to roll or not to roll

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by buysell, Sep 22, 2011.

  1. buysell

    buysell LawnSite Member
    from nj
    Posts: 111

    did about 600 sqft of seeding....brought top soil in..leveled the area...put down the seed (tall fescue team mates) about 20 per sqr inch...then back raked....then rolled..uneven germination after 12 days...and starter fert...

    one....how is one to back rake and NOT move the seed around?...second is it necessary to roll? can rolling make it to compact?...is there better success at just spreading the seed in loose soil and water it in, to the point where you cant see the seed? would this be sufficient for seed to soil contact for germination without rolling?

    Thank you in advance!
     
  2. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 12,099

    Good questions, Buy,

    I have a few variations of similar tests. Walked on it to pack it down--not rolled--raked--double raked--double seeded. But...prolonged dry spell and guy does not water. No result yet.
     
  3. buysell

    buysell LawnSite Member
    from nj
    Posts: 111

    ask him to start watering!!! lol
     
  4. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,080

    Loose non-clumpy soil that is dry enough to lightly rake the suface which mixes the seed with the soil, being careful to NOT move the soil/seed into little piles.
    Then soak it down with a shower type application for a long time, until you're sure the soil is saturated 4" down... Then soak the surface daily, in the sun and every other day in the shade...It never fails...

    I roll sod sometimes, but never seed... :)
     
  5. Mike NY

    Mike NY LawnSite Member
    from NY.
    Posts: 85

    I have evenly spread seed in loose soil and used a dry roller to get good soil/seed contact and no back raking with good results.
     
  6. rob640

    rob640 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 167

    I've been wondering the same thing.. we usually roll but i feel like your packing in what u just tilled... we have several seedings lined up in the next few weeks.. im planning on seeding, top dressing, and drag with something not too light but not to heavy just to smooth the surface
     
  7. buysell

    buysell LawnSite Member
    from nj
    Posts: 111

    AXE,

    After to lightly rake the seed...do you put down additional seed again prior to watering?...or do you just seed once?...how many seeds per sqr inch roughly? once or in total?...because no matter how gently one rakes, the seeds are moving..there can be 6 inch gaps between seeds...cant tell because its assumed that the seed may be under the soil...untill it grows and then you see were the seed wasnt....someone suggested a garden weasel..it just kind of wiggels the seed around in its own area as opposed to raking.

    thoughts?

    TY
     
  8. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,080

    With the right touch & with a good rake you will not be doing any seed movement other than making rows... but you're right, a garden weasel can easily mix the surface, without creating gaps in the seed placement... it takes a little more time but if the rake doesn't work for you, it may be a better alternative...

    One thing you'll almost always have to deal with are the slight depressions that water washes seed into and the slight rises will at times appear as gaps...
    Still easier to fill those in, than to take a chance on 'puddling' surfaces caused by a roller in which germination rate is usu. lower... good luck... :)
     
  9. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 12,099

    Maybe I can try it and compare. In small containers of course. And whatever happens on my neighbor's lawn--packed down by walking. Stay tuned.
     
  10. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,080

    The comparson is between the settling of the soil with water or settling the soil with physical compaction... If I'm understanding your experiment correctly... :)
     

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