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Smallaxe
10-03-2012, 05:15 AM
I have had a number of different seeding situations this season,,, some of them were less than textbook perfect as far as how they were irrigated...
Nevertheless, I've gotten germination at a proper density with a handheld hose averaging once every other day or two...

This was a narrow strip that no sprinkler can possibly fit,,, so while I'm in the neighborhood I pick up the hose and spray down the oddly shaped spot by hand... for a normal, full service client, of course... after a couple of weeks of this routine I noticed yesterday that the seed had popped, and the last water it had gotten was, 2-3 days earlier...

(This is a shaded area, with medium light soil and was sprinkled over with compost at seeding time...)

My question to everyone out there is:
What pleasant surprises/accomplishments have you observed in seeding,,, that was NOT done by following the standard advice of: "watering 2-3 times per/day and be careful to not let the soil dry out in between times"???

I think it would be helpful for everyone else to hear, from others, that seeding can be done successfully outside of ideal conditions... :)

humble1
10-03-2012, 05:37 AM
I have had a number of different seeding situations this season,,, some of them were less than textbook perfect as far as how they were irrigated...
Nevertheless, I've gotten germination at a proper density with a handheld hose averaging once every other day or two...

This was a narrow strip that no sprinkler can possibly fit,,, so while I'm in the neighborhood I pick up the hose and spray down the oddly shaped spot by hand... for a normal, full service client, of course... after a couple of weeks of this routine I noticed yesterday that the seed had popped, and the last water it had gotten was, 2-3 days earlier...

(This is a shaded area, with medium light soil and was sprinkled over with compost at seeding time...)

My question to everyone out there is:
What pleasant surprises/accomplishments have you observed in seeding,,, that was NOT done by following the standard advice of: "watering 2-3 times per/day and be careful to not let the soil dry out in between times"???

I think it would be helpful for everyone else to hear, from others, that seeding can be done successfully outside of ideal conditions... :)
Most of my lawns are irrigated, but the ones not irrigated I try to get in before the rain. we areaeeing decent results II tell people there is a quaranteed germination rate, that is it is viable seed. Once the seed gets moist germination starts, if it dries out the seed dies off its up to them to water.
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Smallaxe
10-03-2012, 06:46 AM
... Once the seed gets moist germination starts, if it dries out the seed dies off its up to them to water.
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This is the main idea, entrenched in the psyche of LCOs everywhere,,, that is totally false... Irrigation is an unnatural phenomena that 'nature' has done w/out since the Beginning... not trying to be difficult or confrontational, but this is an important point for people to know IF we're ever going to learn how grass seed works...

So the question remains: Has anyone had pleasant surprises as to grass germinating under unexpected circumstances??? :)

green_man
10-03-2012, 07:41 AM
In the trailer crevices, in the overseeder hopper forgotten from last year, in a leftover bag in the garage...

Not trying to be a wise guy at all, rather to your point about irrigation. I always preach "if you let it dry out at all, it'll die", but these places are certainly not irrigated and excepting the trailer, covered. In fact, bag and hopper have no soil, so I guess 'seed to soil contact' goes out the window, too.

DA Quality Lawn & YS
10-03-2012, 09:51 AM
This is a good thread.

For the slice seed jobs I do, I advise I do the job in the highest quality manner possible with new, quality grass seed blends. Germination and stand success depend on the customer. If they are able to water frequently, a greater % germination will occur. If the seed gets little to no water (i.e. customer does nothing but wait for rainfall), then they can expect lesser results. Its really on them after I do the job and advise them how to water if it doesn't rain.

That is why you NEVER guarantee seed jobs. Really, its good money for us but the customer controls the final result to some degree, puts their skin in the game.

Smallaxe
10-03-2012, 11:23 AM
Good point about seed to soil contact... seed to moisture contact is more the truth...

I would not necessarily agree that lesser irrigation means lesser germination... the example, that I put forth had as good germination as any other that recieved a daily watering...
May take longer, but is it true?, that seed in a proper seedbed will eventually germinate as well as anything, even when left upto rain alone???

