Rookie Mistake & seeding Q

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by vencops, Oct 5, 2011.

  1. vencops

    vencops LawnSite Bronze Member
    from NC
    Posts: 1,537

    I had a customer ask me to aerate/lime/fert. & over-seed. The back of his lawn was in pretty good shape. The front lawn was almost 100% crabgrass and lespedeza. I sprayed out the crabgrass and lespedeza 2wks. before my work, above.

    Rookie mistake = I seeded the front at the rate of a typical over-seed (4-5#/MSF). I now think I should have seeded this portion of the lawn @ a much higher rate. Agree? The back lawn looks great. The front......not so much.

    Now my Q.....how much (if it's possible) is too much seed (for an over-seed)? I'm planning on going back over there tomorrow or Friday and scarifying (he did get some wash-out, during a storm) the trouble areas.....and putting down more seed.

    I did set expectations at what I thought was a "reasonable" level. I told him his lawn didn't get in the shape it was in overnight. It wasn't going to get in the shape he wants it in in one app.. But, I think it should be "better".

    He does have irrigation. He's kept it moist 2X/day, since I seeded.

    Thanks, in advance, for you input.
     
  2. rob640

    rob640 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 167

    Are the weeds dead? crabgrass can be difficult to get rid of... if the front is all weeds why not total kill and redo? vs. spray and overseed
     
  3. vencops

    vencops LawnSite Bronze Member
    from NC
    Posts: 1,537

    Define "total kill and redo".

    My efficacy (spray) was good.
     
  4. agrostis

    agrostis LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,263

    I think that 4-5 Lbs. per K is too much for overseeding. Plant density is important. For fescue - for bare soil - 6 Lbs per 1000. For overseeding - 3 Lbs. per 1000. This may not look like much when you are seeding but it is right on the money. The seed companies will tell you to seed at a higher rate to sell more seed. That's just self-serving hype. You don't want too many seedlings. They will compete for water and nutrients if over-crowded. And the plant won't mature completely. Don't worry too much about the back. If it looks too crowded, use a aerifier in the spring to thin it out. I think that using a high quality seed is just as important as the rate used. It wouldn't be hard to make a big difference with this yard. You told this guy to keep his expectations low and if you can exceed those then you will look like a hero. With irrigation you can have a nice stand of grass.
     
  5. vencops

    vencops LawnSite Bronze Member
    from NC
    Posts: 1,537

    agrostis:

    The front's just looking like it's not nearly as "full" (and downright sparse in areas) as the back.

    It's been 3wks. Do I just tell him to ride this out?
     
  6. agrostis

    agrostis LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,263

    You need to put down 1-2 per K more pounds in the front. Whatever you need to do to get it up to 6 Lbs. per K. What did you do to prep the seedbed ?
     
  7. rob640

    rob640 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 167

    Also what did u do after seeding? top dressing on over seeding is very important in my past experiences.. we used to throw seed and roll... germination wasn't the greatest.. now we rake in seed on full reno's and top dress on over seeding we've done away with rolling and results have been night and day
     
  8. rob640

    rob640 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 167

    Total renovation for us is killing all turf areas, removing dead grass/weeds cultivating then seeding.. vs. patching troubled spots..
     
  9. vencops

    vencops LawnSite Bronze Member
    from NC
    Posts: 1,537

    What do you charge for that.....for say....30KSF?
     
  10. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,921

    You have to do what the customer wants. But I am thinking you are doing this for free--that hurts--so you are losing money on this--expensive lesson. We have all been there. Since the lawn was full of crabgrass and the lespedeza, customer and you cannot expect miracles. If he wants to pay for more labor and seed, fine. You applied at the proper rate, for overseed. If there are grass plants in every sqft and they are not more than 2 inches apart--my opinion--it will be fine after a few good feedings and a few months of growth.
     

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