fescue, 81 % germination, about 400,000 seeds per pound.
20 % Kenblue KBG, 85% germination, about 1.4 million seeds per pound
19% Palouse KBG, 85% germ, about 1.5 million seeds per pound
15% Divine perennial rye 90% germ, about 300,000 seeds per lb
15% LS 2000 perennial rye 90 % germ, about 300,000 seeds per

Seed counts are general estimates based on other varieties of the same species.

Perhaps the real question is: Should one use above the usual seed rate, if less than ideal conditions are expected? More seed if not irrigated properly? More seed if soil preparation was not adequate? More seed if hot weather expected (or cold)?

Which is a better deal for the customer? Double seed or triple aeration? Power rake?

If excess seed results in a loss of vigor--how do you define vigor? Does vigor equal clipping yield?

Experienced seeders we need your input.

Smallaxe
12-19-2011, 10:12 AM
Well Skip,
thanks for your helpful comments. I knew you would want to know.
Scotts Classic is their cheapest and lowest-quality mix It contains (I am sure it varies depending on seed avavilabilty), rounded numbers. Not coated.

30% Aruba creeping red fescue, 81 % germination, about 400,000 seeds per pound.
20 % Kenblue KBG, 85% germination, about 1.4 million seeds per pound
19% Palouse KBG, 85% germ, about 1.5 million seeds per pound
15% Divine perennial rye 90% germ, about 300,000 seeds per lb
15% LS 2000 perennial rye 90 % germ, about 300,000 seeds per

Seed counts are general estimates based on other varieties of the same species.

Perhaps the real question is: Should one use above the usual seed rate, if less than ideal conditions are expected? More seed if not irrigated properly? More seed if soil preparation was not adequate? More seed if hot weather expected (or cold)?

Which is a better deal for the customer? Double seed or triple aeration? Power rake?

If excess seed results in a loss of vigor--how do you define vigor? Does vigor equal clipping yield?

Experienced seeders we need your input.

Are you asking about new lawns or spot seeding or generalized overseeding???

The best deal for the customer is successful germination in areas needed... Every piece of ground has different characteristics and needs... If you're going to aerate for seed then I would drag those areas twice... Once after the aeration, then again after broadcasting the seed...

I have some classic dollhair plugs growing in open ground areas that I didn't have time to properly care for... It was a single pass so no need to drag, but it will be a good spot to watch and see how long they live...

RigglePLC
12-19-2011, 11:30 AM
Axe,
"classic dollhair plugs". By that do you mean new grass sprouting from the aeration holes? How deep were the holes? What is the optimum depth for overseeding--or does that depend on the soil type? Weather was dry--would germination have been better with good irrigation? Would dragging have improved germination? Would the cost of dragging have been worth it? Would more seed be cheaper than more soil preparation?

America wants to know--are the new grass tufts mainly rye? Fescue? Blue? Was the lawn seeded due to drought injury from last summer's hot spell?