Someone out there must have had that kind of success, w/out any irrigation at all... :)

DirtRoad
10-03-2012, 01:28 PM
I have been trying to research this myself. My personal property has a 3 acre lawn and i would like to overseed but watering impossible. Would be devistating to put down hundreds of dollars worth of seed and get zero results.

brown thumb
10-03-2012, 09:20 PM
I will say one thing...working with cool season turf grass seeds/dormancy properties is a walk in the park compared to getting a full blown diverse prairie established from seed.:dizzy:

I will say on my own personal land here in Iowa I see warm season, native grasses thriving on extremely poor hard pan/gravel soils out by the road ditch. Mosey on over to a nice shady area with black soil and the cool season turf is fit as a fiddle.

The battle is won if you can seed into habitats that will support the species you have chosen to plant. The seeding is a synthetic way of recreating the natural seed rain of plants...so you want to seed at a time when the species you are planting rains seed naturally IMO....and it's not a quick one time deal in nature. Perhaps we should experiment with three light seedings spread out through several months and compare that to a one time seeding. There may be something beneficial happening with long-term turf health with different establishment timing/techniques...now what was the question:dizzy:

greenstar lawn
10-03-2012, 09:34 PM
Smallaxe, about 3 weeks ago I had a few patches in my lawn that needed to be re seeded. The three patches I did I dug out the bad grass and put in compost. I then reseeded one section with Scotts kbg with Scotts starter, the other 2 patches i used a kbg blend from the local elevator with triple 12. I am watering once a day on the Scotts and one of the patches from the local elevator and the other patch is am not watering. Believe it or not I already have germination in the patch that I am not watering.
The weather in se mich has been upper 60's for the high and upper 40's at night. Very little rain as well.
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RigglePLC
10-03-2012, 09:49 PM
Check the seed package for varieties. If the seed contains perennial or annual rye it will appear sooner, of course. In fact, under ideal conditions, (85 and moist) Scotts perennial rye in my hands has been a quarter-inch tall after 96 hours.

Seed germination can probably withstand wet and dry--HOWEVER--once the grass is a quarter inch tall I suspect that a few hours of dryness will kill it.

Perhaps I can try this as an experiment. In flower pots.

greenstar lawn
10-03-2012, 09:56 PM
Riggles the elevator blend has 20 percent perrenial rye and 20 percent fescue.
The Scotts blend i can't remember what all was in it but I am sure it had rye and fescue in it as well
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Smallaxe
10-04-2012, 09:40 AM
I have been trying to research this myself. My personal property has a 3 acre lawn and i would like to overseed but watering impossible. Would be devistating to put down hundreds of dollars worth of seed and get zero results.

Not sure where you live, but for cool-season grasses, w/out irrigation,,, Dormant Seeding is the best and surest solution... as long as your not trying to kill crabgrass as soon as the grass starts to grow... :)

Kiril
10-04-2012, 10:08 AM
Once the seed gets moist germination starts, if it dries out the seed dies off its up to them to water.

This is the main idea, entrenched in the psyche of LCOs everywhere,,, that is totally false... Irrigation is an unnatural phenomena that 'nature' has done w/out since the Beginning... not trying to be difficult or confrontational, but this is an important point for people to know IF we're ever going to learn how grass seed works...

You are both wrong, Axe being more wrong than Humble.

Once the germination process is complete (radicle emergence), the seeds dessication tolerance is essentially gone. That however is not saying that dessication during germination will not lead to an nonviable seed.

If you want a highly successful over seeding event, keep seed and soil moist.

