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Ball Field Overseed - limited due to fire

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by Coachbob, Nov 15, 2018.

  1. Coachbob

    Coachbob LawnSite Member
    Messages: 147

    Hey all for Califronia fire zone
    As you can see by the image, we lost our Deere 2653A mower and lots of other equipment right before we were ready top overseed our Bermuda with Perennial Rye. The last mow we did was Wednesday before the fire at 1/2 inch. Irrigtion has been off since then so still pretty short. We did an aggressive verticut in August but most of the cuts are filled in but I think we can shake seed down to the dirt.. We will seed at 10lbs. per k. One piece we still have is our garden tractor with a spike aerator attachment (below). It only has 8 blades and they are spaced at about six inches. Our spiker which had 3 inch spacing melted. We do have a massive core aerator too. My question is one of procedure. We might not be able to put seed topper down over the outfield this year due to budget issues and i want to give the seed a good chance for germination and an even field. Deciding between following options:

    1. broadcast seed, mat drag, then spike aerate two directions.
    2. core aerate, broadcast seed, then mat drag plugs. (too much risk to bermudagrass?)
    3. spike aerate two ways, broadcast seed, then mat drag.

    Any thoughts and discussion on these would be appreciated.

    ryan aerator.JPG spiker.jpg

    2653A Mower.jpg ryan aerator.JPG spiker.jpg
     
  2. agrostis

    agrostis LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,727

    Ryegrass will germinate and grow quickly on just about any surface with minimal water. I wouldn't worry too much about not being able to topdress. A dragmat app will help get that seed to the soil. That's all i would do.

    It's mighty late in the year to aerify bermuda. It can't fill in before the cool weather. Unless you have a major compaction problem i wouldn't do that. If you must aerify, spike only.

    That stinks seeing your mower all burnt up. I hope insurance covers that. Good luck.
     
    hort101 likes this.
  3. Coachbob

    Coachbob LawnSite Member
    Messages: 147

    Yes, we should be covered for a new mower. Hopefully it will come by the time we are ready to do our first mow next month. We have a spare Deere Z737 needing head gaskets, so maybe Ill get to that job just in case. I'm so tired of working on those heads. I waited for along time to find a good country club trim mower with low hours. Hope I can find another one. thank you for your post. I was concerned about pulling cores too. I think maybe we will spike the infield and high traffic areas, and just go with the mat drag for outfield. We have a few dished out spots that I would like to raise. Would you put soil down first or top the seed, or both? I'm talking about 3/4 inch of hot topsoil
     
    hort101 likes this.
  4. agrostis

    agrostis LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,727

    Put down soil first, then seed. 3/4" is too deep for a grass seed. Seeds shouldn't be more than 1/4" deep.

    Unless you can find a golf club that trades in equipment every 3 years because of a lease you probably wont find a mower that way, they would just keep it. If you do find one, make sure it isn't all worn out. Reel mowers can cost a lot of money if your not careful.
     
    Coachbob and hort101 like this.
  5. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,094

    OMG, Coach Bob! That is a terrible happening. I hope you and yours got out OK. This is a good lesson to others in fire-prone areas. Or wooden buildings.
    I think your plan is good: broadcast, spike and drag.
    On the other hand, (as usual) I think you should double the amount of seed (up to 20 pounds), to compensate for the unsatisfactory conditions. Also, I would irrigate after applying the seed to help move the seed down to the ground level, and into the verticut slits. Think about rolling the turf to help press the seed into the soil. Easy and cheap.(Using power equipment, that is). Naturally include lots of starter fert, maybe at 150 percent of the suggested rate--to increase your chances of success.

    Of course, everyone has an opinion. But we never see any proof as to which methods are best, which order is best or which step is most important.
    For instance, it is difficult to prove: drag mat or spike--which is more important? How much is enough? How much is too much?

    What seed blend do you have in mind? Annual? Perennial rye? This is for winter and spring, right? It is supposed to die in early summer heat?

    Fixing bowl spots: one quarter is best--but seed buried 3/4" will probably still germinate OK.
     
    hort101 likes this.
  6. Coachbob

    Coachbob LawnSite Member
    Messages: 147

    Thanks Riggle; The seed we use is a three-seed blend of perennial ryegrasses, certified weed free. We generally have good success with broadcasting and mat dragging. Our Bermuda stand is is pretty dense but ht dragging gets it down there. I have been putting fertilizer down after germination as we sometimes get some warm spells that gooses the Bermuda a bit. We kill the ryegrass in May to transition back to Bermuda. Unfortunately, I will only be able to put down the hihg rate on the infield and surrounds, but will be at 9 or 10 lbs. in the outfield.
    I hadn't thought of rolling but it makes sense.
     
  7. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,094

  8. Coachbob

    Coachbob LawnSite Member
    Messages: 147

  9. Coachbob

    Coachbob LawnSite Member
    Messages: 147

    More challenges. I was not able to get my 50 yard topdress delivery due to fire closures. We had an expected rain last night so i decided to seed so i could shake the seed down throigh dry grass. We got about a half inch of rain. We have a decent irrigation system on this field too. I went back this morning and spiked the low and bare areas where i had planned to topdress. I then reseeded and spiked the seed in best i could. Is there anything else i should do? I was thinking i will just have to wait ten days to see how germination goes and spot seed then.
     
  10. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,094

    Coach, I think you are on the right track. What is your temperature? Soil temperature? Warm days? Cold nights? Starter fertilizer may help--although you run the risk of Bermuda taking off again. Rolling--Maybe.

    Put some thought into shifting the field and goals to reduce concentrated wear spots. In front of soccer goals, for instance. Can you reline and move it ten yards to the north? Ten yards to the west? Can you keep the team off and use practice fields? Hope you can fix the wear spots.
    Or is this a baseball field--fixed in place? Third base coach causing wear spots?

    You might try to pre-germinate and dry some rye; keep on hand for quick fixes. Keep some pre-germinated annual rye on hand. It should sprout in 48 hours if the soil temp is warm. About 85 F is quickest.
     

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