Does this work?

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by Keegan, Nov 18, 2008.

  1. Keegan

    Keegan LawnSite Senior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 611

    I was watching one of those garden shows on HGTV over the weekend and the guy was overseeding his lawn just by putting down seed without aerating or slice seeding. Would that really work? Doesn't it need good soil contact?
  2. lawns Etc

    lawns Etc LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,277

    It will work but you will not get the percentage of seed to come up you will probally waste about 25% of the seed that will never germinate. But on my own yard I will go and just broadcast seed just before a snow that has always produced for me in the spring.
  3. jsw2008

    jsw2008 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 513

    If its annual ryegrass, it will work fine. That stuff will grow on the sidewalk if you water it.
  4. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    Yes it works. KBG or fescue has adequate success. Water makes good soil contact. Works even better with a topdressing of compost.
    The simplest thing to do is try it yourself. With irrigation do it anytime with out irrigation do it in the fall or spring for best results.
  5. IA_James

    IA_James LawnSite Silver Member
    from Iowa
    Messages: 2,592

    That's what I do. Make sure some snow lands on it in the next day or so, otherwise your yard will look like a fricken bird convention.
  6. Whitey4

    Whitey4 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,448

    Lots of caveats on this one I think. If the thatch is thick, it won't work at all. The seed still needs some kind of soil contact. Snow can help it get sort of pressed into the ground, but I've never been a big fan of dormant seeding... crabgrass germinates at 5 degrees cooler than grass, so my spring CB pre-emergent will cause the dormant seeding to fail.

    I have seen this work on lawns that had bare dirt spots that the seed could contact, but it's late for that now. Even then, I think 50% germination is the best one could hope for. I still believe in aerating and overseeding every fall.
  7. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    We aerated a large area in the woods a couple years ago where there was little grass at all and large ares of bare ground. Threw on some seed. It germinated only around the aeration holes.
  8. hackitdown

    hackitdown LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,610

    It works, but it is better with aeration...and much better slice seeded. I do aeration with broadcast seeding as regular maintainence every September for many customers, the results are excellent, the customers love it. I think it is a very good return on investment for the customer.
  9. muddstopper

    muddstopper LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,341

    Expect about a 5% germination rate for broadcast seed that is spimply spread out on top of the soil. The seed needs good soil contact to do anygood. Irrigation, rainfall, and snow will get some of that seed to the soil and improve germination rates somewhat, but dont expect the results you would get with a properly prepaired seedbed. You can increase seed rates to makeup for the loss germination, on a postage stamp size lawn, the cost increase wouldnt be that much.
  10. corey4671

    corey4671 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,931

    I overseeded some bermuda lawns this fall with annual ryegrass and I have to say I have been less than thrilled with the results. I know now I PROBABLY should have cut the dormant bermuda back a little shorter. I did plug aerate one yard and the other one the customer wasn't willing to pay the cost to aerate. only wanted the seeding. We had a screwy fall. It was very dry and then we had an early frost. However this month(december) we've had over 16 inches of rain.

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