Smallaxe
10-04-2012, 10:22 AM
radicle emergence occurs w/out moisture for the root 1/2" deep in the soil... I don't imagine that moisture in the soil is important, because the surface of the ground needs to be wet at all times...
I have another idea for this thread... let's obfuscate the intention and the understanding as to WHY and HOW this process occurs, and start calling everyone WRONG and stupid because some plumber can't understand that roots also emerge at germination and are able to get water from the soil w/out the benfit of perpetual activity from the plumbing... let go in that direction... :angry:

Kiril
10-04-2012, 11:15 AM
Wow Axe, your ignorance is astounding. :clapping:

DirtRoad
10-04-2012, 11:16 AM
Not sure where you live, but for cool-season grasses, w/out irrigation,,, Dormant Seeding is the best and surest solution... as long as your not trying to kill crabgrass as soon as the grass starts to grow... :)

Im in Lowell Michigan.

What makes sense to me is the seed will sit and waite until the conditions are right, could possibly take years.

The only obsticle would be keeping animals from eating your seed.

So the right question for people in my situation is how do you keep the animals from eating your seed.

greenstar lawn
10-04-2012, 12:05 PM
The only obsticle would be keeping animals from eating your seed.

So the right question for people in my situation is how do you keep the animals from eating your seed.

What animals are u worried about that will eat ur seed?
Throw some straw over it if your worried
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DirtRoad
10-04-2012, 01:11 PM
What animals are u worried about that will eat ur seed?

Birds, chipmunks, voles, field mice, and even some insects eat any seeds they can get ahold of. Cant believe I had to explain that, figured it was common knowledge, especially for an LCO. No offense but come on man.

Throw some straw over it if your worried

I have a 3 acre lawn, spreading anything like that is impractical.

RigglePLC
10-04-2012, 02:54 PM
I live in town, but the sparrows that visit the bird feeder so not seem to be interested in the seed I threw on the ground. No visits from squirrels or chipmunks as far as I can tell. Hopefully, I have planted enough to compensate for any the the animals cart away.

True, I planted some seed at a vacant lot about a month ago, more traffic than I wanted, and my markers were somewhat damaged due to kids standing around as it turned out to be a bus stop. Still, new grass is visible.

greenstar lawn
10-04-2012, 03:46 PM
Birds, chipmunks, voles, field mice, and even some insects eat any seeds they can get ahold of. Cant believe I had to explain that, figured it was common knowledge, especially for an LCO. No offense but come on man.

Never had an issue with "animals" eating seed in lawns I do.


I have a 3 acre lawn, spreading anything like that is impractical.
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Smallaxe
10-05-2012, 09:21 AM
Riggle is correct in that birds are not really interestted in grass seed, let alone chipmucks and voles... the seed gets lost in dirt real quick and is not attractive to animals of any sort, until germination... its no different than Sandhill Cranes eating the corn fields for the sprouts...
Seed sitting in the ground for years? all of it?? nothing grows for years and the animals will destry it??? I've never seen that happen,,, and I would like to know of anyone who has overseeded/seeded without irrigation and got nothing for years... plz, report those episodes for everyones' benefit... new mythology?? or just another snide attack??? :)

Kiril
10-05-2012, 10:02 AM
Riggle is correct in that birds are not really interestted in grass seed, let alone chipmucks and voles... the seed gets lost in dirt real quick and is not attractive to animals of any sort, until germination... its no different than Sandhill Cranes eating the corn fields for the sprouts...

Both you and riggle are insane. I have watched birds pick over seeded areas almost clean, and you can bet anything else that eats seeds will take advantage of the feast you just laid down, even areas that have been top dressed with compost. In fact, I took a pic once of one of the little mf's doing just that on an over seeded area. The pic only shows 1 of about 8 that were eating the seed.

brown thumb
10-05-2012, 10:55 AM
It has been proven that seed broadcast on the soil surface has a very high rate of loss from birds, mice, etc. There are credible studies or dissertations from some univerities out there that I remember reading. Seed drilled in or broadcast right before a good snow event eliminated some loss. I would think this year would be worse due to the lack of flowering and seed set in typical habitats.

