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tonydirks
10-02-2012, 04:48 PM
I have searched through the forum and can`t seem to find a discussion on differrent methods of seeding new lawns, so if this is a subject somewhere else, please point me to it.

So the question is, what methods of seeding a new lawn do you use or what have you seen the best results from? I realize that all areas may be differrent and there are variances, but just say what has worked best for you and how many weeks/days until you had grass coming up and how many days/weeks until you had a good stand of grass. I am just looking to learn new and differrent ways that may improve my seeding jobs. Thanks!!

Smallaxe
10-03-2012, 03:44 AM
I always do the loose soil and hand rake routine... it is a little more work,,, but often more cost effective than levelling with a skidster and most importantly it is not seriously compacted therefore, the turf comes out perfect every time... :)

RigglePLC
10-04-2012, 07:56 PM
you are a little late. Start 6 weeks before frost--8 weeks is better--or when daily temps come down below 85 degrees in fall. If not sod, than a high quality seed suited to your climate, irrigation, soil and planned use of the lawn. If the soil is warm--and moist--you should see a bit of grass after 7 days. Drop seed and starter, rake it in.
If not use hydroseed.

Smallaxe
10-05-2012, 08:15 AM
I never worry about frost, but do acknowledge when the ground is bound to be frozen...

You are south of CentroWisco and we're supposed to have major killing frost tomorrow, with a chance that the ground may start to freeze by the end of next week... I would plant seed tomorrow, but would irrigate nothing more than the first time , just to soak it in... if it warms after that, irrigation will be fine and may even cause seed to pop...

Overseeding in Oct is not uncommon for me over the years, and if it comes up 2 days before the ground freezes, it is always good to go... you will not likely get the germination that you'd get in August, but dormant seeding makes up the difference...

When do you typically get frozen turf???

tonydirks
10-05-2012, 07:23 PM
1. Thanks for the replies on tips and how you have found good ways for seeding and getting a good stand of grass!

2. Did I ever mention that I was still seeding? I was opening a discussion on seeding methods, not when to seed.

3. We do have frost forecast for tonight for the first time this year, our ground won`t be freezing for a month or two yet unless this is an exceptionally cold year, there are lots of guys still seeding here. I do some commercial new sites and the only time we don`t seed is if there is snow on the ground, they don`t really care about seeding times they want it seeded before the job is turned over and if thats January, then thats when we do it!

Smallaxe
10-05-2012, 07:50 PM
1. Thanks for the replies on tips and how you have found good ways for seeding and getting a good stand of grass!

2. Did I ever mention that I was still seeding? I was opening a discussion on seeding methods, not when to seed.

3. We do have frost forecast for tonight for the first time this year, our ground won`t be freezing for a month or two yet unless this is an exceptionally cold year, there are lots of guys still seeding here. I do some commercial new sites and the only time we don`t seed is if there is snow on the ground, they don`t really care about seeding times they want it seeded before the job is turned over and if thats January, then thats when we do it!

I've spent most of my carreer in shade lawns more than anything and we've successfully seeded every month of the growing season... if you get pushed back to the frozen tundra overseed or even a complete brand new lawn,,, it is best to apply the seed(broadcast is fine) at the beginning of Winter rather than the end... although Early Spring works too, it's just harder to prime for germination when its cold and the seed is starting out dry... have fun... :)

tonydirks
10-05-2012, 08:11 PM
We have seeded the last few winters all winter, and it lays there dormant until spring and then comes up good enough for the commercial jobs that they want it done on, when we do these jobs we always use straw matting and I`m sure that helps the seed to stay down till spring. I am looking for more economical ways to seed that would appeal to customers that can`t afford sod, straw mat or hydroseed.

RigglePLC
10-05-2012, 09:45 PM
I seeded on top of snow last year (mainly perennial rye) (in a flower pot outside). My photos are on here somewhere...I think.
Found it...Seed sprouted April 15 after 72 days.

Spring-seeded grass, was a quarter-inch tall after 18 days on April 25th. The soil temp on that date was 52.

Soaking the seed 24 hours before it was planted in spring caused it to arise after only nine days.

