lawn seeding this time of the year

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by Marek13, Jun 13, 2008.

  1. Marek13

    Marek13 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 45

    Hi Guys,
    just finished lawn seeding (1200 sf) for a new acct ( friends of good client) lady had a retaining wall installed on the side of her property and asked the crew to level her property and top dress it with top soil. Now the crew ran dozer and bobcat and level it but packed the crap out of (clay soil). I aerated it and power raked it than laid seed + starter fert and penn mulch. Now they have just installed sprinklers and they set for every other day for 30 min+-. From beginning I advised the that this is not the right time but since they have bare ground we need to do something –No I tell them to water it every day and re-set the sprinklers for 4 am for 30 or 45 min. Now the hubby says the every other day is enough water in his mind. I told him its like in 90’s here during day and if he wants to have decent lawn we need to soak it. What should I do and really how much water does it need for germation
  2. RAlmaroad

    RAlmaroad LawnSite Silver Member
    from SC
    Posts: 2,197

    Remember the seed is practically on the surface of the soil. A good layer of straw will shade and keep the seed from drying out.(If those hair roots dry out they will not pick up any nutrients or if the soil is dry; it cannot offer any nutrients). Every day is bestwhile the grass is in the hairline stage. When the grass begins to grow cut the time down to a deeper watering schedule. Deeper will develop a stronger root system. I'd suggest a two hour every three days when the grass begins to blade off from the stem.
  3. Whitey4

    Whitey4 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,448

    It doesn't need to be soaked.... just kept wet for 3 weeks (2 weeks for rye, 3 for blues and fescue). Soaking it will cause erosion and channeling of the seed. Ideally, it should be 10 minutes early am, 10 minutes at 1pm, and 10 minutes at 6pm. Soaking, or deep irrigation is great for established turf, but not on a new seedling. Get the seed moist, and keep it moist until it germinates. Don't let it get dry once it's wet.

    Two 15 minute waterings will generally give good results... early am, and early pm, like 5pm. Every other day is a bad strategy for new seedings. You will get some germination, but not nearly as much (%-wise) if you do frequent short watering.
  4. PSUturf

    PSUturf LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 663

    Whitey4's tips are right on. Every turf text or extension publication will say to keep the seedbed consistently moist. The seedbed is the upper 1" of soil until the seed has germinated. A 45 minute watering will wet soil far deeper down than is needed.
  5. dcgreenspro

    dcgreenspro LawnSite Senior Member
    from PA
    Posts: 688

    right on point:rolleyes:
    I might even go a step above and have it go off every two or three hours. But then again, you do have the penn mulch.
  6. Marek13

    Marek13 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 45

    Thanks for all your input. I had a nice chat with the couple and told them up front that the job was done right but if the soil dries up so will the seed and will get poor results. I was pushing for 2 times a day but the hubby still believed that daily 15 min watering is sufficient and that’s what a guy in Home Depot told him. I told them to do it how ever they fell since this is their lawn after all but make sure the soil is damp and I guess will see
    Thanks again
  7. Whitey4

    Whitey4 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,448

    Tell them that the Home Depot people (90% of them) are complete hacks. They know NOTHING about seed and seeding techniques. Tell them to go to that same Home Depot when a Scotts advisor is around, better yet, tell them to go read the freakin label on the Scotts seed starter soil package. Then have that clueless Home Depot idiot read it too. :cool2:
  8. dfor

    dfor LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 821

    Some customers and their thoughts on irrigation are mindblowing. 30-45 min. every other day :rolleyes::rolleyes:. Tell him to get his arse out there and water 6 times per day for 5 minutes each.
  9. AI Inc

    AI Inc LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 25,393

    Irrigation contractor here . On new seeded lawns we set clocks for 3 times a day for 12 min a zone ( 9 min in shady areas) After the first cut we reset them for 20 min a zone 2 times a day. 30 min a zone every other day if the town has an odd / even ban.
  10. naughty62

    naughty62 LawnSite Senior Member
    from iowa
    Posts: 368

    many new home owner want grass right now on their new homes .They wont pay for sod and you can not count on all of them to water the seed bed .so we seed the lawn with a 60 blue 30 pr .10creeping red at 2to three the rate .a pro seed sales guy can be real handy to have .The biggest thing is to get everything in writing or suffer the head aches that come with a pissed off home owner .If you end up buying sod ,putting down straw or matting .it is not gonna come out of your pocket .If watering is thier responsibility ,they might pay attention and keep the upper two inches moist at all times if you do not specify ,they could care less.They can with hold final payment or sue ya .If they are close by. a guy could quaranteee it,but if it a long ways away no quarantee.The time and price of fuel and monitoring the lawn will kill ya .Exerienced seed salesman are a good to know .

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