DirtRoad
10-05-2012, 12:45 PM
Riggle is correct in that birds are not really interestted in grass seed, let alone chipmucks and voles... the seed gets lost in dirt real quick and is not attractive to animals of any sort, until germination... its no different than Sandhill Cranes eating the corn fields for the sprouts...
Seed sitting in the ground for years? all of it?? nothing grows for years and the animals will destry it??? I've never seen that happen,,, and I would like to know of anyone who has overseeded/seeded without irrigation and got nothing for years... plz, report those episodes for everyones' benefit... new mythology?? or just another snide attack??? :)

What i was saying went so far over your head, im not sure i could explain it any more simple.

The reason i think it would be possible for seed to sit and waite for years for the right conditions is because once i threw a handful of seed that was sitting in one of my bins out next to my pole barn, wasnít trying to grow it, just tossed it out to get rid of it. Nothing ever grew, fall came and went, winter came and went, spring came and went, summer came and went then the beginning of the following fall i had baby grass start popping up in that spot, i was astonished. So if it can sit and waite for a year, through 4 seasons, then im willing to bet it would sit there even longer if it didnít get what it needed naturally until it does.
That particular spot just got lucky that the birds and other animals didnít stumble across it, probably because there is a ton of human activity day and night year round where I threw it out on the ground.

Both you and riggle are insane. I have watched birds pick over seeded areas almost clean, and you can bet anything else that eats seeds will take advantage of the feast you just laid down, even areas that have been top dressed with compost. In fact, I took a pic once of one of the little mf's doing just that on an over seeded area. The pic only shows 1 of about 8 that were eating the seed.

They gotta be insane or just not paying attention after they put down seed.

phasthound
10-05-2012, 01:32 PM
http://extension.umass.edu/turf/management-updates/it-too-late-plant-grass

Smallaxe
10-05-2012, 05:27 PM
I've never lost an overseeding whether birds came there or not,,, can't prove a negative... big deal... seeds can indeed do remarkable things and if have a 5 year drought, those seeds will germinate after the rains come again... no big barnstorming information, no great revelations and a real stupid excuse as to why "My grass didn't growing,,, because the birds ate them all gone"...

Maybe you could can go ruin another thread now, becuz the birds and the rodents are making growing grass impossible unless its done the plumbers' way... what a joke...

DirtRoad
10-05-2012, 05:44 PM
How many grass seed threads do you need to start anyways? Everything you have asked has been answered, people and companys have been studying this subject for many decades, its just a google search away.

greenstar lawn
10-05-2012, 05:59 PM
How many grass seed threads do you need to start anyways? Everything you have asked has been answered, people and companys have been studying this subject for many decades, its just a google search away.

If it's just a Google search away then why didn't u Google your question that u asked in this thread? I mean no offense but come on man
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Smallaxe
10-05-2012, 06:01 PM
How many grass seed threads do you need to start anyways? Everything you have asked has been answered, people and companys have been studying this subject for many decades, its just a google search away.

And have these decades of study taught us anything about irrigating 2 or 3 times a day to get seed to germinate??? have you personally witnessed seed germination on an overseeded lawn that wasn't irrigated??? do the birds and rodents make it impossible for you to overseed an unirrigated lawn???
THAT is what was being discussed, before all this foolishness about a seed germinating in dessicated soils and birds and rodents eating everything up... THAT is what makes you think that everyone else is stupid??? :laugh: give me a break... only irrigated lawns can be safe from rodents and the seed will just sit there for years... that is relevant,,, HOW???

DirtRoad
10-05-2012, 08:23 PM
If it's just a Google search away then why didn't u Google your question that u asked in this thread? I mean no offense but come on man
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I was being lazy, i admit it. But i wouldnt start a thread, multiples of them, when its a google search away. A post just for small talk sure why not.

DirtRoad
10-05-2012, 09:35 PM
And have these decades of study taught us anything about irrigating 2 or 3 times a day to get seed to germinate???

I dont know, why dont you do some research, google away dude.

If you think about it though, every seed manufacturer says to keep the seed moist until germination and then to keep watering until it is so tall. I have to assume they are telling you the truth because if you dont get good results you wont be a repeat customer. So if you need to irrigate 2-3 times a day to keep it moist then do that.

