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seeding a lawn

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by josh84, Apr 13, 2004.

  1. josh84

    josh84 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 16

    Hey guys I just picked up residentail landscaping job that includes a foundational planting ,seeding the lawn, and maybe a few additioan speciman plants in the yard.But heres my problem I've never seeded a lawn before, I've always just layed sod. I was wodering what type of soil preparation you guys did, how many pounds of seed do you apply to a 1000 square feet? how often should it be waterd (compared to sod) And how long do you guys wait until you fertilize ( depending upon the soil test)
    (oh by the way the grass seed will be centipede)

    Thanks guys,this is new for me so your input will be greatly appreciated
  2. josh84

    josh84 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 16

  3. jkelton

    jkelton LawnSite Member
    Posts: 243

    First of all, you only gave us 40 minutes to respond. Have a little patience - it will go a long way.

    I seed fescue at 10 lb per 1000 sq. feet - I generally have pretty decent success at this rate. I reccommend the homeowner water enough to keep the seed moist until it germinates, then lessen the frequency of waterings, but increase the amount. This will also vary greatly on weather conditions, time of year, soil type, etc.. Centipede I have never used, so some other guys can tell you what they do as far as preperation, seed rate, and fertilization requirements.
  4. josh84

    josh84 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 16

    thanks for the information jkelton, that will help

    When you seed the lawn in , do you ever come back and rake soil over the seeds, I"ve been told to do that just wondering if you had ever done it

  5. Four Season's

    Four Season's LawnSite Member
    from Maine
    Posts: 70


    Once we spread the loam and get it raked out, I usually roll the area. Then I rake it out again to fill in the low spots/ take down high spots. If it is still soft, I roll it a second time. Then I rake it again to prepare for the seed. Then I spread the grass seed. I then apply Scotts seed starter fertilizer with a crabgrass preventative. Then, I take a plastic lawn rake and lightly rake the seed in. I then lightly mulch the area with hay.
    As far as watering, I tell the people to water 2-3 times a day to keep the seed from drying out. After the seed germinates, I have them water less often but longer to encourage deep roots. Thats how I do it. I don't know if you guys down south do it differently (with the different climate from Maine)...
  6. D Felix

    D Felix LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,898

    Rolling is a good recommendation. However, you only need to use a light roller, not one that is completely full of water. If you roll, you shouldn't need to rake.

    We don't use straw, it makes a mess and really doesn't do much. Last year we used EnCap mulch, but didn't care for the results much. We will probably go back to PennMulch on future lawn installs, though hopefully there won't be many....:rolleyes: EnCap and PennMulch both have a starter fertilizer incorporated into it, so additional "mulch" and fertilizer is not needed.

    For erodable areas, we use Futerra blanket. It does a much better job of holding the soil than a straw blanket does. Futerra is a wood fiber blanket, for those that don't know...

    FWIW, I don't think I would use anything with any kind of pre-emergent in it as a starter fertilizer. Too much chance that it might interfere with the grass seed.

    DO NOT give a gaurantee with the lawn install, especially if it is your first one. Make it PERFECTLY clear that it is the case. Too much can go wrong with Mother Nature on lawns to give a gaurantee... Spell out what you will do, in writing, and make sure the client understands it perfectly before you start.


  7. NickN

    NickN LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Alabama
    Posts: 1,010

    Hey Josh,
    You can sew centipede at 2-3 pounds per 1000.Centipede runs like bermuda,so you don't have to sew it as much as the guys up north who use fescue.Check the soil temp.Needs to be around 60 - 65 degrees for the seed to germinate.Scar the soil surface.A rear tine tiller set at the maximum height will work fine.Mix the seed with sand in a bucket or a wheelbarrow.The seed is pretty fine and will stick to the sand.Spread the seed by using a shovel to scoop up the sand/seed mix and broadcast it over the area to be seeded.You might get by with using a spreader if you use fine play sand.If you're renovating an entire lawn and there is no grass present,spread some topsoil over the seed/sand mixture and begin watering.If there is already grass present,you can skip the topsoil and just spread the seed/sand mixture and cover with more sand in the places you've seeded.Centipede,like bermuda,loves sand and will run like crazy once the temps warm up.
  8. Four Season's

    Four Season's LawnSite Member
    from Maine
    Posts: 70

    If you roll and don't rake it out, the seed just lays on top and doesn't really contact the soil.

    I've had good results with the Scotts starter Fertilizer with the pre-emergent weed control. It has no harmful effect on the seed because its designed as a starter fertilizer. Plus it blocks nasty weed seeds from sprouting.
  9. josh84

    josh84 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 16

    Thanks NickN thats what was looking for, Ive been told by the company i am buying the seed from, that half a pound to a thousand square feet would be fine, and that you could use a drop spreader if i use morter sand. do you think this would work
  10. Four Season's

    Four Season's LawnSite Member
    from Maine
    Posts: 70

    can any of you guys post pics of this centipede & bermuda grass?
    How far north does this stuff grow?

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