Aeration and overseeing?

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by meets1, Nov 8, 2013.

  1. meets1

    meets1 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,857

    We have had decent weather but last week we had 4 inches of snow. Snow now melted. Pretty wet and muddy yet though. Upper 30's Monday and Tuesday. From there 40-50 after that. I know I could aerate but can I oversees yet? These areas are football field and practice fields.
  2. ProStreetCamaro

    ProStreetCamaro LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,289

    You wont get any germination. Any seed still left in place come warmer weather in the spring should germinate but that to me is a crap shoot.
  3. jsslawncare

    jsslawncare LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,673

    I wouldn't do it.
  4. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    You got nothing to lose by seeding now... Dormant seeding is always better than Spring seeding and Spring seeding is always better than,,, dirt... :)
  5. foreplease

    foreplease LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,062

    Things you could possibly lose by seeding now:
    • The cost of the seed if it does not work out. Schools don't typically like to spend money doing the same thing 2-3 times until, one of the times, it works. To be clear, they do it all the time, but they don't like it.
    • Your credibility with the person who accepted your recommendation and agreed to pay you.
    • The opportunity to seed some other time if the budget and customer's confidence are shot

    Althouh I am not much of a fan of Spring seeding, sometimes there is not another good option. I am not ready to accept that dormant seeding is always better than Spring seeding. How did you come up with that? What I mean is where did you get that information or is it your opinion?
  6. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,814

    Axe is right.

    In my experience, in a test. You can seed in November and expect slow germination. Any of the winter months--even on top of snow also works--but don't expect to see any germination until about the time grass greens up in the spring. April where I am--not much different than Iowa climate.
    I am not so sure about bluegrass, as the mixture also had lots of perennial rye.
  7. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    It is a big waste of seed to load up a slit seeder hopper or a broadcast spreader and cover the whole lawn after aeration or some such other strategy... If we are talking about overseeding, then we are addressing barespots and/or thin areas, which require very little seed at all...
    This process of overseeding begins in August, for me, and continues until Memorial Day the following year... but will go all through the Summer if there is irrigation...

    I never put down huge amounts of seed with overseeding, but apply it to areas that is needed, so no waste of seed there... I just saw the other day during cleanup that a few places seeded earlier this Fall really took off, so they won't require anymore attention... other places will require attention and will be seeded soon,,, as the ground begins to freeze... broadcasting handfuls of seed here and there is neither time consuming, wasteful or a budget-buster... remember,,, there is no real reason to work the seed into the soil as the pimply ground effect and months under the snow will accomplish as much "soil contact" as one would want...

    Where did this information come from???
    Generations of farming practices,,, that transferred over to lawn renovations, before either of us were born...
    I happen to be one of those guys that city slickers call,,, dumb farmer... :)
  8. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,335

    If you aren't going to overseed the entire turf area, don't bother overseeding at all. With respect to dormant seeding; seed viability, percent germination and efficacy WILL decrease over time.

    The "best" time to seed is when environmental conditions are the most conducive for optimum germination and seedling establishment, particularly when irrigation is not an option.
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2013
  9. americanlawn

    americanlawn LawnSite Fanatic
    from midwest
    Messages: 5,956

    I agree with Smallaxe, but Kiril too. Soils here are still damp/tender from recent rains. I prefer to avoid seeding when soils are wet. Lows in the teens this week/highs in the 30's. But the following two weeks = normal temps....highs in the mid 40's, and soils will firm up/dry out a bit by then. So we plan to "dormant seed" mid to late November. Not entire lawns -- just thin/bare areas. Mostly a 4-way blend of turf-type tall fescues, but a few 3-way blends of KBG (depending what they already have, etc).
  10. meets1

    meets1 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,857

    The area to be overseeded is the entire football field. IT is beat up...thin. The other area is a pratise field for football and there band which is really compacted and irrigation on this field. Yes irrigation is now off for the year. First time for us on this account as we did all the grounds this year for the school ditrict. They told me they do this every year and I was a little unsure on the seeding but will probably go ahead with the areation by weeks end if weather holds...monday -tuesday cold but remaining of the week looks to be upper 40 to mid 50 degrees.

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