The original point i was trying to make is seed will eventually germinate even if you dont irrigate, nature will make it happen when its time but it could take a very long time, years even. However since people want everything RIGHT NOW the seed manufacturers tell you to keep it moist to speed up the process, how you do that is up to you.

have you personally witnessed seed germination on an overseeded lawn that wasn't irrigated???

Yes, already covered that with my non intentional experiment.

do the birds and rodents make it impossible for you to overseed an unirrigated lawn???

Never said it was impossible, it can severely deter the results obviously, an eaten seed is a seed that isnt going to grow now isnt it?

THAT is what was being discussed, before all this foolishness about a seed germinating in dessicated soils and birds and rodents eating everything up... THAT is what makes you think that everyone else is stupid??? :laugh: give me a break... only irrigated lawns can be safe from rodents and the seed will just sit there for years... that is relevant,,, HOW???

Dont know how to reply to this, its very............out there, total nonsense and odd bable.

Smallaxe
10-06-2012, 09:02 AM
Listen and think carefully one more time... "unirrigated lawns" ...

You have to understand what is being talked about before you can add anything to the discussion...

I have another question for all you nay-sayers... Why do I see seed sitting on top of the dirt and the birds and rodents haven't eaten it all up? and Why has the grass seed germinated and lived in great numbers when watered every 2-3 days only?? google away and get back to me what you've found...

Advice that you can't grow grass 'unless' you dethatch, aerate, slit-seed and water 2-3 times a day is for suckers and that is what you find when you google away... step outside the box and help people to do better than suckers...

Kiril
10-06-2012, 09:41 AM
I thought this was a professional forum? Guess not.

Smallaxe
10-06-2012, 09:57 AM
Only professionals with years of experience can know that the radicle will emerge from a seed in dessicated soils and not find moisture(and this is in the context of irrigation every 2-3 days, in Autumn)... :laugh: Not Only That But, un irrigated lawns cannot possibly be managed by proffessionals becuz the seed will sit too long and the birds will gobble it all up... its ture... look it up... :laugh:

Happens to me all the time... thanxfor sharing your professional wisdom, I couldn't figure out why I was having such success in adverse conditions... it was becuz I didn't google to find out how IMPOSSIBLE it is :laugh:

Kiril
10-06-2012, 10:03 AM
And the ignorant, contradictory, rambling continues .....

Smallaxe
10-06-2012, 10:16 AM
This is boring again... time to move on...

lawn2012start
10-17-2012, 07:22 PM
they say water once a week. I tried that and guess what.....the grass isnt as healthy looking. I had better results in watering when the soil is dry. I had topsoil in my yard waiting for seeding I did in september. I topsoil was there for the hot summer months and noticed exactly when it dries out. when it dries out deep. and when it gets really dry. and how long it stay moist and also how much is overwatering.

watering once a week deep....I had grass dry up.

if you have good loose soil from a liquid aerator shouldnt the roots just grow deeper.

Smallaxe
10-18-2012, 04:53 AM
They say watering once a week is what to do... you are wise to water only when the soil actually dries, IMO...

people with irrigation grow thatch as a general observation, because it is so easy to remove air from the soil and the roots generally don't go very deep in very large mass...

people w/out irrigation may have lost turf this year,,, although other unirrigated lawns bounced right back because they've been given an opportunity to mature into strong plants with deep and massive roots...

There is a lot of irrigation abuse that gets turf to become dependant on the constant watering...
For example, I had a sprinkler system go down in August and patches of grass actually died from lack of moisture while unirrigated lawns were starting to revive because of the little rain we did get...

lawn2012start
10-18-2012, 06:48 AM
unirrigated lawns? you mean one without sprinkler systems or ones that get no water from those hose?

Smallaxe
10-18-2012, 05:00 PM
Unirrigated lawns that may or may not recieve any moisture outside of the normal rainfall... around here 50 years ago nobody paid much attention to lawns, just something that had to be mowed... I remember lawns being filled with sandburs and those lawns didn't do well without additional water and even fertilizer, but mostly just lived with the sandburs...
Other lawns that had heavier soil didn't have sandburs and the grass was surviving well during the good years and would go dormant during the dry ones... but it never died, only went dormant and would get stronger and denser every year...

