My Process

Discussion in 'Fertilizer Application' started by Oakleaf landscape, Aug 10, 2012.

  1. Oakleaf landscape

    Oakleaf landscape LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 624

    For the past few years, my lawns have been declining in appearance and I'm not sure why? Every fall we always reseed. My process for this is to aerate, then apply at least 5lbs of seed per 1000sq ft, a starter fertilizer, and lime to the yard. I live in central North Carolina. We over seed with Lesco's Transitional Blend of seed. We start aerating around September15th and go to the first week in October.These yards are not irrigated, and the customers never water. The yards I maintain are on a 5 step fertilizer program by a very reputable company. I just want to increase my germination rate of the yards that we only aerate in the fall and are not on a fertilizer program.

    My real question is, does anybody have any suggestions to help increase the germination rate of my fall seeding? Should I use a slit seeder? In my area, I have never seen anybody top dress the soil and it seems to be a very time consuming thing that most people would not pay for.

    Does anybody want to give me a brief rundown of their process for over seeding in the fall that lives in my area?

    Thank You!
  2. mikesturf

    mikesturf LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 797

    I usually FINISH seeding when you start. I am in Chicago. Our state recommends seeded from August 15th to Sept 7th, Sept 15th latest. Check and see what your area recommends. Maybe you are doing it too late in the year for the best results.

    Question: Are there 2 spring apps of pre-M applied? Barricade? Probably not, but maybe you still some barrier left from the crabgrass protection.

    Question: This reputable fertilizing company: are they applying fertilizer after you apply your starter fertilizer? Could be too much fertilizer.

    Is it possible that they are blanket spraying a herbicide on these lawns after these little seedlings are just sprouting. This could kill them or injure them enough so they don't survive the winter.

    Grass seed is not spread it and forget it. If people don't lightly water several times per week, it will not germinate-PERIOD. And if you do get some rain during the 30 days after applying seed, it usually is not enough to fully germinate the seeds and to get the seedlings to grow mature enough to survive the winter.

    You will get results with an aerator, but a slit seeded will work MUCH better.

    You mention you want to increase the germination rate on lawns that don't have a fert program. I my area of the country, the late fall fertilizer application if very important. If that is true for you, upsell them on an additional fertilization after the seedlings are established to they have a better chance of surviving.
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2012
  3. turf hokie

    turf hokie LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,753

    Why are you doing lime every year? You could be doing more harm than good if you don't need lime.
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  4. agrostis

    agrostis LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,545

    Central NC ? What does that mean ? You might be in bermuda country or fescue country or right on the edge of both. The biggest thing you can do to increase your cool season grass' chance of surviving the following summer is to do ALL your planting between Sept 1 - 15. This will make a big difference. Seed at 6 Lbs. per 1000, this make's a big difference. Transition blend seed is very middle of the road, if you have no irrigation using a better seed can make a big difference. Although lime is usually called for around here, don't assume this is what you need to do, get a real soil test. Doing all the little thing's right will mean the difference in green grass or not. A slit seeder can increase your germination rate to 95%. If i could plant seed with one of those, i would use it every time. Check this link out.
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2012
  5. marshill87

    marshill87 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 9

    Sir I live up the road from you in Mt.Airy. Question : Do I spray my Crab grass or just plug and seed and let frost kill crab grass at this time of year.Thanks
  6. agrostis

    agrostis LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,545

    Let the frost take out the crabgrass.

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