Reseeding a yard

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by CanesFan, Apr 27, 2011.

  1. CanesFan

    CanesFan LawnSite Member
    Posts: 17

    I originally had this in a different forum, this one seems more appropriate.

    I recently had a request to put together a quote to reseed a lawn. The lawn is in pretty bad shape, the homeowner cuts it himself and he waits until it's extremely long before he cuts it. Lots of built up old grass.

    I figure I should dethatch and aerate the grass. Rent that equipment.
    Spread the seed and starter fertilizer.
    Tell the homeowner to keep it watered.

    Anything else? I'm located in the NC mountains 3500-4500 feet and our growing season has just begun. Thanks a lot!
     
  2. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 12,079

    Can you convince the guy to mow more regular? Is it thin--ask your self why--correct the problem--or it will happen again. Shade? No watering? Acid soil?
    Aeration, with holes ever 6 inches, is just not intended to prepare soil for new seed. Can you cut short and rent a slit seed machine and get the seed in full contact with the soil? (Thereby avoiding the labor of dethatching?) Use a mixture high in a quality perennial ryegrass--it has a quicker, more vigorous seedling. (Needs to be disease resistant.) If temp goes above 90, more than a couple times per year, maybe you are in tall fescue country. (Select one resistant to brown patch fungus).
     
  3. mattb84

    mattb84 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 44

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  4. mattb84

    mattb84 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 44

    Charge the customer for a soil test. Apply what the soil test recommends. Wait till Aug 15 before seeding the lawn. You should, without any doubt, rent a slit type seeder as Riggle recommends.
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  5. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,080

    If mowing is not a big concern I wouldn't do more that just seed it down, now and tell him it should be done again in the fall. If he shows any interest in caring for the turf by then, then perhaps it would be worth investing a little time and effort...

    A bill for everything you've suggested will ensure he'll never call any of you guys again... :)
     
  6. mattb84

    mattb84 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 44

    Respectfully, he cannot effectively overseed a lawn in the condition he describes with no prep. There will be little to no seed/ soil contact. Amend the soil per test results and educate the homeowner in reguards to proper mowing practices. Take time to check out the condition of the blades on his mower as well as the height he is cutting.
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  7. CanesFan

    CanesFan LawnSite Member
    Posts: 17

    Thanks for the replies. I would never go to someone's yard and just throw down seed. I want to do a good job and if the homeowner messes it up, maybe I'll get called back to do it again. More money. :)
    I have told him that he has to cut his lawn on a more regular basis. Not sure that I convinced him though. He might be interested now in stripping the grass and hydroseeding. I think that would be best with the state his yard is in right now.
    Matt, I hydroseeded the yard at my house in Boone in May and it turned out good. Would you still recommend waiting until the fall?
     
  8. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,080

    There should be no real thatch problem from a lawn like that... A lot of dead brown hay, lieing atop some pretty rough stubble and a soil that is akin to that underlieing forest debris...

    The seed may very easily work it way into the lower regions of this environment and germinate in moist mulch quite easily...

    I've had hay piles of Brome Grass really take off in piles larger than what a mower could do... You guys might be to educated to understand the benefits of a redneck lawn... :)
     
  9. mattb84

    mattb84 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 44

    You could try. If there is southern exposure I would not advise it. My plan would be to mow properly first for a while letting the extra clippings work into the soil. If the grass the owner has now is of good quality make a dry run with the slit seeder NS and EW then a run with good quality seed. If the exhisting grass is not of good quality apply a non selective 1 week before seeding. Top dress with 1/8th in. compost if possible. More effective than hydroseeding unless it is steep. Could you give us some more specifics? Size of the lawn, grade, sun or shade, what is wrong with the lawn now, why you are aerating, etc.
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  10. mattb84

    mattb84 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 44

    And axe owning your own business means you can do things however you choose. If it works for you go for it.
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