Overseeding Advice

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by rabernethy4, Aug 6, 2010.

  1. rabernethy4

    rabernethy4 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 17

    Hello. I recently moved into a new house in SE Michigan. The lawn looks OK, but I've run into a couple problems. First, I got blasted by dollar spot and spurge. I'm currently trying to control both of those problems. Second, the soil seems pretty compacted and there's a lot of thatch. Judging by the condition of the rest of the landscaping, I'd say the lawn has been a bit neglected over the years. I decided I would overseed the lawn this fall and I'm looking for some advice since I've never done this before.

    Here's some more background info:
    • I think the lawn is mostly KBG, but I'll snag some pictures tonight and confirm
    • The backyard has a large expanse that gets a lot of sun and a lot of traffic (kids)
    • Due to the grade, the sides of the house tend to stay wetter longer
    • There are a couple trees, but overall the lawn is really sunny
    Here's my plan:
    1. Thoroughly water lawn the day before
    2. Mow existing grass (1.5 to 2 inches; collect clippings)
    3. Dethatch
    4. Aerate (2 to 3 passes; 20 to 40 holes per sq. foot)
    5. Apply seed
    6. Apply compost topdressing
    7. Apply fertilizer
    8. Irrigate appropriately
    Here are my questions:
    • What kind of seed should I get?
    • What kind of fertilizer should I get and when should I apply it?
    • What's the proper irrigation schedule after overseeding?
  2. rabernethy4

    rabernethy4 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 17

    What is the difference between these Scott's products?
    • TurfBuilder Sun & Shade Mix
    • TurfBuilder High Traffic Mix
    • TurfBuilder Heat-Tolerant Blue Mix
    • TurfBuilder Kentucky Bluegrass Mix
    I assume they have different cultivars and mix ratios, but I'm finding it hard to figure what they are and which type is appropriate. Any suggestions?
  3. rabernethy4

    rabernethy4 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 17

    This thread needs more pictures! :) Can you tell what type of grass that is? Nothing had seed heads, unfortunately.




  4. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    Get the water away from the house... Very dangerous situation in the midwest...
  5. rabernethy4

    rabernethy4 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 17

    Any suggestions on the seed type? Do I need to dethatch if I'm aerating?
  6. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,115

    speak with your local extension agent they know the varieties that work best in your area, I personally like "midnight" KBG it is very disease resistant and has great color, it also uses less water and fert to look good

    whatever you pick look at the label and look for "weed seeds" percentage you will find that the cheaper seed has lots of weed seeds sometimes as much as 10%, DO NOT buy the cheap seed because of this. You often get what you pay for with seed

    you have time, do a little research on how old the varieties are in the mix, you want newer varieties that have better disease resistance
  7. nepatsfan

    nepatsfan LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,142

    I would aerate and overseed in the fall. Dethatch in the spring.
  8. rabernethy4

    rabernethy4 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 17

    I've seen this mentioned a few times, but I have no idea what it means. How do I go about finding a local extension agent?
  9. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,115

    most often they are through your state university and normally cover a defined area like a county

  10. rabernethy4

    rabernethy4 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 17

    Thanks - that helps to clarify. I e-mailed my county's extension last week regarding soil testing so it looks like I can follow-up with them regarding seed types. :)

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