Seeding/fert.

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by peeweezr, Sep 5, 2001.

  1. peeweezr

    peeweezr LawnSite Member
    Posts: 11

    So I will aerate and overseed my elderly parent's yard this year (oh, joy). They have been ripped off a couple of times, so I will do it and get paid one of mom's apple pies. Anyhow, I have read extensively about the aerating process and was wondering if I could get a pointer or two about what I plan to do. Here goes:

    approx. 5k yard (fescue blend/some weeds)

    1. core aerate
    2. use Rebel fescue for shade or another suggested seed of
    course following proper seed rates/1k sq. feet of lawn.
    3. fert. with a ?starter fertilizer? yes?
    4. there are some thin areas, do I apply same amount of seed
    to these areas?
    5. on these thin areas do I do anything additonal besides the
    aerating to get the soil ready?
    6. I would like to start the yard on a Scott's year round program
    do I wait until November or so to apply the winterize
    application?

    Thanks for any insights and pointers you can give to me!

    peeweezr
     
  2. I commend you for wanting to take care of your parents lawn for them. A couple questions for you though,

    1) Have you measured the lawn to determine that it is 5K sq. ft.?
    2) Have any herbicides been used on the lawn within the past 60-90 days, such as Weed-B-Gon (2,4D), Crabgrass preventer of any type?
    3) Have you done a soil test?

    That said, now to your questions.

    1. core aerate Aerating is a good practice to open the ground up and allows for a route for the seed to enter the soil through the cores.

    2. use Rebel fescue for shade or another suggested seed of
    course following proper seed rates/1k sq. feet of lawn.
    Rebel would be a good choice. If you had been doing an area larger I would have suggested looking up your local Lesco store and buy their Transition blend instead. Seeding rate should be in the 5-6 lb per 1K sq. ft.

    3. fert. with a ?starter fertilizer? yes? I use a starter fertilizer whenever I seed/sod/over-seed. The lower N (Nitrogen) level provides enough for growth of the seedlings but not too much to cause the older turf to compete to strongly with the new seedlings. The higher P (Phosophorous) is necessary for the establishment of a strong root system in the newly seeded turf. The higher K (Potassium) is helpful in establishing the root system as well.

    4. there are some thin areas, do I apply same amount of seed
    to these areas?
    You can go back over the thin areas afterwards to spread a little more seed, adjust your spreader to put out half rate (say 3 lbs. instead of 6 lbs.).

    5. on these thin areas do I do anything additonal besides the
    aerating to get the soil ready?
    It shouldn't be necessary but you can rake these areas to expose more soil and insure more contact between the soil and seed.

    6. I would like to start the yard on a Scott's year round program
    do I wait until November or so to apply the winterize
    application?
    Scott's is a good program for a home owner but is extremely costly. You can get excellent fertilizer products from Lesco at half the cost of the same Scotts product. Depending on what part of Georgia you are in would definitely wait about applying a winterizer on the lawn. Winterizer fertlizers are usually always higher in Nitrogen which can create a lot of top growth on the new grass.

    I hope I have helped answer your questions.
     
  3. MATTHEW

    MATTHEW LawnSite Senior Member
    from NE OHIO
    Posts: 665

    Check out the thatch layer.You need good seed/soil contact to get results. If there is over 1/2" of it, you may have a problem. Seed may germinate, but later die because the roots are growing in the thatch and won't tolerate the next dry spell.If $$$ is an object, aerate & seed, but tell them that results will be spotty. If there is a significant layer, you really should just strip it out with a sod cutter and add new soil and seed.
    I have seen aerations/overseedings where grass will grow in the holes that were aerated, but since the plants crowns are below surface level they get squashed when the holes collapse.
     
  4. peeweezr

    peeweezr LawnSite Member
    Posts: 11

    Wow! Now that's what I call a reply. Thanks for the extensive follow up. As far as the area of the yard. I walked it off and came up with approx. 4500 sq ft. The yard has not had any herbicide on it for at least 3-4 years. I understand this is a work in progress. I will check around here (Atlanta) to find some Lesco transition blend. Any more pointers are greatly appreciated.

    Peeweezr
     
  5. Cleve

    Cleve LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from Rockmart, GA
    Posts: 398

    Sorry that I didn't see your post earlier.
    You will be able to get the Lesco Transition Blend at some of the Home Depots around here. I know it is available at the one on Lawrenceville Hwy near North Dekalb.
    I'm using it for the first time on our customers' lawns this year. Have already started aerating and overseeding with it. I was impressed with the Lesco facility near St. Mountain. Plan to use their program for the next year.
    Cleve.
     
  6. peeweezr

    peeweezr LawnSite Member
    Posts: 11

    Thanks for the help Cleve. BTW, is there a large difference in using a drop spreader vs. a rotary one? I have a Scott's Speedy 3000 rotary spreader and was wondering if a drop spreader would be better for someone without much experience so I don't throw the seed/fert. into beds, bushes, ect, or does it matter?

    peeweezr
     
  7. Cleve

    Cleve LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from Rockmart, GA
    Posts: 398

    I prefer the rotary. I gather that you are fairly new at this. The drop type is O.K. if you don't mind being really careful to follow your path and make cross paths to make sure. I've seen too many yards where the applicator used a drop type and left streaks. A rotary is better as you can easily see what and where you are spreading. You can learn to overlap easier. I use a Earthway that cost over $300 but was well worth it. I have learned over the years from experience to be able to just about judge how much is going where. I don't even use the settings on the handle any more. Getting fertlizer or seeds into beds isn't too big a problem once you get used to the pattern your spreader throws. It is better to use a low setting and make multiple passes than to throw too much.
    Cleve.
     
  8. Lawn Dog2001

    Lawn Dog2001 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,027

    I just wanted to complement Davis TLC on the great reply to peeweezr's question. I hope that when people use the search for for their overseeding and areation questions, they find you post. Very informative. I will be doing my overseeding and areations soon. I was going to reply with some answers of my own, but you got it all covered.
     
  9. peeweezr

    peeweezr LawnSite Member
    Posts: 11

    Ok, so I am going to aerate/overseed my parent's lawn next week and I go by their house and see that a local company has put an estimate in their mailbox for the service. Here is what it says: Fesuce lawn (with MANY weeds), needs to be scalped to the ground, then use a commercial weed killer on the lawn that will take about 7 days to work, then aerate, overseed with Lesco transition blend seed and apply lime. The estimate goes on to say that if you just overseed and aerate that there are too many weeds to compete with the seeds. My questions are:

    1. What type of weed killer/vegetation killer should I use if I go
    this route?
    2. There is no sprinkler system at this home, what type of
    watering frequency/duration should I try to obtain?
    3. Are these type of weed killers expensive? Safe for animals to
    walk around on after a couple of days?

    I am going to do this job, and I appreciate all the help the members of the board have been. Thanks!

    peeweezr:eek:
     
  10. Wasuellc

    Wasuellc LawnSite Member
    from NJ
    Posts: 51

    I`ll try and answer all your questions. We do a lot of lawn renovations the way the estimate described.

    1. Use round up dry. Mix at a ratio of 1.5 to 2 oz. per 1000 sq. ft.

    2.Water each zone about 30 minutes a day. Do not water 30 minutes all at once. Break it down to 3, 10 minute waterings through out the day. Do this for about 4 weeks. Then water as normal.

    3. Round up is safe once it has dried. It is reasonable.
     

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