I set my strategies to aiding the grass when distressed, not put on 'life support'... :)

turfmd101
10-18-2012, 09:47 PM
Only one way to water...as needed and when needed. There is no such thing as an irrigation schedule.
Cloud cover, wind and temperature dictate transpiration. Since these conditions change on a daily basis. The only way to irrigate is when needed. Most all of the turf types we use are not aquatic plants. When non aquatic plants dry out. It is part of their natural process. Plants have a reserve of energy for drought situations. Once the soil becomes dry below the root system, enzymes from the foliage tell the root system to grow and look for water. When this reserve energy is used up is when drought sets in. I believe this to be healthy. Drought not drought dead. The more the shallowness of soil moisture the less the need for the turf do grow deep looking for it. The plant wants to live. It will take action to help insure when little water is available it can still survive. Foliage height will also dictate root development in terms of depth.
The root system will not develop deep with short foliage to support but the taller the turf is allowed to grow the deeper the root system will develop to help support the mass of foliage now requiring food.
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turfmd101
10-18-2012, 09:56 PM
Only one way to water...as needed and when needed. There is no such thing as an irrigation schedule.
Cloud cover, wind and temperature dictate transpiration. Since these conditions change on a daily basis. The only way to irrigate is when needed. Most all of the turf types we use are not aquatic plants. When non aquatic plants dry out. It is part of their natural process. Plants have a reserve of energy for drought situations. Once the soil becomes dry below the root system, enzymes from the foliage tell the root system to grow and look for water. When this reserve energy is used up is when drought sets in. I believe this to be healthy. Drought not drought dead. The more the shallowness of soil moisture the less the need for the turf do grow deep looking for it. The plant wants to live. It will take action to help insure when little water is available it can still survive. Foliage height will also dictate root development in terms of depth.
The root system will not develop deep with short foliage to support but the taller the turf is allowed to grow, the deeper the root system will develop to help support the mass of foliage now requiring food. The higher its mowed or let to grow when possible combined with water applied properly will directly effect root development. Once the root system has matured is when harsh environmental conditions will have little ill effect on plant health. Also, only then will applications of proper nutrients be utilized to their full potential and be most effective.
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turfmd101
10-18-2012, 09:58 PM
Dam mobile device.
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Skipster
10-19-2012, 07:23 AM
Unirrigated lawns that may or may not recieve any moisture outside of the normal rainfall... around here 50 years ago nobody paid much attention to lawns, just something that had to be mowed... I remember lawns being filled with sandburs and those lawns didn't do well without additional water and even fertilizer, but mostly just lived with the sandburs...
Other lawns that had heavier soil didn't have sandburs and the grass was surviving well during the good years and would go dormant during the dry ones... but it never died, only went dormant and would get stronger and denser every year...

I set my strategies to aiding the grass when distressed, not put on 'life support'... :)

Isn't it amazing how things change over time? 50 yrs ago, a car with an air conditioner and automatic transmission was top-of-the-line. Today, it's pretty much standard issue. Similarly, I think homeowner expectations for their lawn have changed.

That change doesn't mean that lawns are "hooked" on our management. Proper management will help lawns get through stressful periods, not make them worse.

If a managed lawn comes out of a stressful period looking worse than a non-managed lawn, it was mis-managed to begin with.

Smallaxe
10-19-2012, 09:11 AM
I know there has to be some research that would analyse how the roots are given instructions to grow and that would be an interesting concept to learn about...

One thing that is pretty sure, is that if a lawn is growing the 'living thatch' it is certainly being mis-managed... Living Thatch actually has roots growing in the wrong direction, so getting the roots to establish deep in the earth isn't even possible... that is just one example of 'life support' for lawns, that doesn't allow them to mature into independant healthy turf...