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Oddball spring and Slice overseeding existing lawns

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by DA Quality Lawn & YS, May 3, 2013.

  1. DA Quality Lawn & YS

    DA Quality Lawn & YS LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,895

    OK guys here is a tough one.

    As most know, last year was a horrendous drought. Non irrigated lawns took on permanent damage, some in spots, and some complete die out. Accordingly, I have lined up a bunch of slice overseed jobs for this spring. We are talking about non irrigated lawns with some dead patches, plus other areas that are more dense like a fairly normal stand of grass.

    Here is the kicker. Normally I would have been doing these or done with these by now. However, we just got 12" of snow which I don't expect to melt off for a few days (next week 60's so snow will go pretty fast). Probably can't seed for at least a week.

    My question is, am I fooling myself trying to seed these lawns yet this spring?
    We have greened up here, and the grass is ready to grow under the snow. Am I going to get any results by seeding after this snow goes out? Or will the existing grass growth choke out seedlings? I know I will probably get decent results in the die out patches, but not so sure about overall results.
    Should I perhaps push these customers back to a fall seeding instead?

    This weather has just gotten me in a pinch....
  2. FdLLawnMan

    FdLLawnMan LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,182

    Do you think those customers want to look at a crappy lawn all summer. Explain to them if they don't water when needed they may not have much grass growing. If they don't want to water then they should wait till fall. Be upfront with them and give them the option. When you do overseed go heavy on the seed, use starter fertilizer and use a highly rated seed.
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  3. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    If the new grass seedlings are in danger of being choked out by the existing grass, there is no reason to have seeded those areas in the first place...

    There is no BAD TIME to drop a handful of seed on bare dirt, during the growing season... When I do an IPM spray next month I'll be dropping seed to replace the dead broadleaf... Nature abhors a Vacuum... :)
  4. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 12,207

    I hate to tell you this...HOWEVER...some customers will lie to you about how they will water every single day. And sometimes they keep a straight face. Sure go ahead and seed the day the snow melts. If the grass has greened up the time is right. My results how seed on top of grass works fine. You state will warm up eventually--well it will, won't it? Just be sure to protect yourself in case of poor results due to dryness, in case of crabgrass and so forth. Be ready to apply quinclorac and 3 way for weeds. Keep the fertility and water up to optimum as much as it is in your power.

    And yes, you don't need seed if the grass is already thick.
  5. DA Quality Lawn & YS

    DA Quality Lawn & YS LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,895

    I do for certain give the disclaimer about watering, evenly, for 3 weeks or so. I do not and will not handle the watering duties for them. I give advice on how to water.
    I also advise right up front, the seed job is NOT guaranteed when done in an existing turf stand. No good basis to determine what is a good stand, and what isn't, completely subjective.

    I agree to seed dense areas of lawns is not prudent....but the lawns I will be seeding have thin spots scattered throughout, so much so that a complete slice overseed is an easier way to go.
  6. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    That makes it pretty close to a 'renovation'... you can't sow the seed too early, so waiting for it to green up is wasting valuable time...
    Our grass is greening up and growing here in the middle of this big storm... by the time it is done it is supposed to warm up...
    Had I waited until it greened up and warmed up I'd have missed all this water and the warm temperatures that are headed our way next... I expect germination, not "getting started",,, this week... :)
  7. DA Quality Lawn & YS

    DA Quality Lawn & YS LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,895

    Seeding prior to this snow would have been ok, BUT our window was SO small due to rain after rain I don't think I could have even gotten to the jobs anyway. It is going to have to wait until the snow goes - that is all I can do right now.

    For a 2 man operation, I can't do everything at once which is what Mo Nature is forcing on us this season.
  8. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    Same here... I'm just trying to encourage those who believe the ground has to warm up before even planting the seed to rethink the idea...
    This Spring has not been conducive to overseeding really at all, in my area... I'm glad I did the complete coverage last Winter so I can resume with anything that doesn't germinate after Memorial Weekend... :)
  9. DA Quality Lawn & YS

    DA Quality Lawn & YS LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,895

    It may honestly be Mem Day weekend before things dry out around these parts. Just absolutely saturated with water - a lot of standing water too.
    A lot of work is going to have to happen in less than ideal conditions this year, just the way its gonna be.
  10. americanlawn

    americanlawn LawnSite Fanatic
    from midwest
    Posts: 5,859

    I hear ya DA. We were just one day away from starting "spring seeding" jobs. Then the snow/rain hit us in central Iowa last week. Soils are saturated. Ponding of water, etc. 3 inches in our rain gage as of May 4. Already early May, and lawns still need seeding. Yikes.

    Man O man ....I just wish homeowners would have mowed (or NOT mowed) properly last summer. They could have avoided having a dead lawn. Now we're facing trying to seed full sun areas in mid May. Good luck on that, cuz I know damn well these people will never water once the seeding has been done.

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