Lawn that needs...something

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by GreenAcresLC, Oct 29, 2008.

  1. GreenAcresLC

    GreenAcresLC LawnSite Member
    from KY
    Messages: 84

    A lady called yesterday about lawn aeration. I get there, measure out about 6000 sf. A large part of it has been a dog pen for about a year now, and is just dirt. Very hard dirt. Another part had a blow-up pool this summer, so it is hard and dead as well.

    Do I need to aerate and powerseed? I've read a lot here the last few hours, and a few have talked about just aerating then broadcast seeding. I don't think this will be the way to go for me. When aerating, is it best to make two (or more) passes in an "x" pattern, or will one be enough? And with power seeding, does one pass do, or do you use the same "x" pattern? I apologize for the seemingly ignorant questions, I've never done either of these before and I want to get it right.

    I have had one person tell me that he just powerseeds without aeration, because the knives of the seeder do enough aeration. Is this even close to right? I just don't want to make an @$$ out of my first aeration/seeding job. Thanks for any help!
  2. Midstate Lawncare

    Midstate Lawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 267

    The dog pen area may need to be tilled a couple of inches deep, then lime applied (dog urine is very acidic), the pool area should be slit-seeded and aerated. I deal with this same situation alot. Remember starter fert... 13-13-13, 6-24-24, 18-24-9 somthing like that. PM me if you have any more questions.
  3. Squirter

    Squirter LawnSite Member
    from Zone 5
    Messages: 172

    i'd be interested in knowing if you're successful in getting seed to germinate this late in the year. i'm in indiana and it's too late here...what are you going to get in KY??? i suppose with some cooperation from mother nature (warmer temps), you might get some rye to come up. just a thought. i'm sure the homeowner would like to see some grass before the sloppy weather of winter/spring makes a big mud hole where the pool/dog pen was located. just seems kinda late to get any results. results when you make at least two passes (eg. one north & South...the other E & W). more holes the my experience. i liked the previous reply about using lime to neutralize from the pet urine. of course, there will be those who recommend soil samples before making amendments (i just hate those know-it-alls...ha-ha). myself, i'm more of a git-r-done guy and cross your fingers.

    good luck!!!
  4. Marcos

    Marcos LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,720

    It's probably too late to expect germination from seed this fall, Green Acres!
    If you seed now you stand the risk of a "partial" germination, that could consequentially get burnt-up by the upcoming quick & rapid freeze-thaw cycles.

    Why would you want to aerate & seed a "bare ground" situation? :confused:
    Wouldn't it be much more efficient & effective to do it with a slice-seeder two perpendicular directions?

    If your customer demands that you do something this fall; I'd recommend that you try to see if you can put this job off for 3-4 weeks.
    That way you can go there (before the ground's frozen) around Thanksgiving or shortly afterward, and do what's called "dormant seeding", using the same equipment I just described.
    The reason for waiting this long is to ensure there will be no germination until (early) NEXT spring!
    Just take special attention to detail as far as soil erosion prevention.
    And ask the customer to keep the dog off of it; and to make sure the lawn care co in the spring doesn't apply any pre-emergent for summer annual weeds, onto your project site.
  5. GreenAcresLC

    GreenAcresLC LawnSite Member
    from KY
    Messages: 84

    Good responses guys! I have decided to let this one pass for the time being, as I too agree that it is too late for seeding here. It's already getting below freezing at night, and only getting to the 50's during the day. This weekend it's supposed to be near 70, but I feel this is short lived. I proposed to her that we attack this mess early in the spring, but not now. Now its just a waiting game to get her response.
  6. Marcos

    Marcos LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,720

    Talk to your local seed vendor(s), from Ag co-ops or wherever, about dormant seeding. Get their input, too!

    The upcoming freeze-thaw cycles can actually be beneficial towards the ultimate placement of turfgrass seed in the proper soil strata, in the days leading up to the late winter/ early spring soil temps allowing for germination (again).
    But alot of this has to do specifically with the site: how heavily it's sloped, what % it's shaded, what % of your soil is clay vs. sand vs. silt, etc... :waving:
  7. freshcutter

    freshcutter LawnSite Member
    Messages: 41

    What are the advantages of "domant seeding" vs seeding in the spring?
  8. freshcutter

    freshcutter LawnSite Member
    Messages: 41

    sorry, "dormant seeding"
  9. Barefoot James

    Barefoot James LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 984

    You could sod it. If you seed in the spring then make sure to use tupersan as a pre emergent or you will grow grass and weeds.
  10. Turboguy

    Turboguy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,970

    To me, seeding in the Spring is more desirable. The advantage of dormant seeding is when the job needs to be done. For instance if they build a new house and don't finish until early winter some construction mortgages won't pay the last part until the lawn has been seeded. Note I said seeded not established. Dormant seeding would allow the builder to get his money. I have seen the same type of thing with some sewage line jobs. They wanted to complete the contract and the line was finished in December.

    Dormant seeding does emulate natures way of seeding. It does work. Doing it in the spring would allow fresh prep and a better surface that would not have the surface damage that could happen between now and spring. The biggest danger of dormant seeding is seeding too early. Frankly I think you could grow grass this year if you planted in the next week or so in Ky or Southern Ohio. I have seeded as late as mid Nov in Western PA. The danger is what someone else pointed out. If you get partial germination the hard freezes could kill the grass. If you try it, I would wait until December.

    James, nice meeting you at Expo. I hope the coming year is a good one for you.

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