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How to, Aeration and overseed?

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by toxic man, Dec 31, 2004.

  1. toxic man

    toxic man LawnSite Member
    Messages: 90

    I am looking at buying an aerator this spring, probably a plugger 800. How are you guys spreading the seed after the aeration? How many pounds of seed per Thousand, lets say, bluegrass? Is there a problem with noxious weed infestation with a spring aeration and not putting down say, dimension, because of the renovation? I would really like to offer theses services to my clients that have a lawn that needs some love without a complete tear out.

    As always,

    Thank you so much in advance!

    Weed Solutions
  2. lawn king

    lawn king LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,410

    You will attain better results in the fall. We like to cross aerate in two directions then overseed with a lesco spreader at say 5 lbs per 1000 for a lawn in tough shape. Application of weed control at the same time is not the way to go! You should pull a soil sample for testing if you think there are huge issues in growing plants in general. Apply a quality fert. and water daily for 21 consecutive days. This should start the lawn in the right direction.
  3. Turf Smart

    Turf Smart LawnSite Member
    Messages: 62

    Check out my post under "slitseeder". I spoke a lot of aeration.
    After aerating in two directions, spread the seed with a rotary spreader as Lawn King suggested. You may want to take a grading rake to any areas that are completely bare to ensure dense germination.
    Fall is the ideal time to aerate to avoid weed and crabgrass infestation in spring. If you apply dimensio in the spring the waiting period is 12-16 weeks before you can seed.
    I'm not familiar with the plugger 800. I would suggest a split-drive aerator with atleast a 26" width. The split-drives are much more productive since you don't have to lift the machine to turn.
    As far as seeding, remember that bluegrass can take 4-6 weeks to germinate. That means the initial fert is probably gone. It would be a great time for another starter fert with continued watering.

    Hope that helps!!! :cool2:
  4. Drew Gemma

    Drew Gemma LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,508

    do it in the fall and use 4lbs per thousand and in the shade use 2lb per thousand in the shade areas don't do it in the spring and you definetly can't use a premerge it will damage the roots that exposed to the plugging. Trust me I have seen the outcome a home owner did that then called me to fix it what a headache.
  5. I've seed bluegrass in june in ILL, got germination in 7 days!!!!!!!!!! If it takes 4-6 weeks, you must be seeding at the wrong time!
  6. lawn king

    lawn king LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,410

    You may have had some germination in 7 days, ryegrass perhaps, bluegrass takes a minimum of 21 days to germinate no matter how much experience you have!
  7. GroundKprs

    GroundKprs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,969

    If you can't get bluegrass seed germination for two weeks or more, you need to learn a bit about seeding! No, you need to learn a lot!!!

    Experience has nothing to do with bluegrass germination. Timturf is absolutely correct. Warnings of 14 to 21 day germination on bluegrass seed are just to assuage people's impatience. KBG seed will germinate in 5-6 days if treated properly, like most other cool season grass seed. However, KBG does not take off with dramatic leaf growth like most other C3 grasses; it can seem to just sit there with 2" leaves for weeks. But during that time there is usually great root growth, if you have treated it right.

    KBG 6 days after seeding:


    Now with ryegrass, the one I did this June was fully germinated in 5 days, and weekly mowing started 13 days after seeding. (Actually should have been twice weekly!) Seed germination depends on how you treat it, period. That includes site prep and proper irrigation and other cultural practices before and after seeding.
  8. GroundKprs

    GroundKprs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,969

    Toxic, concerning your original question, success with seeding depends on seed/soil contact. That is all you need to remember in order to be successful always. The day you forget this basic principle, and begin to rely on certain machines or procedures, your success will go out the window.

    It is a fact that cool season turf seeding is most successful in the fall. It is also a fact that much of fall overseeding is useless (except in C3 grasses in the transition zone), because the existing turf is recovering from the stress of summer. I can't remember how often I have had clients and other landscape professionals(?) crow about an overseeding success, and when you get down and look close: The turf is looking great because of new leaf growth from existing crowns and new tillering - the seeding has only contributed 2-3 plants per square foot.

    So to get your seed/soil contact in your soil type is your main concern in learning. Perhaps this will be helpful:
    cast seed out by hand or spreader (no prep) ~ 15% germination
    slit seeding (properly) ~ 65% germination
    tilling and finish grading ~ 100% germination

    Above numbers are from seminar instructors. From my experience, I might add:
    aeration only, broadcast seeding ~ 35-45%
    aeration (2-4 passes, depends on soil) & slitseeding ~ 75-80%

    Germination rates quoted are for viable seed. In any bag of grass seed, not all is viable. Some are tagged with germination rates as low as 80%.
  9. It was 100% bluegrass seed!!!!!!!!!

    Very good post groundkprs, I agree 100%, and the note about viable seed, you get what you pay for!!!!!!!!!!!
  10. pema

    pema LawnSite Member
    Messages: 54

    Great posts...

    Has anyone regulary practiced overseeding before doing the aeration? I've always overseeded after doing at least a double pass with the aerator. I was always curious if applying the seed first would improve seed to ground contact from the aerator roller.

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