Failed overseed with slit seeder

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by nashmower, Apr 9, 2008.

  1. nashmower

    nashmower LawnSite Member
    from TN
    Messages: 26

    Spring overseeding - not best. This I know, but I had a couple of clients that had dirt work done or large bare spots and it had to be done.

    For all of the hype surrounding it, I rented and tried the Lawn Solutions Turf Revitalizer. (6.5hp).

    I am now in the middle of April and about to have to GO BACK and overseed again because of an 1) underpowered machine that 2) sometimes had a sticky seed-bin gate.

    I'm trying not to blame the equipment as I should have known better - I should've just done it the hard way, but I was trying to quell weed infestation by using a slit seeder.

    So - any advice on the best way to go back and make things right for these clients?

    I applied starter fert and Transition TTF 4 weeks ago after aeration (I know - spring aeration and fert - aerated because some hadn't done it in YEARS, and after last year's drought, they had some serious hard-pack).

    We have had a torrent of rain since I seeded, with 3.5" in the last 7 days -- it's raining today, and will rain again on Friday.

    Most of these lawns are established lawns with large bare areas or sparse grass, and I need to get grass growing ASAP (my money - they've already payed for the job).

    Dare I try the 9hp Turf Revitalizer? Will it be powerful enough that I can verticut an entire yard, bumps, troughs and all?

    Can I just go back and scratch these bare areas, apply seed, and more starter fert? (weeds - I know).

    How long after I seed can I sub someone to come in and apply a post-emergent.

    Thanks - it's tax week, and all of my spring turf renovation clients have (with good reason) been hurling dung at my fan. :)

    I've never screwed seeding up before, and some of these are new clients, so as far as their concerned, I can't do anything right.

    Maybe I'm thin-skinned on this, but I'm small enough that I can't just hack-off clients and leave, . . nor can I afford to do everything twice.

    thanks in advance.
  2. nashmower

    nashmower LawnSite Member
    from TN
    Messages: 26

    ideas anyone?
  3. capetan

    capetan LawnSite Member
    Messages: 226

    so when did you put the seed down ? maybe the seed isnt growing becuase the temperature isnt high enough ...... i put seed down mid to late march and still nothing, i think the temp just needs to be higher, i would wait at least one to two months after planting the seed (in early spring), if it was the summer you should definitely see growth within in 10 to 14 days
  4. nashmower

    nashmower LawnSite Member
    from TN
    Messages: 26

    Thanks capetan,

    It was 4 weeks ago. Soil temp was in the mid 50's when I seeded. We had a frost a couple of days later, but then temps warmed right back up. I seeded my yard 3 weeks ago and have plenty of grass coming up. I have another client seeded at the same time who has grass growing everywhere. :(
  5. capetan

    capetan LawnSite Member
    Messages: 226

    was the area in alot of shade ?
    was there a pre emergent or weed and feed put down with in the last 2 months
    maybe the soils hard or has clay
    has the client been watering or has it been raining more than once a week
  6. nashmower

    nashmower LawnSite Member
    from TN
    Messages: 26

    Area is normally in shade, but leaves are not out yet, so it is not shady yet.

    It most likely has some clay and is fairly hard. That's why I aerated the FOOL out of it.
  7. jbturf

    jbturf LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,503

    maybe the seed washed out in the heavy rains
  8. nashmower

    nashmower LawnSite Member
    from TN
    Messages: 26

    That's what I'm thinking, but if I go back with a more powerful slit-seeder, and actually get the seed in the ground, shouldn't I be ok?

    I mean, . . that is the principal right?

  9. vegomatic40

    vegomatic40 LawnSite Senior Member
    from 6
    Messages: 406

    The 9 hp model may well be plenty powerful if you select the right depth (not over 1/2") but may be a bear to operate if there is any slope whatsover. As you well know and have stated, spring is a terrible time to seed in Nashvegas. I wouldn't simply apply more fert. arbitrarily either. Fert. will not promote germination, but will help once it is up and going. Lots of people around Nashville squandered the opportunity last fall to seed after the disastrous summer and will be sorry. Just make sure to set the proper expectations with the customers. I try to discourage and even turn-away several spring seed jobs for many reasons but primarily it distrupts the sequence of herbicides and the poor rates of germination/survival. If they are just small areas SOD and be done with it.
  10. Lawncop26

    Lawncop26 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 90

    How big is the area, and do you have pictures?

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