grass seed - what to get

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by CTD_Crazed, Apr 7, 2013.

  1. CTD_Crazed

    CTD_Crazed LawnSite Member
    Messages: 59

    hey guys, i know your not supposed to spread grass seed until sept 1 in the midwest, but im really needing to get a jump start on some good sized bare spots in my yard. So id like to try seeding in the next couple weeks, and then re-seeding again in september as recommended.

    Anyway, where im at the basic seed selection i have is as follows (have yet to check outdoor/landscaping stores)
    • Pennington "Smart Seed" Shady Lawn Mixture
    • Schultz "Shady Lawn" mixture
    • Scotts Turf Builder Dense Shade mixture

    Now within those brands are other choices such as scotts commercial grade mix or Pennington Ultimate Seed etc.

    Just looking at what would be my best choice for my yard. Both area are pretty good sized completely bare spots, however i dont have money for sodding, so im going to attempt to seed this spring and re-seed in sept. Just looking at what would be my best options to start with. Not really sure if i need dense shade or a sun and shade mix as there is no leaves on trees yet and its hard to judge exactly what amount of sun will be present in those areas. Im assuming a shade mix would be better off as i have a lot of trees to contend with.

    Let me know what you guys would recommend and please let me know if theres a better option than what i have listed above. Would like to have seeds in the ground by may 1 at the latest.

    Will try and get some pictures of spots needing seeding so you guys have better idea.
  2. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    The brand names are essentially meaningless... Look at the ingredients list and get the name AND % amounts of each seed... If you buy off of the shelf in your area, you are probably going to match up just fine with your current lawn,,, unless it was originally sod...

    This is not ONLY a fine time to seed, but interestingly enough it is the only time to seed in order that you might fix winter damage... fixing winter damage in Sept. is kind of a wasted Summer... :)
    (just a little joke I use for those that can't attempt Spring Seed)

    However, if you have already fertilized you ground with crabgrass preventer,,, you will also have prevented your real grass seed from germinating... (you may already know that)...
  3. CTD_Crazed

    CTD_Crazed LawnSite Member
    Messages: 59

    i mean like, has anyone had better luck with one certain brand of seed better than the other, obviously thats a broad question as everyone will have differing opinions.

    i have not fertilized anything, and i believe there is some compaction as the side of the bare spot is cracked (think drought look) but yet its wet soil from rain and snow melt.
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2013
  4. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    A cracked spot is definately a sign of coagulation of dirt w/out roots over the course of the winter, separating from the surrounding dirt... how deep does the crack go??? usually it is only a peel that shows up at the surface...

    Regardless,,, there's no one seed that will do better than another unless you go with the expensive coated seed,,, which I doubt works as advertised... get yourself a garden weasel or grass stitcher and take the time to do a little manual stirring up of the surface and put down a correct mixture for your area...
    These coated seeds are for suckers that can't quite get the grass to grow,,, mainly because they aerate for a seed bed and apply pre-m 2 or 3 times per year...

    Look at the ingredients and get some that is around 10-15% annual rygrass to get the ball rolling and if you work up the suface that you spread it onto, then soak it in,,, it should grow...
  5. CTD_Crazed

    CTD_Crazed LawnSite Member
    Messages: 59

    please explain what these are and where id get one...and pricing too maybe?
  6. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    A 'Garden Weasel' is in most box stores along with other garden tools, hand tools... it has a 4' handle with tined wheels at the end that stir up the soil as it rolls back and forth...
    A Grass Stitcher looks and functions, similar but is made for lawns, instead of gardens, so it does not tear up the existing grass as much as a Weasel might...

    The Weasel is about $20 and the Stitcher may be double that and might possibly be ordered from one of the sponsors on this site... grass seed does fine if bedded down in 1/4" of loosened soil, and even better if there are dead grass clippings or compost involved with that spot...

    So neither of these tools require much labor but does require some... it goes quickly once you get the hang of it...
  7. Snyder's Lawn Inc

    Snyder's Lawn Inc LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,530

    I use 5 blend turf fescue mix Spring time is a good time to seed as long it hasn't been treated for crab grass.
    Keller's out of Quincy ILL They buy and bag all there seed Some Seed you buy at the Box Stores could be older seed depends how long sits there

    I do more Lawn installs in spring time then fall with no problems I always give a 1 year warranty on new seeding
    There few key factors Soil test,proper seed bed depth, use thin layer of copper up straw
  8. CTD_Crazed

    CTD_Crazed LawnSite Member
    Messages: 59

    would it be smart for me to rent or find a tiller to borrow and really dig up the first 4-6" of the soil? follow that with seed and fert?
  9. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,378

    In a perfect word maybe. Way more work...too much work often. Get a shovel and cut down some cross sections of the soil take some pics and post.

    What about sun exposure...? How many hours per day during most of the growing season...? By your OP it seems like you were not there this time last year...?
    Posted via Mobile Device
  10. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    Tilling "bare spots" 4-6 inches deep... Just how much lawn area are you redoing??? When you till you are doing large areas and are nowin the world of complete renovations... I would not do complete renovation now unless you're confident you can get the seed up AND established before Summer heat comes in...

    Exact, makes a good point about looking at the soil profile and knowing what you have before doing renovations... Sand/Clay, dark/light, crumbly/compact, etc., etc.
    Knowing the physical structure of the soil is important to managing it at all... in fact it is very likely to tell you why you have bare spots in the first place... :)

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