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cut short to overseed

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by RigglePLC, Oct 1, 2011.

  1. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,559

    I cut a small area of my yard as short as I could, (about an inch). Then I seeded the area, and also the area next to it for comparison, (3"). I used Scotts "Classic" a cheap mix, with 28 percent ryegrass. No rake-in or soil preparation. Area was irrigated and semi-shade. Temps were about highs of 65.

    After about a week the short-cut grass had recovered to almost the same height, as the normal-cut grass. At 14 days new grass sprouts were visible, but tiny. It was difficult to tell if the new grass had "taken" sucessfully. More later.
  2. JDiepstra

    JDiepstra LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,511

    This isnt your topic but does illustrate why i cut taller all year. Longer grass grows the blade less and the root more. So Im dealing with less clippings every week.
  3. DiSantolandscaping

    DiSantolandscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 345

    i was always told this when it comes to aerating,
    Mow the area to the lowest setting, if you have a bagger use it, then rake the whole area, which i use my leaf blower, then put down lots of seed, then water it every day for two weeks to help get full germination. If you miss one day of watering and the seed drys out at all then you will loose up to 30% of germination which means no grass to grow back.

    That has always worked for me but i know everyone has a different idea when it comes to doing it.
  4. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    What was the surface between the stubble like? bare soil?, brown grass covering? thatch?

    Also, was there room for new grass to grow in amongst the stubble?
  5. grassmasterswilson

    grassmasterswilson LawnSite Platinum Member
    from nc
    Messages: 4,920

    before seeding fescue/rye etc we always cut short, aerate and seed. This has a lot to do with bermuda taking over our fescue in the summer. It also allows us to stay off the lawn longer so the seed has time to grow.
  6. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,378

    Posted via Mobile Device
  7. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,559

    since this turf is mature, but partial shade, the soil coverage is variable, but only about 20 percent of the soil is not covered--by my estimate.

    Wilson, and everyone,
    So are you trying to get the seed to fall into the holes? Or are you expecting the cores to bury the seed? Or just plan that the seed will take, in whatever soil was brought up?

    This is a puzzle. What percent of the seed "takes"? Should you aerate before or after seeding? Are short cores better if you want the seed to fall into the holes and take? Is there a better way to get the seed into the holes? If you want the core-soil to cover the seed, shouldn't you seed before aerating? Aerate, double aerate, or triple--which is optimal? Drag afterwards? What percent of seed is cut in half by the aeration tines?

    And how do you measure how much of the new grass actually "took"?
    I have heard it is possible to determine how much ryegrass took by treating bluegrass with Certainty (which kills only rye, not blue). I may have this wrong. So...after 8 weeks, you would count dead ryegrass plants per sqft?

    Our southern brothers: is aeration suitable for rye overseeding of Bermuda? What is best practice in southern grasses?
  8. grassmasterswilson

    grassmasterswilson LawnSite Platinum Member
    from nc
    Messages: 4,920

    Riggle- here in North Carolina the majority of the fescue doesn't make it through the summer heat and droughts. As it thins out many times bermuda takes over. I'm seeing more people move away from fescue but many are dead set on having it. When asked I often recommend fescue or st aug for shady areas.... its up to the customer whether they want brown in the winter or summer!

    When I prepare for seeding. I cut everything short as possible. then I core aerate trying to pull good size cores. then i seed at about 5-6 lbs per 1000. If you have a decent stand of grass you get even germinations. If the ground is really hard and bare many times you only get growth in the plug holes, although overtime this gets better.

    That is the way people do it here. I have never seen anyone with a slit seeder unless it was the golf course guys. Maybe that's something to look into, but I wouldn't know how to charge? I'm going to do it in my lawn with bermuda in the spring.

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