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New Lawn Seeding ! HELP !

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by Pharoah38, May 9, 2006.

  1. Pharoah38

    Pharoah38 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 4

    Good afternoon All

    I'm new to this site and I am looking for some sound advise pertaining to
    seeding and/or re-seeding my Lawn. Here is my situation

    I had a lawn full of thatch broad leaf weeds, moss, bald spots etc. Due to lack of water. It really looked terrible so I decided that I would start again from scratch.

    First, I had an in-ground sprinkler system installed to take care of the watering problem. Then...

    1 - I used a herbicide (Sprectraside grass & weed killer) to kill all of the grass, weeds & plant life on the lawn (Says you can replant in 7 days)
    2 - I then used a thatch rake to remove the dead matter and used a regular rake to remove the rest of the debris (such as rocks, pebbles etc)
    3 - I read that I should use Lawn Soil (such as Scott's Lawn Soil) which contains starter fertilizer and mix into the existing soil. Would you suggest using this? or is it a waste of time, energy and money? Also should I use lime and an additional starter fertilizer (such as Scott's starter fertilizer)? or will that be over kill

    I plan to re-seed with Kentucky blue grass and tall fecue. I had read that these were the best grass varieties to use for a dark green plush lawn. Is there a better variety? Also I read that for re-seeding I should use a Slit Seeder. Is this the best approach or would a regular drop seeder do the trick?

    I appreciate any suggestions, information etc

  2. chevytrucks84

    chevytrucks84 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 147

    Here are a few things to consider i found this the best way to establish a new lawn.
    1. make sure you have AT LEAST a few inches of loose topsoil so the grass can take root
    2. mix in garden compost (i buy it in bulk from the local landscape recycling center $20per cubic yard) i think this is the biggest key to getting a quick start and full lawn
    3. you can use starter fertilizer if you want but i find that the compost has enough nutrients in it that it is not needed
    4. i would not use kentucky blue with tall fescue, many of hte premixed bags of seed come with this but they are completely different types of grasses (kentucky is spreading and fescue is bunch type) it depends more on how much shade you have. i would suggest either all kentucky blue w/ a mixture of 3 or 4 cultivars and you could mix in some perennial ryegrass for a quicker start(germianes faster) put down the seed and cover with about 1/2" of compost
    5. roll a VERY light roller over the surface to insure seed to soil contact
    6. cover this with some sort of straw replacement most places have some sort of paper mulch you can use make sure to get even coverage but not too much
    7. keep the seed bed moist at all times until germination. it doens't take much water just enough to keep the soil moist not wet. you may have to do this 3-4 times a day depending on the temperatures

    hope this helps any other questions let me know
  3. Pharoah38

    Pharoah38 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 4

    Thanks for your reply and the information chevytrucks84

    It's much appreciated.

    Based on the information you provided. I will use Scotts Pure Premium Kentucky Blue Grass (99& weed free).

    A few additional questions

    1 - Would you recommend using a Power Slit Seeder? or would this be a waste of money. Would a manual Scotts drop seeder giove me similiar results pertaining to seed to soil connection.

    2 - Can the roller you mentioned be rented at such places as Home Depot and/or Lowes?

    3 - Should I also put down lime? Are there any real benefits to using lime when establishing a new lawn from seed

    4 - Would you recommend using a starter fertilizer with weed control? or just a standard starter fertilizer such as Scotts starter fertilizer?

    Again, Thanks so much

  4. chevytrucks84

    chevytrucks84 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 147

    sorry for the delayed respsonse have been pretty busy

    I wouldn't rent a slit seeder, if you spread it with a drop or broadcast spreader and then put about a half inch more of compost on top you should be fine

    i dont know if you can rent one and you can get by without rolling it, it may be a little spotty for a while but alot of hte times i wont roll it and the results are usually fine

    It depends on your soil but wouldn't think that you would need to put down lime. You starter fertilizer is high in phosphoruous and that is what promotes root growth so you should be fine

    A starter fertilizer w/ weed control would probably be a good idea since there is alot of competition from weeds in the spring, if you wait till fall it wouldn't be neccessary

    Hope this helps, any other questions let me know i should be around my computer more for the rest of this evening so i will be able to get a quicker response

  5. JClawncare

    JClawncare LawnSite Member
    Posts: 72

    - Make sure you have good seed bed.(good topsoil 2-3" and lime 800lbs. per acre depending on the soil condition but it's a good amount.
    - Hold off on the fertilizer till fall.
    - Stay away from Kentucky Bluegrass because in some of the mixtures they mix in a annual blue grass that can be consider a weed or problem grass. Try looking at Kentucky 31 fescue.
    - Keep it watered.
    - Put a moderate amount of straw on it. But not to much because it will mat down a keep the grass from germinating.And monitor to prevent it.
    - Mow it after a majority of it has reached about 6"-8" ,one to help bust the straw if you decide not to rake it up,and also to make sure it is well rooted.
  6. lucky4511

    lucky4511 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 66

    you should get your seed from a good local feed and seed store. you can get several types of kbg which does well in the midwest mixed with a good quality turf type rye for quick germination. don't buy seed from your local home depot or lowes - that is where you get the crummy varieties of grass that you don't want
  7. LarryF

    LarryF LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,171

    Do others agree with this? I had thought that the "Rebel" seed sold at HD was top quality, but only because this is the first time I ever heard a disparaging remark about it.
  8. lucky4511

    lucky4511 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 66

    it could be a good product, however, i do not recognize that name so can not comment, but i would just be very careful.
  9. blaze347

    blaze347 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 101

    I used Pennington seed on my yard,"plantation"(Penn 1901 is its new name) turf type fescue was the variety. I bought directly, but you can also buy at Lowes. The key to getting good grass seed is to look at the amount of weed seeds in the batch and the DATE of the grass seed. Don't buy anything thats over 6 months old, try to get as current as possible. The older the seed the less germination you will get. I agree with chevytrucks on not mixing fescue with blue. The fescue has a potential to look like "clumpping weeds" in your bluegrass.

    If you can wait , do all of this in September. Search my other posts about starting a yard and I list the reasons why.

    I would not use starter fertilizer with weed control. Two reasons:
    1) Some of these weed controls actually keep seed from germinating(i.e. crabgrass preventer) If it keeps weed seed from germinating, it will keep your grass seed from germinating as well.

    2) Granular weed killer works by "attaching" itself to the weed leaf. If you have no weeds(you already did a total kill) then it is an absolute waste of money,it will fall straight to the ground.

    ok a third reason:)

    3) I have always been a little reluctant to use any type of weed killer or chemicals(besides starter fertilizer) on new seedlings. These guys are fragile and you never know what could mess up their growth cycle. I have never researched this, so it may have no merit, just me playing it safe.

    I agree with Chevytrucks on everything he posted, except I never use straw. Unless you get weed free straw, you run the risk of introducing A LOT of weed seeds into your yard.

    Here is a great website that has done research on all the different varities of fescue and have rated them by color, disease, etc...


    I hope this helps
  10. jt5019

    jt5019 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,432

    I have used that brand and had no issues with it. As long as you have good soil and keep it watered it will grow.

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