Advice on when to overseed a newly seeded lawn

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by ChiTownAmateur, May 6, 2010.

  1. ChiTownAmateur

    ChiTownAmateur LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 386

    In my front yard I seeded a completely fresh seedbed and planted 100% Supranova Supina grass due to a lot of shade.

    In the backyard, I have two areas, one maybe 5x20, the other about 5x5 that I tilled up and seeded with Legacy Fescue Mix (chewings, red creep, hard)

    Both have come up very nicely. I understand from my research that the supina grass is extremely aggressive, while the red fescue will slowly expand.

    Could a few of the pros please provide some general guidelines for how much expansion can be expected by the bluegrass and the fescue? How big of a bare spot is big enough that is warrants overseeding?

    In both cases I do not think they require a general overseeding, if anything they need some patching.

    Let it grow and expand vs overseed...expertise is welcome.

    I would be happy to post some pictures if that would help. I wasn't sure if there is a genereal rule i.e. softball size spot too small, basketball, etc.??

    I am in Chicago and have probably 5-6 weeks left before really hot weather.
    Last edited: May 6, 2010
  2. bigslick7878

    bigslick7878 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 809

    You need to seed twice if you started from scratch.

    Weeds could fill in those areas not grass if you don't hit it again.

    You should not be able to see ANY dirt then you are good.
  3. ChiTownAmateur

    ChiTownAmateur LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 386

    bigslick thank you for the response, i am fine with hitting it one more time

    there are a lot of tender seedlings down there, and it hasn't quite reached a height for a mowing yet.

    in overseeding the stand do i simply use the broadcast spreader and water it? raking or using mulch again seems like i could do some harm to the newbies....i'd welcome any further advice on how to do it right.
  4. GrassStitcher

    GrassStitcher LawnSite Member
    Messages: 124

    You can successfully plant grass seed between the newly emerging seedlings with the Grass Stitcher with minimum disruption.
  5. ChiTownAmateur

    ChiTownAmateur LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 386

    GS --

    Thanks for the thought. I own a mini-cultivator like the stitcher and think it's a very handy tool for a small garden/lawn like I have.

    My concern with using the stitcher is that these are very new seedlings, just a few weeks old. Their rooting is very new and they will not survive use of the stitcher.

    Maybe if I just gently touch it to the surface and run it across the top simply to create some small impressions that might work. I cannot see running it full-force though as it will tear it up easily imo.

    If you feel differently let me know, I think it's a clever tool and a good idea here, i just think it will run right over the newbies.
  6. GrassStitcher

    GrassStitcher LawnSite Member
    Messages: 124

    I have ran the Grass Stitcher many times through thin lawn areas with and without seedlings and it thickens the area perfectly. You might get some seedlings uprooted but the newer ones will easily outnumber the few uprooted ones. The other option is to wait a little longer till the existing new seedlings have a bit more root.
  7. bigslick7878

    bigslick7878 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 809

    If you have a Garden Weasel it is suprisingly effective at not ripping out the young seedlings that have just come up.

    Just don't go wild and rake carefully.
  8. GrassStitcher

    GrassStitcher LawnSite Member
    Messages: 124

    If your going to invest in a tool consider this:

    Problem with Garden Weasel:

    1) Garden Weasel is an inefficient design – straight shaft uses upper arm strength, Grass Stitcher uses either body weight or leg strength, uses much less energy as all the force is directed downward not outward, you won’t need Advil at night. If the soil is hard you might also need a chiropractor with the Garden Weasel as the force to penetrate hard soil comes solely from your upper arms and lower back, a tremendous strain on your body. The Grass Stitcher’s footpad / leg strength takes very little effort. This is why I came up the Grass Stitcher; I decided it was foolish to abuse my body when there’s a better way.
    2) Garden Weasel is made for cultivating garden weeds – low germination rate if using as a seed tool, only a few seeds find their way in the small pinprick holes, also the holes are shallow without enough loose soil, resulting in wasted seed and inferior results. Grass Stitcher – produces wide holes with adequate loose soil, better germination rates and better results every time. Seed is expensive why waste money and time, better to do it right the first time.
    3) Garden Weasel falls apart and breaks; Grass Stitcher is built to last a lifetime, full lifetime warranty. I can’t tell you how many times I lost or broke those cheap Garden Weasel tines and it happened when I needed it the most. Going back to jobs did not make me happy, I like efficiency.
    4) The Grass Stitcher is expandable – when you have larger jobs you can buy an additional head to convert it to a double, 20” model.
    5) The Grass Stitcher is built for professionals and used by professionals. – see reviews on lawnsite -

    Yes the Grass Stitcher is 3x times the cost but its 10x the tool. There will be a homeowner model coming out, won’t be as rugged, although it will be at a lower cost with no lifetime warranty. Personally I like to buy tools once.

    It’s “The right tool for the job” - The Garden Weasel was then (only choice), The Grass Stitcher is now.
  9. ChiTownAmateur

    ChiTownAmateur LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 386

    OK let's wrap up on the stitcher. I have one, they work very well and it's a great tool, much better than just a rake or a tining hand tool.

    I spoke to the seed company that I purchased from originally. I was told that especially in my area and with cool shady space, it could take as long as 6 weeks for all the seed to come up and germinate. So I will wait at least another week. (specific response was that if the lows were in the 30's and 40's it could take up to 6 weeks to germinate, 3-4 weeks is under ideal conditions).

    Also, the suggestion came back to wait 3-4 months to see how it fills in and then overseed at that point if necessary. Additional comment was that more seed could be added now, but you really can't tell how filled in it will be until it's been mowed a few times and given a chance to spread for a while.

    So if in the next week or so it still appears VERY thin, I will overseed a bit across the entire space. Either using the stitcher, or simply dropping it on the surface. Because there is already grass there it will help anchor it in place.

    i did use siduron in my fert app so it did a nice job of preventing a lot of weed growth so far. That was about 5 weeks ago so next week I will reapply to keep the space weed free as much as possible while the space fills in.

    Also I'll go ahead and shoot another picture of the plot Sat or Sunday and post it up so that anybody who wants to comment has better info on what I'm up against.

    I have a few pictures from each week since sowing which could help anyone nice enough to take a minute and tell me what they think.

    Any and all advice is always welcomed by me. Yes I think I know a little about this stuff, but I also know that I have barely scratched the surface and am more than willing to do extra work to get it "right", versus half-a--ing and gettin mediocre results. Don't be shy anybody in telling me what you think, good or bad.
  10. ChiTownAmateur

    ChiTownAmateur LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 386

    On Saturday last weekend I decided not to wait any longer as I can tell that some parts will without a doubt need more filling in.

    I used a rake and lightly raked all the debris that had built up on the lawn over the 5 weeks that the seeds have been germinating. There was a ton of debris and it looked really good with it off the lawn.

    I then USED THE GRASS STICTHCER...YES I DID! GrassStitcher will be so happy! :)
    I used it barely touching the surface though, I did not cultivate. But it did a perfect job of just pricking the soil enough to leave bumps for the tiny seeds to fill in without getting buried. I left the seeds on top, overseeded the area and made sure to put more seed down in the areas that are bare than the ones already coming up (double pass over the bare areas at 1/2 rate versus single pass)

    Put down the 2nd app of starter fert (with crabgrass control) and watered it in. Got a bunch of rain the last few days, sun is not out as much. By this weekend it is supposed to warm back into the high 60's and low 70's with lots of sunshine. it should be approximately the weekend after next that the first sprouts come up from the overseeding

    i'm still taking pictures, I will post them all as it progresses, one per week, 100% pure Supranova Poa Supina

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