Starting the Dormant Seeding Now

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by Smallaxe, Nov 11, 2013.

  1. americanlawn

    americanlawn LawnSite Fanatic
    from midwest
    Posts: 5,842

    Both sound good to me. This time of year, it's best just to get the seed applied one way or another. Much better than spring seeding (except maybe for heavy shade areas). I also like Exact's customer -- sounds like a good customer to deal with.

    Here's what we use for dormant seeding:

    1st photo: JD 727-A ZTR mower to mow & remove leaf cover so we can see stuff. Exmark 30" aerator.

    2nd photo: TURFCO XT5 hydro walk- behind aerator. Ryan Lawnaire IV walk-behind aerator. John Deere 445 pulling a Ryan 48" (36' effective) pull-behind aerator w/hydraulic lift. We have 2 of these, and they work great for seeding because we doubled the number of tines they come with (many plugs).

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  2. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    Seems like a lot of money for someone growing weeds... :)
     
  3. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,774

    Looks like you are on the right track, Larry. Let us know about the results in spring.
    Keep in mind most experts recommend adding about 10 to 15 percent bluegrass to tall fescue; this adds self-repair characteristics to the final turf. A spreading type of fescue might help--might not. Like Spyder RTF.

    My winter weed control test with temps variable but mostly below 40, found slow results. Again Speedzone looked slightly better. T-zone also fairly good.

    Glyphosate (as Lesco Razorburn) sprayed on grass showed zero or almost zero effects after about a week. Any idea how Roundup works in cold weather?
     
  4. americanlawn

    americanlawn LawnSite Fanatic
    from midwest
    Posts: 5,842

    I spot sprayed clumps of coarse tall fescue 4 weeks ago. It's merely a rusty brown color, but figure it won't come back. I used a 10% (heavy) rate.

    I sprayed dandies 13 days ago -- they all are looking very sick.

    Been seeding nearly all (shelled out bluegrass) lawns with dwarf "turf-type" tall fescues. All 4 cultivars are spreading grasses. I seeded my lawn with this blend in late November 2012. By May, the turf had spread/filled in just like a dense KBG lawn. Never turned brown all summer & I never watered.

    Riggle -- it used to be said not to seed tall fescue in the northern Midwest. Not anymore. These improved cultivars are awesome.

    1st pic) 20 lb bag of seed
    2nd pic) label
    3rd pic) TTTF lawn in the dark w/Thanksgiving inflatables. Sorry for the bad photo

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  5. foreplease

    foreplease LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,895

    I'm surprised at 20# bags.

    Also think it may be time for me to do a sizable test plot on one of my non-irrigated soccer fields. Maybe this, common blue, and LESCO premium athletic mix. Any idea of germination time for a standard late summer seeding? It is a dirty sand mix with a soil pH of 5.5 btw.
     
  6. americanlawn

    americanlawn LawnSite Fanatic
    from midwest
    Posts: 5,842

    LaCrosse Foriage & Turf just began offering 20# bags. We chose 20# bags instead of 50# so we could keep better track as to how much seed we use per property. (only costs about 6 cents per pound more).

    Athletic blends tend to contain ryegrass, bluegrass, and dwarf (turf-type) tall fescue. I don't care for ryegrass cuz many ryegrass cultivars don't spread, get rust, and grey leaf spot. As for Kentucky bluegrass that is not irrigated -- I call it Kentucky brown grass. The new turf-type tall fescues don't have these issues, and they have never let me down. New cultivars of dwarf fescues are used as far north as Canada and as far south as Arizona.
     
  7. foreplease

    foreplease LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,895

    Interesting, thanks. I can see that for residential customers. Would be much easier to keep track of.

    No fescues of any kind in the LESCO mix but may be different south of here. Contractor mixes here have some awful fescues, real thin and spindly. But yes, 30% PRGs. For high school and youth fields that get a tremendous amount of use, the PRGs come in handy because otherwise the season would be over before I could get anything established that was damaged in week 3 (for instance). It also greens up a few weeks earlier than KBG here on the edge of the lake. So for Spring sports - baseball, softball, girls soccer - it helps. This year for the first time I put in stoloniferous/RPR (as part of a mix) on a football field. It performed well this Fall. Next year will tell the story.

    Now college level and above I can see trying to stick to 100% KBG. Less intensive use and better maintenance. Some high schools here insist on it without even knowing what they are signing up for. I do want to try a side by side as mentioned above. I have just the place where I can put it in. Already tried the common blue, didn't feel the results were too good but it was not too dry here for the most part. It might stand out more in a drier year
     
  8. americanlawn

    americanlawn LawnSite Fanatic
    from midwest
    Posts: 5,842

    Good info fore. I forgot to mention that TTTF geminates faster than Kentucky Brown Grass. lol As quickly as 7 days under optimal conditions.
     
  9. foreplease

    foreplease LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,895

    Great! That is checkmark in the "pros" column.
     
  10. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,354

    Yeah it will be. :) Like I said he pays well and is not a cheap skate bean counter. If my few other bi weeklies where like this they would not be getting dropped next year.

    We are getting a hard freeze tonight....I was planning on Thursday. Will probably need to wait for a thaw.
    Posted via Mobile Device
     

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