Lawn renovation: Too late in the fall?

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by bperl, Sep 13, 2011.

  1. bperl

    bperl LawnSite Member
    Messages: 37

    I've seeded Tall fescue. As of now, no sprouts of whatsoever.
  2. bperl

    bperl LawnSite Member
    Messages: 37

    I see small sprouts in about 1/4 of my lawn today morning :)
    However I got a notice from my irrigation company that my sprinkler system will be winterized around 10/12/11 and it'll be shut off.
    I'm worried that it might be too soon and the new sprouts cannot depend completely on rainfall. Would one of you know, how long can I wait in Northern VA for my system to be winterized?
  3. dboyd351

    dboyd351 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,124

    I don't know for sure, but I'd think you'd be safe until the end of October.
    I'm seeing germination form the seeds I planted in the later round, too:)
  4. SLC & IS

    SLC & IS LawnSite Member
    from No. Va.
    Messages: 37

    Posted via Mobile Device
  5. SLC & IS

    SLC & IS LawnSite Member
    from No. Va.
    Messages: 37

    You have plenty of time,second week of November before you need it blown out, I'm finishing up blowout that week every year
    Posted via Mobile Device
  6. bperl

    bperl LawnSite Member
    Messages: 37

    I went on vacation for few days and when I was back, my lawn is full of sprouts about 2 inches tall. My lawn looks greener and better than all of my neighbors :) !!
    I want to thank everyone in this forum for guiding me.
  7. nightshutter

    nightshutter LawnSite Senior Member
    from UT
    Messages: 513

    didnt you say a while ago that aerating and overseeding are no good? Are you saying that aerating is ok if your doing a total kill? Im just trying to understand things more. :)
  8. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    Visualize for a moment, of the holes in the lawn 4-5" apart and some plugs lying about.
    Notice that the space between the holes are untouched and are no more prepared for seed than they were before you started. The only place that is different is the hole itself and it is debatable the the seed that germinates in the hole will survive for a full growing season as the hole fully closes shut...

    In bare/thin areas, multiple passes with an aerator is similar to tilling, with the surface busted up and loose soil all around... with a garden weasel or even a drag to level the loose soil and seed makes an adequate seed bed, when aeration is needed...

    And that's the key... Is aeration needed? If not, then there are better ways of preparing the lawn for seed...
  9. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,794

    I wanted to answer this question, (does aeration prepare a seed bed?) so I tried some preliminary tests on Oct 11th. I don't own an aerator so I used a 1" soil probe. "Aerated" a one-foot square area with the holes 3 inches apart on center. I added seed before and on a second sqft spot, after the "aeration". The cores were rather deep--around 4 to 5 inches and the soil was sandy and slightly dry. It brought up a lot of soil. Perhaps this is like a double or triple aeration. I also did a simulated slit seeding--I cut slits in sod at 1.5 inch intervals with a foot-operated edger, adding a half ounce of seed on top of that, (not visible in the photo.) Plus a sqft with no soil prep.
    I did a similar test on a neighbor's vacant lot. Both areas thin and had dead crabgrass. Rain and cool temperatures expected. Stay tuned.


  10. MikeInMKE

    MikeInMKE LawnSite Member
    Messages: 33


    If you could, please add one more test. No prep of the existing lawn, just spread seed, then spread a thin layer of topsoil over the top of the grass and seed using the back of a metal rake.

    The existing grass might benefit from the top-dress of topsoil and it'll put the new seed at the proper depth in soil.


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