Grass seeding ????'s

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by pt747, May 17, 2010.

  1. pt747

    pt747 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 17

    1st off.........I know you guys can be harsh at times. I AM NO PROFESSIONAL. I HAVE A GREEN THUMB AND DO WELL WITH MY YARD 99% OF THE TIME, BUT HAVE A QUESTION.

    Last year I had a new horseshoe driveway put in. I back filled it with new screened topsoil and put down Scotts fall time seed as it was in late October. My neighbor also had a driveway put in by same paving company and they back filled it as well and I put down the same Scotts fall seed for her and she has great grass now and I do not. I added 12 yards of new soil (again) to the bare spots about 2 weeks ago and put down KBG seed and its still hardly growing. When seeding I added Milorganite and starter fertilizer on my lawn. I did not do this to my neighbors, and she has lush, green grass surrounding her driveway. I dont get it. It has rained every other day here, so it is getting watered. When the soil was dry, I raked again and again and re-seeded and watered. I am clueless. Any advice would be appreciated.

    And I DID make sure not to hit new areas with crab grass preventer in spring.

  2. freddyc

    freddyc LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 578

    For new lawns they recommend :

    72 lbs. per 2,500 sq. ft. Milorganite.

    Don't know how much you added, or what your other application rates were. How much seed and starter did you put down per 1000 ft2, and if it's only been 10 days or so for KBG then maybe you need to wait a little for results.

    I'd also question the chemistry between the starter fert and Milorganite. Did you just spread it with the seed or did you mix it into the top couple inches of soil. Are you sure you don't have too much nitrogen for the roots to develop?

    Obviously, because you did the same at your neighbors and she has great results, then its either she has better sun, watering, or the added ferts are killing you. Are the 2 lawns the same slope and do they both get the same sun amount/day? Just because the driveway guy did both yards doesn't mean he got the soil in the same place. Something to consider.
  3. fl-landscapes

    fl-landscapes LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,542

    Basically what has already been said. There are to many variables to consider which may be unique to your micro environment for us to make a distance diagnosis....but if all things appear to be equal between you and the next door property you are going to have to figure out what is not the same if she has great results and you do not. Different sunlight, watering conditions, soil contaminants, pre-emergents you mentioned...sure none ended up in the beds? take a soil sample to the extension service and remember sometimes doing less is better than more when it comes to fertilizer and seeding.
  4. ChiTownAmateur

    ChiTownAmateur LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 386

    We need more information I think to give good advice but the first thing that sticks out to me is that you say after the driveways were done you seeded in late Ohio

    that is way too late for seeds to take and germinate, in fact it's possible if it was late enough they sat dormant for spring seeding

    in ohio where you are you need to have seeds down by early sept especially if bluegrass is involved

    so what kind of growth, if any, occured last fall? what about in spring, when did it come up? (your lawn, versus hers)

    Your reseeding process:

    1) KBG, if not part of a mixture, takes anywhere from 21 days to 35 days to germinate, under ideal conditions. Yes, it can come up in 10-14 days sometimes, but if it just starting popping up after 2 weeks and you raked the may have stopped your own process there.

    2) KBG is very small seed, it needs to be applied to the surface and just barely raked in and not buried at all. If buried too deep it won't come up. You can till all you want but once the surface is flattened and rolled a bit, apply to surface and just barely rake in...apply some form of mulch...VERY SPARINGLY!!!

    3) Water properly. Once the soil is done, the seed is down, it is 100% critical to do this right. Keep it moist all day long...if leaving early on a hot day, put down a little more water. Water when you get home and water less, just enough to moisten it. Be relentless, water for 4 weeks, you will get results.
  5. pt747

    pt747 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 17

    Thanks for all the advice.

    Scott's offered a Fall Seed last year saying it will help in an early spring green-up. It worked for her yard, but not mine. She lives directly accross the street with same yard slope and sun. I have not touched her yard since applying the seed in mid October 2009 and she has very dark grass lining her drive. As for mine, I applied the same seed in mid-October 2009 along with starter fertilizer and some Milorganite, about half a 36lb bag. This spring I had minimal grass growing and hers was full and lush. So.......I added some new top soil (12yrds) and re-applied Pennigton KBG about 2 weeks ago, raked into the soil, and still nothing but some weeds. My friend is a landscaper and applied the soil. He does not plant yards or offer fertizing. He only mowes and builds walls and decks and walkways. I am clueless! Both yards are pretty flat with hardly any water run-off to wash away the seeds.
  6. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,800

    Did you apply any crabgrass control? Crabgrass control would block the germination of new seed. How much are you watering? Every day is the only proper way for new seed.

    It might be wise to test this seed and soil situation. Plant seed in a coffee mug inside. One mug of your soil and one mug of your neighbor's or some other soil. Keep in warm place. No sun needed for first week. Compare results after a week.

    Perhaps paving people put down a powerful chemical to prevent weeds from growing through pavement.

    I should point out that Pennington KBG is not your best choice. Kbg is very slow to germinate and establish. In this situation a mix of perennial rye and Kentucky bluegrass is a better choice. Perennial rye (if a top-quality variety) is by far faster and still looks almost identical. On my own lawn I used "Scotts High Traffic" last month. Inside, it was a half inch high in 72 hours. Outside, slower, but my wife is mowing it for the first time, even as I type this. Thanks Honey.
  7. ChiTownAmateur

    ChiTownAmateur LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 386

    OK I think I got it after more thought

    You dormant seeded both lawns and in spring she got lucky because however the water got there, her's germinated well. Yours on the other hand was drier and not moist long enough and it turned out most did not germinate.

    Why you ask? Because somehow her soil, location and maybe watering allowed her seeds to stay moist long enough to germinate -- 4 to 6 weeks potentially for KBG

    It's the only explanation I can think of when you used the same soil, same time, same sun and same seed.

    SO --

    what this means, imo, is that you did everything right except watering. Once the soil got warm enough the seeds began to germinate...and because they are KBG seeds they need a long time moist before they come up.

    You have to keep that stuff watered, 2x a day (except with rain) until it ALL comes up. Probably another 4 weeks.

    Stick with it, 2x a day, and be faithful that you did it right and deserve and will get results. 2 weeks is halfway there. In 1 more week you'll see a bunch coming up and in 2-3 weeks the majority will come in.

    You did it right I think, except dormant seeding is tough for us amateurs. She got lucky, nothing more or less (unless she somehow knew to water)
  8. rainbowss

    rainbowss LawnSite Member
    Messages: 45

    Is her house facing west?
  9. pt747

    pt747 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 17


    Her house faces south, mine faces north. Directle accross the street from one another, but we get the same sun on both properties. I am now starting to a bit of green in areas on my lawn, but like I said, I applied her seed late in October with no starter fertilizer or anything and her yard is looking so good.
  10. rainbowss

    rainbowss LawnSite Member
    Messages: 45

    You might be onto something about fertilizer as I saw much faster germination(as in half the time) without it. But there are still variables(type of soil, etc) which I am not bothered to go find out.

    Keep it watered :)

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