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Help with recently re-seeded lawn - need some advice please

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by meth, Jun 21, 2010.

  1. meth

    meth LawnSite Member
    from 10940
    Messages: 121

    Okay guys I need some help. I live in the NY area and recently (last week of May) had some yard work done. I have about 2 acres in the back and the very back had some drainage issues so I had an excavator come in and straighten it out. Now the problem is that prior to this 3/4 of my property was magazine worthy, great grass, completely weed free, thick and green. Now after this, the excavator tore up a pretty good amount, more than half, by adding fill and tracking his machines back and forth. The last week of May we got some quality seed from Agway and planted about 2 50lb bags. It was new top soil so it was planted, starter fertilize and then straw on top of it. Well its now 4 weeks later and all I have is weeds and the yard looks terrible, needless to say the wife is on my @ss as well. The questions I have, is that I assume that if it hasn't germinated by now, it probably won't? How do I attack this now, being in the middle of the heat I know its now the worst time to plant any new seed? Should I:
    1. Hit it with another round of starter fertilizer now and see if it sparks some growth? Or is it just too hot?
    2. Rent a detather and get all the remaining straw up and let it be?
    3. Wait until fall and rent a core aerator, seed the area again and then go over it with a roller?
    4. Rent a slit seeder and go over the entire area with that? Can I do this now or do I have to wait until fall?
    5. What do I do with all the weeds? Can I wait until some new seed germinates and then go about my normal weeding program to deal with them?

    I really do not want to tear up this whole area again, any advice to get my show room lawn back would be appreciated. Please some advice guys!
  2. bigslick7878

    bigslick7878 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 809

    You can't throw seed down during summer and expect good results. Too hot, too dry and too many weeds just waiting for that water to germinate.

    Best bet is to heavily spray the newly seeded areas and pray it works, it should unless you have crabgrass. Then wait until fall and fix the problem areas.

    During summer there is almost nothing you can do to a lawn renovation wise and have it work, as you found out.

    Some pictures would help.
  3. meth

    meth LawnSite Member
    from 10940
    Messages: 121

    Thanks, I will try to get some pictures up.
  4. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,234

    Has the seed germinated?

    If so, hit it with starter fert, mow 3 times and spray the weeds. A lot of the weeds will disappear after mowing.

    Keep up with the fert and spray the weeds in the fall again.

    If you dethatch (there isn't any thatch to dethatch right now) or aerate you are going to do more harm than good. This should only be performed on established lawns.
  5. meth

    meth LawnSite Member
    from 10940
    Messages: 121

    Mark - thanks for your input - very little of the seed has germinated, I will get some pictures up but it appears that most of what is there is a wide blade lighlty colored grassy weed. I was thinking of throwing another round of starter fertilizer down since its been almost 5 weeks since I put the initial seed and fertilizer down, however am I just throwing more money away? I have already mowed the weedy/grass area 3 times, I waited almost 4 weeks from the initial planting of the seed. My only point in dethatching was to get all of the straw up. I will try to post some pics
  6. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,723

    Do you have irrigation or a hose and timer? If so, then go ahead and add more seed--stay with top quality blue/rye mixture. Seed sprouts fast in hot weather--if you can keep it moist. Weeds also. But mowing kills some weeds. And the rest can be sprayed in a few weeks and the rest will be killed by frost. I just planted some Lesco "Premium Athletic Mixture". I planted 100 seeds indoors in a coffee mug. After 4 days the first sprouts were a half inch tall, (the rye is first of course).
    Seed now, or better, spray weeds and wait a week to add more seed. Keep plenty of water and turf fertilizer on it. 25-0-5 is good. Mow those weeds. About early August spray weeds again. In mid-August seed again, as needed. As the temps cool in the fall conditions will be best for new seed--still have to keep it wet and fertile if no rain.
    Better yet call in an experienced professional from a small locally-owned company.
    We are writing at the same time. Good advice, Mark.
    What part of the country, Meth?
    No need for starter go with regular fert for turfgrass--go heavy--once a month is not too much. I would not try to remove the straw. The light green grass could be wheat from the straw. (it does not withstand mowing for long. It could be crabgrass--it will be worse until killed by cool weather and frost. A professional could put down quinclorac to kill the crab, if that is what it is. Be patient--bluegrass starts out very slow.
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2010
  7. meth

    meth LawnSite Member
    from 10940
    Messages: 121

    Thanks Riggle, great advice. I have the hose and timer and can get to the areas closest to the house, the rest is over 1/2 acre away from house so I will have to rely on mother nature for that. I think I will try to put some more seed down, I went with Agways Wear Green since they said it was best for my area (hudson valley NY). I was thinking of hitting it with a power seeder, thoughts? Either way I will seed and get some 25-0-5 that you suggested. I will post a pic tonight
  8. bigslick7878

    bigslick7878 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 809

    Throwing money down the drain trying to get seed to germinate right now.

    Just my opinion.

    If you like beating your head against the wall repeatedly go for it. It is almost impossible to keep the seed moist enough to germinate in the dead of summer.
  9. phasthound

    phasthound LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,143

    Forget about seeding your lawn now. The best time in your area is from about Aug. 15 to Oct. 1. Plenty of time for you to do some research & do it correctly so you will love your lawn next year.

    If you need something to work on now, start working on some landscaping that will reduce the 2 acres into something more manageable for you. Find out about low maintenance ornamentals and native plants for your area. They will provide you with a lifetime of joy and year round beauty if you do it right.
    2 acres of lawn is boring. :)
  10. meth

    meth LawnSite Member
    from 10940
    Messages: 121

    Here are the pictures to help with the visual - The first is an overall view of the backyard, the second is a look at the section that the machinery was running on, this is the newly seeded and now weedy area. Third is a closer look at the problem area and last is a look at the grass in the area that wasnt touched and what I want to get back to.

    The images are uploaded in the homeowner assitance thread, I think I am going to leave as is and rent a turf revitalizer/seeder in September


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