Opinion needed on seeding?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by AllAmericanlawn, Sep 3, 2007.

  1. AllAmericanlawn

    AllAmericanlawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 275

    I live in Tennessee and was wondering what seed most proffessionals use in my area? Combo-seeds or single? How does your typical Fall go as far as Aereating and overseed? When you do it? Do you Aerate, overseed and fertilize in same day? All input is helpful, Thanks.
  2. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    omg ...

    I'm in va, I use Tall fescue exclusively, just happens to be the most common stuff sold in stores here, cheapest too (but cheap it isn't, just cheapest out of the lot). Right now if I got the pricing structure down we should be looking at $80+ per 50 pounds.
    Minimum specs for me is 90% germ rate and 0.1% weed, no KY 31 sorry.
    Ok, Ky gold pro is decent but by then you spend another 5 bucks or so and get the high grade stuff...
    Spend the extra, it makes a BIG difference.

    Core aeration doubles the germination rate, I use the formula of 100 pounds per acre for a light seeding, 200 pounds is heavy, 150 in between, but unless you're just spot seeding I ALWAYS aerate when I seed, it just makes sense. Of course throw down some starter fertilizer, a few bags of lime help as well, roughly a pound of lime per 10% nitropound fertilizer. Ahhh so if you're throwing down 10-10-10 then one bag of lime per bag of fert and if you're using 20-40-8, two bags of lime per bag of fert, etc.
    If you want a no-nonsense formula just use 3-4 bags of lime per 1/4 acre all around and you're done figuring.
    What the lime does is help release some of the inactive ingredients in the fert, once again you increase the effectiveness of the fertilizer itself at a fraction of the cost, unless you want to use 2x the fertilizer, lime is the trick to keeping the cost down.

    Core Aeration must be done on damp soil, the best (and really only) time to aerate is within the next THREE days after a good rain, by the 4th day it starts to solidify again, so days 1-2-3 after a solid rain work best. Do NOT aerate dry soil! 'nuff said.

    Why yes, do it all at once, those holes the aerator plugs are like miniature greenhouses, they hold seed and what not and it stays warm inside those holes and it's perfect for growth, so get it all in there before they close back up.
    Only time I split it up is on big lots like acre+, aerate it one day then dump the stuff the next but don't wait long, if it don't go down in quick succession you waste your time.

    Cheap it isn't, I usually get 270 for the first 1/4 acre, 250 per 1/4 for bigger lots, an acre is a grand, it don't get much cheaper with size here, but when a customer spends that kind of money it makes a difference (and these prices ARE heavy seeding), anything less is just goofing around. I tell them that, now sure enough I get some who just want aeration and seed, hey that's fine, I personally like just aeration, but I make sure to let them know what I said just now, for when the results are less than desired...

    Hope that helps
  3. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    I forgot...

    Use a starter fert, the best kind are farming ferts (non-slow release, full power all at once), but the biggest thing is the numbers x-y-z on the bag. You want a lowish first number (10 to 18 or so) a HIGH middle number (20 to 40) and a low third number (6 to 8), THAT is a starter fert. Those numbers are percents, a 20 means there is 20% of whatever in those 40 or 50 pounds.

    For little nonsense, use 40-50 pounds per 1/4 acre at 30-40 percent middle number. So, if you have 40 pound bags of 10-20-8 then you'd want to use two per 1/4 acre. If you have 50 pound bags of 14-36-12 then one is enough, rough guide don't go over 20% nitro 50 pounds per 1/4, and 40% phosphorus 50 pounds per 1/4 max as well.

    The three numbers stand for nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium (or potash).
    Basically nitrogen boost existing turf growth, while phosphorus boosts germination.
    Not sure what potassium and potash does, but I think the magnesium in the lime works nicely with the potassium lol.

    If you're still in the mood add 3-4 bags of gypsum to the fun, per 1/4 acre.
    40 or 50 pounders, makes little difference here, say 120-200 pounds, clay buster, that is.

    There you have it: core aeration, seed, lime, fertilizer, and gypsum (aka clay buster).
    Per 1/4 acre: 50 pounds 90% / 0.1% seed, 120-200 pounds of lime, 20-40% 40-50 pounds phosporus, 120-200 pounds gypsum.
    BLAM, that turns it up a notch for sure.
  4. AllAmericanlawn

    AllAmericanlawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 275

    Thanks, thats a huge help! But what is Gypsum (aka clay buster)? That is all Tennessee is made of is clay and more red clay.
  5. Novaowner

    Novaowner LawnSite Member
    Messages: 70

    Some great information, I was going to ask for this info, but you took care of it. Thanks!

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