Looking for any and all advice on my overseeding plan

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by smokeyjoe14, May 7, 2011.

  1. smokeyjoe14

    smokeyjoe14 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 1

    Hi all-

    I'm planning on overseeding this coming fall and I am looking for any and all thoughts/advice/comments regarding my plan for the best possible results with an overseeding project.

    Right now, I've pulled soil samples and am waiting to see the results and make necessary amendments.

    Come the end of August/early September:
    1. Mow grass short and collect clippings
    2. Dethatch
    3. Aerate
    4. Spread some starter fertilizer
    5. Spread seed with a broadcast spreader
    6. WATER!

    I live in MN and have mostly sandy soil.

    Thanks in advance for your help!
  2. Hineline

    Hineline LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 534

    All sounds good but I would spread "some" seed after you aerate then seed with a slit seeder instead of using a thatcher (it will do the same thing) and cut in seed in two directions. If the lawn is thin to start I would leave enough of the thatch debris to mulch the seed and don't use starter until you see grass germinating and an inch high at least. You don't want to encourage the existing grass to out compete the new seedlings. Don't mow until you see plenty of seed germinate either. The mower might displace the seed from the seedbed.
  3. Hineline

    Hineline LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 534

    Just to add, make sure if the soil audit says to lime do it so that it's available to plant. Grass seedlings need plenty of calcium to grow up big and strong!
  4. lilmarvin4064

    lilmarvin4064 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 757

    I agree with Hineline. But don't overthink it too much, it's not that complicated. No need to collect clippings as long as your are mowing when you should and using a mulching blade.

    slice-seed or dethatch

    If you really wanted to go crazy, you could apply a growth regulator to the existing grass before seeding.
  5. Patriot Services

    Patriot Services LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,277

    Slice seeding will give much better results. The seeding much more uniform with less ending up where you don't want it.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  6. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,676

    I have a different opinion, sorry. Start earlier in Minnesota. Say mid-August. You want soil temperature to be high--as that results in fast germination. Sow seed when temps come down below 85 is ideal. Six weeks before frost for sure. You probably do not need aeration--it does not prepare a seed bed and with sandy soil you have plenty of air. Mow very short. Slit seed. Use top quality seed. If you cannot slit seed --broadcast the seed and power rake to work it into the soil.
    However remember that the sod-quality dark green type seeds my leave you with dark green spots.
  7. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    Riggle is correct, in that the seed should be in the ground when its plenty warm... Remember, it is the seedlings that will do better in the cooler evenings, and rainier season...

    The other point to address is the "Real Thatch" issue... Planting seed 1/4" deep in 3/4" of real thatch will not do much for you... It is best to learn about Real Thatch and soil contact, before going through with any plan...

    Aerating and one size fits all, is for people who can't understand how plants grow... So we overfertilize and overwater and choke out the surface of the soil with real thatch...
    Find someone who can identify what your turf is really like and have it corrected by fall.
  8. nightshutter

    nightshutter LawnSite Senior Member
    from UT
    Messages: 513

    The only access I have to a slit seeder around here is if I pay 6k for one. I have a thatcher. If the lawn has a lot of thatch I would assume thatch first, rake up thatch, top dress, Then over seed/thatch again? I can understand if there little thatch but some places ive been pulling up a lot. Just wondering.

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