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Fescue didn't come up...

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by hartlawnmain, Apr 8, 2004.

  1. hartlawnmain

    hartlawnmain LawnSite Member
    Messages: 66

    I aerated a small yard about a month ago and then overseeded heavily with Rebels Exeda Turf type fescue along with lime and Scott's starter fertilizer. The customer has watered it religiously but only a few small spots have begun to come up. Most of the bare spots are still bare. What do y'all recommend? Go back with a stiff rake or tiller and break up ground? Should I put down some top soil? I'm dealing with mostly clay soil. Thanks for your help.

  2. Norm Al

    Norm Al LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,227

    reseed it! did the birds eat it all? was it to cold where you are for it to germinate?
  3. jsr2741

    jsr2741 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 392

    What do you consider "heavily." If it had been me I would of sold them a soil sample first. It probably would of eliminated the problem you are currently having now.
  4. hartlawnmain

    hartlawnmain LawnSite Member
    Messages: 66

    I forgot...They did pay $20.00 for a soil test which was all within normal parameters other than ph was a little high, hence the lime. I seeded it at almost 2 lbs/1000 sf.
  5. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,699

    The pH was high so you added lime? You should have applied sulphur instead. The lime only raised the pH even further.

    Also just sowing seed on the ground does little even with an aeration. Usually the only seed that germinates is the seed that just so happened to fall in an aeration hole.

    And 2 lbs per 1,000 isn't heavy. I usually get 5 to 7 lbs down with a Bluebird slit seeder.
  6. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,501

    Exactly...bare minimum should have been at least 4. When I aerate and seed, I'm like Richard at 5 - 6 depending on the conditions.
  7. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Messages: 8,745

    did you receive heavy rains? Washed away? Also I usually don't put down any fertilizer for a brand new seeding. I usually wait about a month or two later then fertilize it.
    I do know with experience that fescue can be picky sometimes with germinating
  8. Old Red

    Old Red LawnSite Member
    Messages: 187

    Tman, you don't use a starter fert.?
  9. Westbrooklawn

    Westbrooklawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 426

    Is there any possibility that you or someone else applied a "weed and feed" type fertilizer (something with pre-emergence weed control)? If so, then seed won't germinate.
  10. grassworks

    grassworks LawnSite Member
    Messages: 134

    that is too little seed, even under perfect conditions,but let's play devils advocate ....

    1. seed was wet watered but too cold for germination- some of it wasted due to rot after sitting moist but unable to start due to weather.

    2. Aeration not done well or not done properly. no seed to soil contact.

    3. Seed had been kept in storage over winter ( warehouse or not) and humidity ruined seed potential. Happens all the time if not sealed or any moisture in air is contacted for any length of time. In simpler terms "Old seed aint that good" unless it's in a very very dry place.

    Reccomend going back , breaking up the soil (aeration) or topsoil so you have loose dirt for a proper seed bed then watering for 15 min daily for 14 days or until seed germinates. then every other day for 21 more days. Do again in september or october since falls the best time.

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