2 jobs, Renovating and Overseeding, Need Advice!

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by glasseyes, Feb 28, 2010.

  1. glasseyes

    glasseyes LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    Hey guys,
    I've been searching for different advice on the forum for a couple of months and you guys are great!!! By the way I'm in L.A. California and been doing yard maintenance/landscaping for 2 years.

    This is my first post and I'd like some advice on 2 jobs:

    1. Renovating lawn: customer has about 2,500 square ft tall "marathon" brand fescue (which is the most common grass in LA, along with st. augustine/bermuda/ryegrass). It has been overtaken by ugly weeds and they basically want to get rid of it and throw some seed. What's the best way to approach this? Here is my plan as of now:
    -use roundup to kill it, use rakes two weeks later when its dead to remove all dead grass and weeds, aerate 3 times over and then seed.

    Am i going to be fine just using some regular metal rakes to drag out the grass after the roundup has killed it? I've read that I could use a rototiller instead of the aerator before seeding, this will probably bring all the roots of the grass and weeds up to the surface and cause a lot more labor removing this debris with rakes right? So will I be fine if I just rake as much as I can from the surface after the roundup and then aerate or should I rototill?

    2. This is for a bunch of yards in an enclosed community. Tall Fescue on all lawns. The weeds are not as bad but they'd like me to get rid of them and overseed SOME areas where the grass is dying/yellow. Should I use post-em herbicide and spray the weeds and then overseed?? Do I have to wait weeks/months after using the post-em before reseeding the bad areas again? Keep in mind that it is like a bunch of 2,000sq ft lawns, probably like 25. What is the best/most effective way to do this? Is weedn'feed and then overseeding a better option?
  2. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,776

    First I would do some soil testing. You might as well know exactly what you need to do to get the best results.

    Definitively kill them off first with roundup. What I would do though is rent a toro dingo with the toro soil cultivator.

    Much easier than using a rototiller, you bury all the debris, and you have a perfect seed bed.
  3. glasseyes

    glasseyes LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    THanks for your reply, the thing is, here in LA, I can't find a place that rents that Toro Dingo. They rent sodcutters (which I don't think is a good option for this), rototillers, aerators. I've never used roundup so my main concern is how is the process of removing the dead grass/weeds after the roundup? Is it fairly easy labor or do I need to break the soil in order to remove the roots underneath as well?
  4. glasseyes

    glasseyes LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    I'll probably end up using the rototiller so that the soil is well cultivated, then I'll lightly rake the debris on top and add the seeds and dressing. I'm changing my mind about the aerating. What do you guys think?

    Also, should I water the grass 1 day after applying roundup? I read somewhere that it ensure that the roundup kills the whole weeds/grass if you water the area.
  5. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,776

    I've heard that too, but I feel it's a fallacy. The best results I get is when everything is dry. As an opinion, I feel that the more stress from lack of moisture tends to help the roundup work better. But, as for the other extreme, too little water and it doesn't seem to work as well, but that is only drought type conditions.

    It seems like if I get cool wet nights after applications, I seem to get worse results.

    Even if you can find a dingo, I would see if someone has a mini-skid of some sort such as a Vermeer, Ditch Witch, Boxer, Finn, etc..... The soil cultivator will make your life much easier as you won't have much, if any, debris left over.
  6. glasseyes

    glasseyes LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    Thanks for the advie:drinkup: yea this will probably be the most effective so i'll keep looking for a soil cultivator.

    ABout the other job. It's an enclosed community of like 20 houses and all have fescue. What do you guys suggest? Weedn'feed, and then overseed the weak areas? or will this be too much fertilizer for the current grass to take (because overseeding will require me to throw fertilizer on top). I'm just starting and don't know if there's such a thing as overfertilizing.

    OR should I just spray the weeds and then overseed later?


    BIOGRASS LawnSite Member
    Messages: 39

    You can kill the weeds and then overseed. Just follow the label for the herbicide before you plant any seed. Generally you cant do anything for 2-3 weeks. Are you planning on overseeding with Tall Fescue? If you are TF takes quite some time to germinate...
  8. DoetschOutdoor

    DoetschOutdoor LawnSite Bronze Member
    from S. IL
    Messages: 1,818

    Few things....
    You can spray roundup to kill the weeds and then come and reseed almost immediately after the weeds are dead. I wait as long as I can to let weeds die off completely but dont wait too long or they will be right back...like whitegardens said, I get best results when the weeds are dry and stay dry. But then again the newer roundup pro has guaranteed one hour drying policy but who knows...

    You can not weed n feed and then overseed...products like weed n feed or pre emergent/some post emergents put down a barrier and will not allow new grass seed to germinate.

    The contradictions with killing the weeds and planting grass seed is why alot of people recommend going after weeds in the spring and then sowing grass seed in the fall. The issue is, you need to obviously treat the weeds because they are a problem but you want to plant new grass seed as well.

    It really depends on what equipment ya have availabe to use. If you have a bunch of completely bare spots in the lawn where you killed alot of weeds, you might need to be more agressive than an aerator.
  9. GrassStitcher

    GrassStitcher LawnSite Member
    Messages: 124

    On the job #1 - after you kill off everything, if you can get your hands on a slice seeder, just slice through the dead grass and leave it. The dead grass will protect the seed and later decompose.
  10. Maple Wood

    Maple Wood LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 322

    I totally agree with GrassSticher. If you don't need to level the yard (no big holes, dips, sunken areas ect) then dont tear it up. The dead grass will act as mulch to keep it from drying out and eroding. If you till it up you might not end up with a good seed bed with out a lot of work.
    Slice seed 1/3 of the seed one direction, 1/3 oposite to that direction and then broad cast the remaining 1/3 (this will eliminate the rows so it does not look like a field).
    If you broadcast first, the slice seeder tends to move the seed into the slot and you still have rows.

    Use a high rate of Glyphosate. There is no soil activity with round up but dont seed until everything is brown.

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