Seed germination

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by Gabby, Apr 16, 2013.

  1. Gabby

    Gabby LawnSite Member
    Posts: 140

    Riggle I am at my wits end with this seeding. It looks like absolute Shite. It has been 28 days since I seeded it. It has been up for 18 days, almost 3 weeks. I should be about ready to mow it after 3 week of growth. Even the stuff that is up is only an inch high. I understand I planted it when it was still too cool but it is not looking good at all. Wait and see I guess.
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  2. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 18,298

    Gabby,

    I'm not sure what your soil and air temps are right now, but I have seen fescue take more than a month to germinate in the late fall/early winter with day time air temps in the 50's.
     
  3. Gabby

    Gabby LawnSite Member
    Posts: 140

    Day time temperatures the last 3 days have been mid 70's and night time mid 50's. before that it was 60's during the day and 40's at night, even some upper 30's at night. When I first started this on 4/6/13 it was abnormally cold for the time of year so I got bit by it being too cold. I hope you are right and the fescue is just being stubborn. Maybe the KBG too. We'll see I guess. I hate doing shite twice that's all.
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  4. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    Once it germinates, it will spend time developing a root rather than a green top... how warm is the soil 6" deep? or 4" or even 2"??

    Once the soil is warm and the roots have done as much as they might expect for their initial appearance, then a good soaking rain event will cause the tops to grow... normal as normal can be... I've seen it happen for many many years now...

    The worst thing to be done is to hit it with N and cause root growth at the surface... these are LIVING things not painted objects needing a second coat... :)
     
  5. Gabby

    Gabby LawnSite Member
    Posts: 140

    I put down Scott's starter fertilizer when I put the seed down so it did get a dose of N. Not sure on soil temp at those depths as I do not have a thermometer to stick in the ground. It has been so effing dry here. No rain for a week. I have been watering daily but it is getting discouraging.
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  6. maynardGkeynes

    maynardGkeynes LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 409

    Last couple of days, been so cold here at night, turf is looking almost like it does in winter, slightly yellowish color, growing slow. Minimal germination of spring seeded area. Not sure where you are in NY, but everything is slow here in DC/MD, patience is all. You don't want to add N unless your soil tests come back deficient, but some starter fert put down a month ago would not worry me at this juncture that's the least of our problems. Also, I would do minimal watering until the seed starts to germinate. It's plenty moist from the dew etc at this point. A week without rain at this time of year is nothin'. One thing though, hard to tell from photos, but that soil, did you break up the surface a little bit before you seeded? It looks like it got some thatch blocking soil/seed contact
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2013
  7. Snyder's Lawn Inc

    Snyder's Lawn Inc LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,541

    First mistake you made. Didn't have a Seed cover
    I see so many try seed patches in lawns like you did and get the same results
    Go re seed the areas and shake out some wheat straw apply it thin where just covers the ground make sure there no clumps.

    I know some say on here will say no need put straw down just compost and water. But who can go by each day to water the spots with straw it will hold the moisture and will hold heat in longer. So the seed can germinate faster.
     
  8. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    The reason I asked about the temps at various depths is becuz the cold STILL in the soil continues to affect the surface,,, this time of year... just a couple of weeks ago the soil that was thawing,,, in the sun,,, then would freeze hard as soon as the sun stopped beating on that spot...
    A plumber once told me that their biggest time of the year for helping people with frozen pipes wasn't 30 below in January but during the Spring Thaw...
    I wouldn't water daily, this time of year, in fact my seed isn't being watered at all until the NEXTrain storm... Patience,,, patience and patience... :)
     
  9. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 18,298

    Couldn't disagree more. Do you have some references to support your assertion that straw will hold more water and heat the soil more than compost? Last time I checked compost not only holds more water, but will reduce the need to irrigate (reduce evaporation) and will heat the soil faster (lower albedo).
     
  10. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 18,298

    The temps at various depths doesn't matter at all. The only thing that matters is the average soil temp at sowing depth.
     

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