Lawn Repair Gone bad? need help!

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by mklawnman, Jul 30, 2003.

  1. mklawnman

    mklawnman LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 634

    A few weeks ago I had to repair some bare spots on a lawn. The people had told me that last year they had someone fix it, but when the did the dump unscreened, dirty topsoil. Well a year later and still bare spots. So I went ahead and put down new screened topsoil and raked it into the bare areas. Then seeded it, put starter fertilizer down and covered with Speedy Mulch.
    Now some of the grass seed has germinated in the small areas and in some of the shaded areas, and the seed I put down is NOT shade seed. Well weeks went by and they called me and told me that the big areas still havent come in, so I went over there and looked at it, some of the seed had germinated but not all. They had claimed they watered it everyday. I added more seed and raked it in and still nothing.
    So could the lawn around the bare areas be choking the seed out? Could the seed be germinating then getting burned out during the day by the heat? Or could the seed be germinating then growing into the old topsoil and dying out?
    She has told me that shes thinking that it should be all dug out and put new topsoil in or use some topsoil that is seed ready made by "Scotts".
    I think its because of that topsoil that was dumped there a year ago that had garbage in it and has changed the acidity level or pH.
    Any thoughts or suggestions.
  2. NCSULandscaper

    NCSULandscaper Banned
    Posts: 1,557

    A big part of it is planting grass in the middle of summer. It just doesnt work too well even if its watered in good in my experience. However another reason could be a bad bag of seed. Was it just purchased or have you had it laying around for a while?
  3. mklawnman

    mklawnman LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 634

    THe first time I did the repair the grass seed was probably a week old. But the thing is some areas did come up with that seed. Then on the second trip there I used a brand new bag and still nothing.
    I realize that is has been hot and dry around here but I put in a lawn at the end of June when it was 90 degrees and the lawn is coming in perfectly even the sod is.
  4. GLAN

    GLAN Banned
    Posts: 1,647

    What is the condition of rest of lawn?


    Now just cause the rest of the turf is doing well and may get away with water twice a week. The seed sure isn't

    And yes you may have a contaminated soil problem. Do a test. Dig out one are, not to big, don't kill yourself. But dig down at least 6 inches and put nice soil in and seed. See what happens.
  5. Grassmechanic

    Grassmechanic LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,697

    ....or you could have a case of "damping off". Or a pre-em was put down in the spring.
  6. imograss

    imograss LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 796

    some customers over water newly seeded lawns, causing runnoff and it beats the seed away from the areas you have prepared.
  7. HarryD

    HarryD LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,069

    why didnt you just sod the spots would have been alot faster. I just did a job 4 weeks ago where I fix a bunch of holes from a digging dog you can hardly tell now that I fixed them
  8. mklawnman

    mklawnman LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 634

    Well the rest of the lawn is very thick and when I came back the second time he had told me he put down and weed and feed which was early July which when he told me scared me because I know your not suppose to put any weed and feed down over newly seeded lawn, though this was after the grass wasnt coming in at first so it wasnt all because of that weed and feed but it isnt helping.
    At first sodding didnt come to mind because it would only be like maybe 8 roles at most to put down. But it might be the next option now and I guess I have to charge her for it because I did everything correctly when putting down the soil seed and cover so its not like I did anything wrong, I may have not have known what they did when I was not there or the soil conditions.
  9. NC Big Daddy

    NC Big Daddy LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 267

    1. Soil Test.....(should have been done first)
    2. Don't plant grass mid-summer.

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