Fescue seeding dates

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by khutch, Aug 28, 2004.

  1. khutch

    khutch LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 495

    Thoughts on temps affecting Fescue germination? I usually shoot for about Sept. 15, around the same time I am doing warm season grasses winter Pre-em......Wouldn't mind going a bit earlier on the Fescue, like NOW so I am not doing everything at once, but with mid and upper 80 temps it just doesn't seem right. What effects does these warm temps have on germination?

    TOTALLAWN OF KY LawnSite Member
    Messages: 139

    In Kentucky you want warmer temps ,,,as long as the customer keeps plenty of water on it . The temps help with faster germination.I always make my accounts aware of the water issue ,i tell them if they don't water i wont guarantee a thing .that usually works
  3. ThreeWide

    ThreeWide LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,116

    You would get better germination with daytime highs consistently in the low 80s and lows in the mid to low 60s.

    Every year seems to be different here in GA, but mid September is generally a good guideline.

    The current extended forecast shows those temps coming on Sep 5.
  4. Racer99

    Racer99 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 43

    I was wondering, when you spread your FESCUE, do you just use a spreader to put it down, then water in the seeds over exisiting FESCUE lawn?
  5. ThreeWide

    ThreeWide LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,116

    Aerate the soil first, broadcast seed with a spreader and then apply starter fertilizer.

    If the exisiting stand is very thin, a light layer of mulch should be applied to help keep the seed moist.
  6. khutch

    khutch LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 495

    My recipe for reseeding Fescue involves a cut about 1/2 - 1 inch lower than normal. Raking of any bare or thin spots with dead or weak grass. Quick pass w/the the bagger on. Aerate if the customer is paying for it. Spread seed w/broadcast spreader. Fertilize with starter fert (18-24-12) Water lightly, enough to wet the seeds, ideally about 6 (!) times a day if I can get the customer to do it. You want to keep the seeds moist and just drying out before hittin' them again w/H2O. No need at all to water deep at this point - No Roots! With some look and no gully washes, seeds are popping in 4 to 7 days. I try to continue w/frequent light watering, never want the young uns' to do w/o water, until they catch up with the existing grass. Remember if you cut the mature grass low to begin with, you buy maybe an extra weeks growth so that it is not knee high when you make your first cut of the new growth. You want the new grass to get good and established before you cut it for the first time. If possible, use low,low RPM's and a regular or low lift blade.
  7. khutch

    khutch LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 495

    Good point from TurfUnlimited, topsoil, weedfree straw, etc. will help keep the moisture in around the seeds.....It's all about germination.
    One other point I missed, if any of your soil surface is rock hard, the seeds will germinate and just lie there, not able to penetrate the surface, and then die. All soil surfaces MUST be soft enough to allow seedlings to put down roots. I have seen homeowners fail time and time again by expecting seeds to break through concrete like soil to establish roots. It will not happen!
  8. ThreeWide

    ThreeWide LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,116

    This goes without saying I hope.....but remember you cannot apply preemergent when overseeding in the fall.

    Many people will fall into that trap.
  9. m2pc

    m2pc LawnSite Member
    from Mass
    Messages: 10

    Follow up question to watering. After the seeds have germinated, how soon to try and deep water to force root growth would this be something built up over time and how much too start and how often after seeding germination?

  10. Hamons

    Hamons LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 706

    HEre is the schedule I leavemy customers

    Weeks 1 - 2-------2x Day-----------20min
    Weeks 3 - 4-------1x Day-----------30min
    Weeks 5 - 6-------3x week----------30 mins
    Weeks 6 and on----1x week----------1" of water

    This has shown good results with me.

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