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Overseeding water schedule

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by spyder24, Sep 25, 2011.

  1. spyder24

    spyder24 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 26

    I originally thought I would attempt overseeding my lawn this Fall, but decided it was better left to a professional since this would achieve much better results :) The course of action will be to have the lawn aerated, starter fertilizer (Lesco 18-24-12 50%POLYPLUS) and seed (ALL PRO TRANSITION SEED BLEND)

    Despite this, I need advice on a watering schedule once the grass seed is laid down. I ordered two Gilmour Impulse Pattern Master sprinklers (196XLB) and two water timers as I only have two outdoor faucets.

    Once the seed is laid down, what is your recommended watering schedule?

    I am located in North Carolina. Thanks for the advice!
  2. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    Depends on the weather, temp, soil, shade etc... we water every other day up here... the key is to thoroughly soak first thing...
  3. spyder24

    spyder24 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 26

    Thanks, Smallaxe. I will definitely give it a through soaking after it is planted. When you water every other day, approximately how much water should be applied?
  4. tyler_mott85

    tyler_mott85 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 582

    The idea is to keep the soil moist but not soaking wet. A constant moist that doesn't vary much throughout the day. I sowed about 2.5 weeks ago. We were still in the mid 80s and for two days it got back up into mid 90s temperature wise. I used cheap sprinklers on hoses and I had to have them come on every two hours for 10 minutes for about 10 days before i cut back to keep the soil moist. Just remember its better to water multiple times a day for 5 minutes than to water once a day for 15 minutes. This would cause puddling and that is not the best for new seed.

    It all depends on your soil your best bet is to keep a close eye on it for the first couple days and tweak your water schedule for best bets. But every part of the country is different so what works here in central ks is probably far away form what works best in North Carolina.

    Good luck!
  5. spyder24

    spyder24 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 26

    Thanks Tyler! Good advice that I will definitely utilize.
  6. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,562

    If you have good water pressure you should be able to use a hose splitter and run two rotary sprinklers at the same time--two 80 foot circles. Same in front yard. Use the timer and run the front yard a few minutes later so you are not trying to use both the front and back spigots at the same time.
    I say, sprinkle every day if your temp is above 75 or if your weather is windy, with low humidity, or if you have sandy soil. You need less when it is cooler; evaporation is slower. If hot, try to put on about 1/4 inch per day. Put out a coffee mug in the area and measure the water that accumulates duuring one irrigation cycle. (About up to Jefferson's chin on a nickel. Chin deep sprinkling is ideal).

    Watch out for erosion if there is heavy rain ( or steep slopes with loose soil). It is best to attach your downspouts to plastic drainage tile to prevent this. Temporary--remove after 5 weeks.

    Do not let grass get tall, as mowing helps it to spread sideways. When it is time to mow--let lawn dry out for 24 hours so it will be firm and not muddy. Water after mowing. Be sure to add additional fertilizer after about 4 weeks to stimulate rapid fill-in and thickness. Add new seed promptly to any thin spots--don't wait until weather is too cold. Apply crabgrass control in spring when the temp reaches about 65.
  7. spyder24

    spyder24 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 26

    Good advice as always, Riggle. Thanks for your detailed response. Sorry for all of the questions, but I want to make sure I do this right. So here goes:

    The overseeding will be done on Tuesday morning while I am at work. From what I have read, early morning seems to be the best for watering; however, I will be at work when the overseeding is done. Will it be okay to complete the first full watering when I get home (around 7:00pm)? Or can I just wait until the next morning?
  8. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    I run the water until I see it start to puddle on the surface, then shut it off...

    Just becuz I'm doing every other day here on artificial topsoil, doesn't mean that it will work for you...

    Just watch the soil or topdressing or what ever you have, and as it starts to dry, make some puddles again...

    Another little trick that works well it, after 8 days I should already see germination, depending on air/soil temps so I might soak i real good one last time on day 6 and let air start to come back into the soil... day 7&8 the grass pops and those little roots go deep into the soft earth wih some air to let them grow healthy, so from then on you cut back drastically, just so the seedlings don't wilt... too much water removing air from the soil is the chief problem of most lawns in which the h.o. have automatic irrigation... same applies to seedlings...

    Let us know what these pros do in their attempt to overseed and how well it works... good luck... :)
  9. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,562

    Sure; apply the first water when you get home from work--could be dark, but I don't think fungus disease is much of a concern compared to a good soak to start it off. The cool weather will slow things down. