need help fast

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by turbo5560, May 3, 2008.

  1. turbo5560

    turbo5560 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 304

    so have this customer for the first time this year and i think is going to be a p.i.t.a. but i guess i was warned.

    Anyways... he has this resort and in the shady areas of the resort there is very little grass and he wants it to be all grass. So I raked the lawn up and then overseeded and put down starter fertilizer but the seed is not taking to the ground. The soil test came back great, but i think the problem is that the seed isn't getting into the ground enough. Could someone give me some step by step instructions on what to do? The customer wants to see results soon!
    I know you will ask for pictures and i don't have any right now, but just picture a shady area with very thin grass and hard topsoil. I was told to aerate and then overseed. Is that going to be enough? It's a big account and i don't want to lose it! We mow grass, not landscape. :)
     
  2. AGLA

    AGLA LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,749

    Is it warm enough in the shade in Michigan for seed to germinate this time of year?
     
  3. turbo5560

    turbo5560 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 304

    yes, like 70 during the day and 40-50's at night on average
     
  4. Isobel

    Isobel LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 548

    two things:
    1. you say its 70 during the day, what's it like in the shady areas, is it warm enough there for the seed to germinate?

    and
    2. you raked. did you do some dethatching with a machine, or just by hand. Dethatching with a machine is much more effective. Did you slice seed, or just spread over the existing lawn?
     
  5. turbo5560

    turbo5560 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 304

    i did not slice seed, i just spread over existing lawn/dirt
    there isn't a ton of shade yet, but there will be in a couple weeks. lately it's been more in the high 50's low 60's for daily highs
     
  6. JNyz

    JNyz LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,086

    soil temp is the problem. also turn over the soil and cover it with a mulch. we mow grass not landscape???
     
  7. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,776

    The problems I'm having with shady areas is that the root system of the trees is sucking the moisture out of the top 6 inches of the soil. Contrary to what people believe, the root system goes way farther than the drip line. I water, and within 6-8 hours it's bone dry. Even if I use a fine mulch that holds water, it seems like within 2 months the grass becomes sparse.

    If you can, you might want to try and talk the guy into doing some landsaping in these areas. Or, an irigation system. Bonus, more work for you. If you are just a mow-crew, sub-contract.
     
  8. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,082

    Last year my spring overseeding did not take till Memorial weekend. In the shaded areas , I mean. Mulching the grass clippings back into the turf will help protect the seed until circumstances are favorable, but if you have doubts - put out more seed and broadcast some compost over it as well.
    You guys been having good precip this spring?
     
  9. turbo5560

    turbo5560 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 304

    ya we have had some good rain this year.
    they also have irrigation.
    i think landscaping is a must, even if i do get grass to grow it won't last. he has had that problem for years!
    i have had grass grow already in areas that i have fixed for snowplow damage and thats why i don't get why this won't grow.
     

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