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Old 06-09-2014, 10:59 PM
chipper308 chipper308 is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 1
slit seeding, dethatching dried up over strawed lawns

Hello guys... We take care of some builders homes in sub divisions with poor soil conditions and mostly not irrigated in lower Michigan, most top soil is scraped a way and we are left with a rocky clay mixture that turns into concrete. Last winter has left our fall lawns in ruins being covered 30-60% with grass, the rest with build up of straw or just bare spots.

The builder makes us warranty our work in order to keep the contract, with that said, upper management has bus running a dethatcher across the yard 3-4 times to "loosen it up" and then hitting it with a slit seeder, mind you this is HARD soil. You can actually watch the deck of the slit seeder self adjust due to the blade just walking on top of the soil.

Now when we use the dethatcher it leaves about a 1/4 of dust across the ground after we wrake up the old my opinion is these lawns need to be re tilled and done again, But I'm being challenged on this. Opinions???

Originally The lawns are tilled. Broadcast seeded. Starter fert and straw applied. Wam bam done.
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Old 06-11-2014, 06:14 AM
Smallaxe Smallaxe is offline
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Join Date: May 2007
Location: Central Wisconsin
Posts: 9,820
You certainly don't want to till up and replant this time of year... Whatever hasn't grown so far is not going to benefit from a dethatcher and slit seeding either...
W/out irrigation it is a waste of time and not something that can be warranteed...
Now that I know that clay's texture(platelets) has nothing to do with water infiltration, percolation, or drainage
,,, I wonder what does...
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Old 06-11-2014, 11:28 AM
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RigglePLC RigglePLC is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Grand Rapids MI
Posts: 9,249
Water is the critical factor--we have had a dry spell in the last 3 weeks. Tough on new grass. Since you have no choice I think the slit seeder is you best option, dethatcher, too, just to be sure.
Use a fast-starting perennial rye, like Blazer 4.
Be sure to use at least double the usual amount of seed to allow for the high percentage that won't make it. Add plenty of starter fert. Be ready with the post emergent weed and crab control. You only have about a 30 percent chance of good seeding conditions rain wise. Is warm enough, you should at least get partial success.

If possible get a couple battery-operated portable sprinkler timers.($39.95). You should be able to run two sprinkler heads at once and get two 80 foot circles of of them. Take them with you to the next job if the builder doesn't want to pay for them.
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