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seeding/overseeding in Northeast...need your advice

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by GarPA, Apr 12, 2002.

  1. GarPA

    GarPA LawnSite Silver Member
    from PA
    Posts: 2,585

    Sorry for this long post but I don't do alot of this kind of work and have a number of questions. Good customer ( I do his maint, installs and his business) He insists I do the work and not a turf install specialist. ( TOld him to wait to late summer but he wants it NOW.Would also appreciate your price estimate for the work also and any other tips. Did a search here but still have these questions.
    14,000 to overseed, 2,000 of which needs new seed from start.
    Aeration done today. In about a week will drag the plugs for break up then apply18-24-12 Lesco straight fert over entire area.( no pre-em or other fert was applied yet this year).
    Guy wants NO wide turf type grass. Lesco has a nice blend of 1/3 each of per rye, creeping red fesc and kntky blue. Your opinion on this blend??? Germination rate? Application Rate per 1000 ft? Best way to spread? Wants no straw on 2,000 ft new seed area...how about peat moss for this area? and even top dressing whole yard with peat?
    2,000 feed needs about 2 inches of good top soil. i'm concerned about getting it trucked in because you often get all kinds of tough to kill weed seed in this stuff...any advice? How do I measure for top soil...inches of soil needed x area = x and then
    how do I order it? (see how dumb I am!)

    Also has some weedy and crab grass patches...if i use round up on these patches how long do I have to wait b4 seeding?

    Thanks very much for your help on this and giving me your bid on this would be much appreciated. Have a great day!
  2. GarPA

    GarPA LawnSite Silver Member
    from PA
    Posts: 2,585

    come on guys...how about a few replies please...same old story...the same core group of people are the ones who always help out on this site....
  3. Commander

    Commander Banned
    Posts: 116

    In order to know the germination rate, we will need to know what the numbers are on the bag. Have you done a soil test yet? Why are you putting down fert in a week? Why doesn't he want straw put down? With this dry weather I would personally insist upon it. What do you mean by "wide"? Gonna need about 5.5 yards of soil. How big are the patches of weeds and crabgrass? If you are going to use glyphosate you should wait about I think, it's a week. If the areas are small just rip em right out. If they are big; spray em down, cut em REALLY low, dethatch, and pick up all the debris.
  4. LawnLad

    LawnLad LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 738

    If you perform a search, I have to imagine some of your questions will be answered. Such as how much soil to put down.

    Your true germination rate is determined by reading the label and making a few calcuations about pure live seed. An example:

    Lot A is labeled 98% pure with a 95% germination and costs $5.00 per bulk pound.

    Lot B is labeled 89% pure with a germination of 92% and costs $ 4.75 per bulk pound.

    Lot A: .98 x .95 = .931 PLS
    Lot B: .89 x .92 = .819 PLS

    Now divide the seed cost by the PLS percentage to determine the Pure Live Seed cost:

    Lot A: $5.00 / .931 = $5.37 per PLS pound
    Lot B: $4.75 / .819 = $5.80 per PLS pound

    So, read the label and determine how much seed you'll need to purchase, assuming inert material.


    Through OSU Webgarden I found a link to N. Dakota's extension site listing seeding rates for various types of turf grass. I think practically speaking the rates are low per 1,000 sq ft. If you use a drop spreader you'll have more control then over a rotary spreader or by hand. A little over is better than a little under.

    The 14,000 square feet at 6 lbs/1,000 means a little over 100 lbs of seed for the job (not taking into account PLS)- weather you're slit seeding or new installation. You'll have better germination with new installation or top dressing.

    If the site is sunny, go with 40% plus blue grass, 10 to 15% fescue and remaining in rye for the quick germination. The shadier the site up the fescue and rye in the mix.
  5. GarPA

    GarPA LawnSite Silver Member
    from PA
    Posts: 2,585

    thanks Lawnlad and Commander...'wide' in the clients eyes means anything that has the word 'fescue' in it....tried to him thats not the case. He insists on no straw....how about a light app of peat moss...any problem with that? Have a soil test meter on order..should arrive Monday.

    Would sure appreciate a wild a--ed guesstimate range from you on labor for this work....thanks
  6. Turfdude

    Turfdude LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,900


    I never recommend spring seeding. However, for persistent clients who don't want to listen, we'll do it.

    Are you permitted to water - NJ in drought restriction except for new construction.
    For topsoil 2" over 2000 sq ft = 2000/162 sq ft/cu yd = 12.34 cu yd topsoil.
    Core aeration of 14,000 $170.00 (no breaking up of plugs for this $$)
    Seed 2000 sq ft bare area $150 - includes peat moss covering probably 8 - 4 cu ft bales.
    Overseed and fertilize remaining 12000 sq ft - no peat moss at $35-$40/1000 sq. ft.

    If using Lesco seed - why not Teammates - a good turf type tall fescue blend.

    Good luck

  7. creative concepts

    creative concepts LawnSite Member
    Posts: 69


    If he definetly does not want the straw, he has good reason for it. Most of the straw hay contains a high content of noxious weed seeds and also does not retain the moisture very well. We have not used straw or salt hay in a few years. If he is willing to pay the extra money, a product called penn mulch would be the ticket. It is more or less recycled paper products with a tackifier and starter fert already mixed in. It retains the moisture quite well, has no weed seeds and best of all it degrades into the soil eliminating the need to rake it up. The biggest thing to remember is the price difference betwenn penn mulch and straw. Make sure you add that into your quote. Hope this helps.
  8. GarPA

    GarPA LawnSite Silver Member
    from PA
    Posts: 2,585

    Creative Concepts...what a coincidence Wayne at WRT Enterprises here also recommended The Penn Mulch...have you seen it sold at retail outlets like Agway, Lowes etc?

    I wont shop at Home Depot...you know why...
    Thanks very much for the 'straw' opinion also..
  9. creative concepts

    creative concepts LawnSite Member
    Posts: 69

    I am not sure if they sell it at Lowes or Agway or other like stores. You should be able to get it from just about any garden center or anywhere that sells seed. I usually purchase it from Lesco or Rockland. It is usually (I say usually because I don't know if you get contractor's discounts) around $10-$15 per bag which covers roughly 500-700 sq ft for bare soil and about 1200 sq ft for overseeding. It might be under a different name though, kind of how band aid is the common name everyone uses. I have seen it called seed establishment mulch, seed starter, etc..but it is called Penn mulch because it was developed and researched at Penn State. Hope this helps

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