Smallaxe
10-06-2012, 09:47 AM
A cheaper way to seed is to lose the straw matting... I can't think of a scenario where straw matting would be useful in Dormant Seeding... Can you??? there are rare occassions when straw would be a good idea,,, but generally I never use straw or EZ Mulch stuff...

Yes, you can seed in the late winter and on top of the snow, just not sure where the seed will hit the ground... we usually have ice sheets built up under the snow by February, so I like to get the seed on the ground before snow comes... :)

tonydirks
10-06-2012, 10:21 AM
Smallaxe, I am not sure I understand what you are saying? The matting we use runs close to the same price as a good thick layer of hydromulch, we charge $0.18 a sq. ft., and I know some here will say thats high for hydromulch, I seen threads where they claim they do it for $.04 a sq. ft., and I say no wonder I have not been impressed with the results that I have seen in hydoseeding, because you have the lowballers out there bidding it cheap to get the job and the grass stand doesnt look any better than if you would have just scattered seed without doing a thing to it. When we do a job with the matting that we use, you have the best stand of grass that I have seen with a seeded lawn, if you use the straw matting, you have the netting to deal with. There is a netless matting also that we havent used due to the extra price but I am sure that it would be just as good.

DA Quality Lawn & YS
10-06-2012, 11:46 PM
axe - the ground is not going to freeze up in the middle of October around here. Where do you get that??

Next week is highs in the upper 50's and lows around 35. That is not going to freeze the ground by any means.

Usually around here, freeze up doesn't happen until well into Nov. Except last year, there really was no freeze up.

Smallaxe
10-07-2012, 08:23 AM
Smallaxe, I am not sure I understand what you are saying? The matting we use runs close to the same price as a good thick layer of hydromulch, we charge $0.18 a sq. ft., and I know some here will say thats high for hydromulch, I seen threads where they claim they do it for $.04 a sq. ft., and I say no wonder I have not been impressed with the results that I have seen in hydoseeding, because you have the lowballers out there bidding it cheap to get the job and the grass stand doesnt look any better than if you would have just scattered seed without doing a thing to it. When we do a job with the matting that we use, you have the best stand of grass that I have seen with a seeded lawn, if you use the straw matting, you have the netting to deal with. There is a netless matting also that we havent used due to the extra price but I am sure that it would be just as good.

My point is to just stop using the strawmat, the hydromulch or fabric entirely... If you feel the need to cover the seed then, compost is going to do the most excellent short term and long job of anything... But I never use straw(other than extreme circumstance) and use compost for the sake of using compost in tough areas...

There are lots of strategies that I use for seeding depending on the environment, the season, irrigatio or not, soil, existing turf thickness, etc.,,, but putting down a straw mat is never an option for me, there is a better more excellent way to start seed and grow turf, so don't let the naysayers/bullies intimidate you into staying inside your box... :)

Smallaxe
10-07-2012, 08:50 AM
axe - the ground is not going to freeze up in the middle of October around here. Where do you get that??

Next week is highs in the upper 50's and lows around 35. That is not going to freeze the ground by any means.

Usually around here, freeze up doesn't happen until well into Nov. Except last year, there really was no freeze up.

I remember the year that the Brewers won the World Series there was a big celebration at the potato warehouse at that time... It was one of the few jobs that I really didn't care for because I had to arrive so early and it was freezing cold on concrete floors... I arrived one morning on Oct. 5th and the ground was actually hard, from being frozen...

Obviously is is not going to stay frozen for the rest of the season and that was my point,,, that even under those circumstances I would still put down seed and there is a realistic chance that it will germinate and establish b4 winter...

You may not see this in urban areas, where snow is contantly removed, but with decent snow cover, the ground under the snow may easily thaw during winter, even when its well below zero... So it isn't necessary to concern ourselves with the constantly changing AIR Temps becuz it will have little effect on the seed...

On a side note, our 10 day forecast had 7 out of 10 days below freezing with highs in the 40s... when it hits 18 degrees a few times during that period,,, it may very well be Oct. 5th all over again... :)

Turboguy
10-09-2012, 08:36 AM
Smallaxe, I am not sure I understand what you are saying? The matting we use runs close to the same price as a good thick layer of hydromulch, we charge $0.18 a sq. ft., and I know some here will say thats high for hydromulch, I seen threads where they claim they do it for $.04 a sq. ft., and I say no wonder I have not been impressed with the results that I have seen in hydoseeding, because you have the lowballers out there bidding it cheap to get the job and the grass stand doesnt look any better than if you would have just scattered seed without doing a thing to it.

