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Need Advice/HELP

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by Roger Wilkerson, Oct 2, 2007.

  1. Roger Wilkerson

    Roger Wilkerson LawnSite Member
    Messages: 69

    I need a little advice folks, I just seeded a large part of my yard last week and immediately following I got a huge downpour and apparently a lot of the seed got washed away. My germination is spotty at best. I have the following questions.

    1. Can I slit seed and re fertilize over the areas I have done already.
    2. After I do this (if I can) is it possible to topdress with composted soil?
    3. what is the best method for topdressing?
    4. I bought an aerator attachment for my Stilhl M55 which apparently works great as a slit seeder but not so well as an aerator so would I broadcast the seed first and then use the attachment? or vice versa?

    Thanks all,

    Roger w.
  2. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Did you core aerate before you seeded?

    Unless it's really bad I would just re-seed by hand those areas, throw it down a bit heavy handed and you should be fine.
    Might have to spot seed a few areas again in the spring.
  3. jeffinsgf

    jeffinsgf LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 641

    The attachment for your M55 is not what most people think of as an aerator. It is more of a verti-cut than an aerator. I know Stihl calls it an aerator -- so does Honda on my mini-tiller.

    That doesn't mean to the tool isn't useful for this project, but most people (particularly on this board) are thinking core aerator anytime the word aerator is used.

    For those areas that washed, I would use your M55 to loosen up the soil, add some compost, rake it out, seed, lightly topdress with more compost, and roll.
  4. Roger Wilkerson

    Roger Wilkerson LawnSite Member
    Messages: 69

    Thanks Jeff, what is the easiest/most effective way to topdress? Would a broadcast spreader cranked all the way open work?
  5. Roger Wilkerson

    Roger Wilkerson LawnSite Member
    Messages: 69

    No I didn't core aerate, the areas I seeded were freshly graded so I didn't feel that I needed to do that. I do have a question about core aeration though. My soil is good old clay and the cores really don't dissolve. The only option I can see is to rake them up. Any other ideas?
  6. jeffinsgf

    jeffinsgf LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 641

    My experience with trying to topdress with a broadcast spreader was -- let's call it -- less than successful. :hammerhead: The material bridged in the hopper and just refused to feed. If we aren't talking about vast amounts of space, and you're only doing this one time, I would look toward a scoop shovel and a leaf rake. If you're going to make a commitment to topdressing as a maintenance practice, there are a few options, from manual walkers to powered tow units. The choice would depend on the size of your lawn. There was a thread here a few months ago that had a link to some dandy looking manual units...try a search.

    Clay cores: As you work your soil over time (repeated aeration and topdressing) this will improve. After 3 years, mine disperse completely after about 2-1/2 weeks. The first time I used my aerator they were still identifiable after 2 months. Now I mostly leave them. A lawn sweeper will pick them up. I have one I got from Sears, and it will get 95% of the plugs in one pass. I used them to fill some low spots this Spring. Worked like a charm.
  7. Roger Wilkerson

    Roger Wilkerson LawnSite Member
    Messages: 69

    Thanks Jeff, O appreciate the direction

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