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My Seeding Plan Massachusetts Opinions Needed

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by DieselMDX, Apr 30, 2013.

  1. DieselMDX

    DieselMDX LawnSite Member
    from MA
    Messages: 72

    OK peeps after reading a ton of threads on different seeding ideas and techniques this is my plan for my lawn. I have not over seeded in 2 years because I knew I was getting irrigation done and it was probably going to get trashed. My front lawn is KBG sod and is about 6 years old the back is some kind of hydro seed which is about 5.5 years old. I am using Black Beauty Ultra as seed and scotts starter fert with scotts seed soil on the areas that need complete seeding. The irrigation guys really did a number on my lawn.

    Dethatch entire lawn

    Use Billy Goat vacuum to remove any loose clippings raking did not remove

    Cut lawn to 1.5 inches

    Use Bluebird aerator to prepare lawn for seed


    Seed with Black Beauty Ultra


    Thin areas get Scotts seeding soil

    Spread Scotts Starter Fert over entire lawn

    Water first thing morning then short blast mid afternoon to keep seed moist.

    Temps here in Mass are about mid to high 60 in the day mid to low 40s at night.


    Any advice is appreciated I am hoping to get the best results for my limited experience.
  2. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    You are going to pick up all the loose clippings and thatch you can dig off the surface,,, with a vacuum... WHY???

    That stuff is excellent cover for seed...

    Aerating is still the stupidest machine for seed bed preparation out there,,, UNLESS,,, you plan 4 or more passes to accomplish a "semi-till" suface to the soil,,, in which case dethatching is a complete waste of time...

    There's a couple of things to consider as you are putting your plan into action... :)
  3. bepperb

    bepperb LawnSite Member
    Messages: 14

    I would also save the effort of bagging the thatch and aerating and instead use that time/money to topdress after you lay the seed. Aerating in springtime can bring a lot of weed seeds up, I'm not sure your weed situation. Is your soil that compacted?

    I also prefer composted manure/topsoil mix over "turf soil" and milorganite over starter fertilizer, so if you haven't bought yet you might consider saving some money there and spending it on compost/peat/quality topsoil topdress.
  4. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,334

    Here, I modified your list and added comments.

    1. Cut lawn to 1-1.5 inches
    2. Use Bluebird aerator to prepare lawn for seed (assuming aeration is needed)
    3. Dethatch entire lawn (power rake might be more appropriate depending on thatch layer if one exists)
    4. Remove the crap you just pulled up if it is excessive
    5. DO NOT REMOVE PLUGS? (no, the power raking/verti-mow will break them up)
    6. Seed with Black Beauty Ultra
    8. Spread Scotts Starter Fert over entire lawn (only if soil test shows it is needed)
    9. Topdress with compost if possible
    10. Water first thing morning then short blast mid afternoon to keep seed moist.
      Temps here in Mass are about mid to high 60 in the day mid to low 40s at night.
      IS THAT TOO MUCH WATER? (Yes. At those temps you should only need a slight irrigation around 1 PM. Couple of minutes with sprays, 5-10 minutes with rotors depending on distribution uniformity)
  5. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,707

    Why are you overseeding? What is the goal? Best to resod thin spots with a sod similar to your original. Do not put a different type or lower quality of grass in the thin--or dug up--spots. Stay with sod-quality Kentucky bluegrass where it was sodded, and sow top-grade perennial rye in the back where it was hydroseeded. If your grass is already thick, not much of the seed will "take" and if it does--you will not be able to tell. Concentrate on the thin spots or anywhere soil is visible.

    If you wish to improve your lawn plenty of water and a regular fertilization program (mainly slow-release) is a good bet. Naturally, you need crabgrass control, weed control, keep an eye out for insects and disease. Plan to cut with a sharp mower--twice per week.
  6. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,334

    I disagree riggle. Patching turf with sod or seed will likely lead to a patchwork turf of variable colors & textures if you aren't matching what is there exactly. IMO, when any seed goes down, it should go down over the entire area, no exceptions. A patch with sod should be attempted only if it is an exact match.
  7. Hissing Cobra

    Hissing Cobra LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 705

    I'm not trying to be rude but you're going to fail and fail miserably. Why? Because you've done NOTHING in your outline to deal with Mother Nature's CRABGRASS and WEEDS. As a result, your seed will come up great at first and you'll be patting yourself on the back for a job well done. About a month later, you're going to see light green grass (Crabgrass) growing all over the place and by then it'll be too late. That grass will continue to grow throughout the summer until it's taken over your entire lawn. You'll be pulling your hair out and then be reseeding again next fall. Also, that Black Beauty seed you're using contains "Frontier Perennial Ryegrass" - which will not match your Bluegrass Sod. As a result, you'll be sure to see patches of light green grass if you're only patching certain areas.

    LISTEN UP PEEPS! If you want to seed in the spring time, you NEED TO DO IT RIGHT! If you don't spend the money up front at the beginning of the season and purchase Tupersan (Siduron) to prevent crabgrass (with TWO Heavy applictions) you'll be spending it on the back side when you're redoing your entire lawn again in the fall.

    If your lawn were my lawn, this is what I would do.

    Scalp it down to the lowest setting possible on your lawn mower and remove the clippings with either a bagger or a rake/leaf blower. Once that is done, I would rent a slice seeder and slice seed the areas you want to have repaired with the new lawn seeding rate.

