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Missed the window for seeding?

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by tdmoore, Jul 15, 2005.

  1. tdmoore

    tdmoore LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    My wife and I recently built a new home in Western Washington. We had planned on having all the landscaping done through a great local company.

    Well..... The budget never equals the actual written check and needless to say we had to hold short on a few items. We were able to have the front yard completed but not the back. When looking at the budget we could afford the materials but not the labor so we took on the challenge.

    WOW! I had no idea how much work this is! We spread 112 yards of top soil the other weekend by hand and I still can't move. Anyway, 1 1/2 weeks later I already have weeds coming up and don't plan to seed yet.

    Two questions:

    1. How late in the year can I seed and expect the grass to make it through the winter (RYE & FESCUE).

    2. Is there a product I can apply to kill the weeds before seeding that won't kill the new grass seedlings?

    Thanks to all for the help!

  2. Rinker97

    Rinker97 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 63

    We did some of our owm landscaping too in order to save some money. It's definitely hard work but you appreciate it more.

    I'm not sure how late you can see where you are at. I'd check with a local seed store and ask them. I plan on powerseeding in the fall to help my yard out.

    As for killing your weeds, you should be able to kill them with Roundup. Just read the label and see how long to wait before seeding. I tried pulling it up online but it wasn't cooperating today.

  3. TOMMY1115

    TOMMY1115 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 169

    The label states to wait one week before seeding.
  4. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    For timing, wait untill it cools down just a bit. This will also bring in some moisture. Spray your areas with Glyphosate (Roundup). You can purchase this MUCH cheaper through somewhere like Tractor Supply Co., it will just have a different brand name. It is not necessary to wait the full week, but it makes it easier to see the kill to know that you got it all. Unfortunately, it also give the more weed seeds a whole weeks head start to restart growing again.
    After it is sprayed, we go back in 2 or 3 days later and reseed. Make sure the soil is scratched up on the surface so you can penetrate with seed and have good soil-seed contact. (This isn't necessary if you are slitseeding). Broadcast your seed, go a bit heavier than recommended rates (rates depend on what type of grass you are planting) rake it in, then roll it if you have access to a roller. This isn't SUPER necessary, but all the more seed-soil contact you have, the better. Add your starter fertilizer. This will be a fert. with an analysis like 18-24-12. The middle number is what you want to look out for to be high. This is your phosphorus which promotes seed germination. Also, another thing you can do, is shortly after you get your seed in (within a week), respray it with glyphostae (Roundup) again. This will promote faster seed germination, and kill of any new seedings of weeds starting to grow, so you have a cleaner slate for longer. Do not spray this after onw weeks time of the seed being down, because by then, there is too much potential of some of the new grass seed starting to germinate. Anyway, don't be too discouraged by some weeds growing along with your grass. It is inevetible...the topsoil you brought in has literally millions of weed seeds in it. The main thing is, is to keep it watered. When I say watered, I mean, morning, mid-day, and at night. The thing is, is to always keep the soil damp. As long as you have CONSISTENT moisture, it will make all the difference in the world between weeds or grass. What do you want? If you want weeds,...then let it go dry once in awhile...the weeds will take right over, and the grass won't have a chance. If you want grass, keep it damp...how much? Whatever it takes. It will be several shallow waterings at first untill it starts establishing. Fortunately, after you get a bit of grass growing in there, this helps retain some moisture. Eventually, your watering frequency will go down, but your watering time will go up...you have to reach deeper into the soil to the roots. You don't want to water too shallow, it will drive the roots back up toward the surface. Now, do NOT make the common mistake of thinking once you have a little grass growing there, it is mission accomplished, let's roll up the hoses. It is at THIS time that watering is all the MORE important. Once that grass germinates, and you have all those fine little hairs growing, you let those go dry, they will die right off....and they never come back...gone forever. Seed, you can throw out there and leave it dry for the season...it will be alright, but new seedlings,..they are very fragile and HAVE to have a steady moisture. Hit it with fert. again about 3 weeks later. Anyway, after you get some good growth going, the weather cools down a bit, you can mow it, and it will harden off for the winter. In the spring, put your pre-emergent down, feed it, and spray your weeds in late spring, and keep feeding it. (low nitrogen, high potassium). this is another BIG advantage of seeding in the fall. It is just the lifecycle of the plant. It hardens off, and you can spray your weeds in the spring...you can't do that with spring planting. Anyway, I hope this helps. If you have any questions or anything, feel free to ask.
  5. tdmoore

    tdmoore LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    Thanks for the advice guys. A wealth of knowledge here. I'll be seeding in a week or so and plan to pull all of the weeds I can prior to spaying. Some of them have turned into shrubs:)
  6. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    You are beter off to leave them for now and spray them. The reason being is that they are attached to their root systems...ALLtheir root systems. If you pull them, inevitibly you will break some off. This will be all the more weeds you have growing. If you spray them first, even the big ones, the stuff will translocate down through the plant, and all you will have is dead roots at the bottom...simple organic material. Cleaner overall results.
  7. battags

    battags LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 607


    I have never heard of spraying glyphosate on top of new seed as you mentioned in your post. No negative effect on the seed? How does it help in speeding germination?

  8. arpat2

    arpat2 LawnSite Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 35

    battags, I was wondering the same thing.

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