You make some good points and I have to agree that someone who lowballs a job and does shoddy work probably is hurting the industry and their own business in the long run. I have been involved in the hydroseeding industry for 22 years and hydroseeding for 16 years and do a lot of hydroseeding. I am also on the board of the hydroseeding association and talk to a lot of hydroseeders. I don't see anyone seeding anymore at 4 cents a foot unless it is a big highway job or the like. I see guys whose material cost to hydroseed is that. Mine is more in the 2 cent range. I do see guys who charge 16-20 cents a foot. Mine is more in the 8-10 cents a foot going up to 20 for small jobs.

I will agree that if someone does a shoddy job of hydroseeding it may not be any better than just throwing seed on the ground but about 20% of my work is redoing jobs where they threw seed on the ground even as many as 3 times or used seed and straw and couldn't grow grass and I got them a great stand of grass by hydroseeding. Seeing a lot of seeding jobs done various ways I do think spreading seed and covering it with a layer of compost is also an excellent way to go.

Snyder's Lawn Inc
10-09-2012, 09:23 AM
My point is to just stop using the strawmat, the hydromulch or fabric entirely... If you feel the need to cover the seed then, compost is going to do the most excellent short term and long job of anything... But I never use straw(other than extreme circumstance) and use compost for the sake of using compost in tough areas...

There are lots of strategies that I use for seeding depending on the environment, the season, irrigatio or not, soil, existing turf thickness, etc.,,, but putting down a straw mat is never an option for me, there is a better more excellent way to start seed and grow turf, so don't let the naysayers/bullies intimidate you into staying inside your box... :)

This late in the season better use the straw not hydromulch
Who puts fabric down over seed I want hear more on this fabric
Somethings you say makes me :laugh:
Thank AXE

Smallaxe
10-09-2012, 09:35 AM
I see fabric being used on small lawns with various patches up to 100 sq.ft. or more... that is probably the best cover possible, even to rival compost, but the largest roll I ever saw of it , only opened up to 10' wide... I've never used it for lawns myself, but I have seen it out there... I've used it personally in the garden, years ago and know how it could benefit the seeding environment... I would still opt for shredded straw on hillsides instead, just for the convenience... on the flats I do none of that...

Turboguy
10-09-2012, 09:36 AM
This late in the season better use the straw not hydromulch
Who puts fabric down over seed I want hear more on this fabric
Somethings you say makes me :laugh:
Thank AXE

I have to agree that a heavy layer of straw will do a bit better job of keeping the soil warm than hydromulch. The reverse is true in the hottest days of summer but either should work fine at this time of year. I have seen guys put erosion control fabric over hydroseeding or broadcast seeding on slopes but I am not sure if that is what you are talking about. It seems to work well.

Snyder's Lawn Inc
10-09-2012, 07:54 PM
I see fabric being used on small lawns with various patches up to 100 sq.ft. or more... that is probably the best cover possible, even to rival compost, but the largest roll I ever saw of it , only opened up to 10' wide... I've never used it for lawns myself, but I have seen it out there... I've used it personally in the garden, years ago and know how it could benefit the seeding environment... I would still opt for shredded straw on hillsides instead, just for the convenience... on the flats I do none of that...

Its not Fabric its wood fibers some is coconut fibers weaved together
Its called Eroison mat
Tell you some bad things about using that is clogs up your lawn mower with strings and can damage a mower with the string, its like fishing line
You can pull it back up after grass comes up but Then take chance ripping the new grass out best leave it, let it decay
I use it to control Eroison and sometimes use on very small lawn little cheaper then hydro seeding If its late season and Customer dont want straw I will put Eroison mat but if spring time or summer and they will water I'll hydro seed

Smallaxe
10-10-2012, 08:13 AM
Not sure what you're talking about , but this is more like a "Floating Row Cover" designed by vegetable growers, back in the 70s/80s... no individual strands or grass growing through it... :)

Smallaxe
10-10-2012, 08:15 AM
Oh I do know what you're talking about... it's called an erosion mat and looks nothing like a bed sheet at all... :)