    For the front lawn, I would purchase a bag of Quality Bluegrass Seed (100% Bluegrass) from your nearest John Deere Landscapes location (there's about 20 of them in Massachusetts). This will match your Bluegrass Sod much better than the Black Beauty. I would then slice seed the weakened areas in the front in both directions. For the back lawn, I would purchase a bag of Fifty/Fifty Seed (50% Perennial Ryegrass/50% Kentucky Bluegrass), also from your nearest John Deere Landscapes location and slice seed the weakened areas out back in both directions. THERE IS NO NEED TO SLICE SEED HEALTHY, THICK SECTIONS as the grass seed will have no room to grow.

    When done with the slice seeding, it's time to apply a Starter Fertilizer WITH Tupersan (Siduron is the active ingredient). This product will allow you to grow your seed but will stunt Mother Nature's crabgrass and weeds, allowing your seed to come up. Your nearest John Deere Landscapes location should have it in stock and a 25 lb. bag will cost around $75.00 and cover 5,000 sq. feet on the heavy setting. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THE HEAVY SETTING for maximum fertilization and weed control. Since you need 60 days to grow your grass thick enough to withstand a conventional crabgrass pre-emergent crabgrass control such as Dimension, and the Tupersan (Siduron) only lasts for 30 days, you'll need to do TWO applications of this product - once on the day you're seeding and again 30 days later. The 2nd application will last until the 60 day mark from seeding, at which point you should be able to use a conventional crabgrass pre-emergent control to carry you through the rest of the summer.

    Your irrigation system should be set for 3 times per day (6:00am, 12:00pm, 6:00pm), about 10-15 minutes per zone each time they come on. You'll need to do this until it's full and thick, then you can back off the 3 light waterings and begin to water once or twice deeply to encourage root growth.

    Here's a program that I'll give you that will work if you can follow it.

    5/1/13 - Scalp lawn and remove clippings. Slice seed bare/weakened areas with seed that matches your lawn (Blue for the front & 50/50 for the rear). Starter Fertilizer with Tupersan (Siduron).

    5/29/13 - Starter Fertilizer with Tupersan

    6/26/13 - Lesco's 19-0-6 Dimension (Fertilizer + Crabgrass Pre-Emergent)

    7/24/13 - Lesco's 19-0-8 Allectus (Fertilier + Insect Control & Grub Control + 2% Iron)

    8/21/13 - Lesco's 28-0-12 + 3% Iron

    9/18/13 - Lesco's 21-0-21 + 2% Iron (Winterizer). Also, get a soil test done to gauge how much lime you'll need to apply. When the results come back, purachase and apply lime accordingly.

    ALL of these products can be purchased at your local John Deere Landscapes locations. I'm not sure what town you're from in Massachusetts but we've got stores everywhere around here. Go to www.johndeerelandscapes.com to locate a store near you.
    Last edited: May 1, 2013
  8. DieselMDX

    DieselMDX LawnSite Member
    from MA
    Messages: 72

    SMALLAXE: I figured it would be best to remove all thatch that might be on grass to help ensure the seed actually gets to the soil.
    I did plan to make multiple passes with aerator.

    BEPPERB i only bought the starter fert so far. I did see pete moss at store is that what i should use?

    KIRIL so no early morning watering only a blast a 1pm?

    HISSINGCOBRA: good god I am way over my head. I do have a john deere in Dartmouth. I AM GOING TO DO EXACTLY WHAT U SAID
  9. Hissing Cobra

    Hissing Cobra LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 705

    DieselIMDX, you're not over your head at all. You just need a good program to follow, complete with dates. Basically, you'll be scalping, seeding, and starter fertilizing on day one. Thirty days later you'll be starter fertilizing again. From there, your treatments will come at 30 day intervals.

    This program does work extremely well as I've seen it in action many times over the past 7 years or so. The biggest problem is cost. If you have a small lawn, the cost won't be so bad. If you have a 15,000 or bigger lawn, the cost will bite you 'cause the seed and Tupersan are not cheap (and the Tupersan has to be done twice). If you've got a lawn that size, you may want to consider holding off until September 1st. It's all in what your wallet will dictate. On September 1st, you can use a regular Starter Fertilizer WITHOUT Tupersan (Siduron) such as Lesco's 18-24-12 (covers 12,000 sq. feet) which is a LOT cheaper (around $40.00 per bag) and it'll go a lot farther.

    If you decide to do that, follow this treatment plan.

    September 1st - Scalp lawn and remove clippings. Slice seed bare/weakened areas with seed that matches your lawn (Blue for the front & 50/50 for the rear). Starter Fertilizer - 18-24-12.

    October 1st - Starter Fertilizer 18-24-12

    November 1st - 21-3-21 + 2% Iron (Winterizer)

    This will come in without competing against Mother Nature's crap and you'll get a much better job, plus it'll be cheaper.

    You can seed/fertilize anyway that you want and my program isn't the "be all and end all" of lawn programs. However, I've done enough of this stuff and have seen the results to know that these programs will work.
  10. DieselMDX

    DieselMDX LawnSite Member
    from MA
    Messages: 72

    I have a small lawn about 7,000 sqft

    i was going to spend 95 dollars on ultra for 25pd bag

    will see how much jdl is today

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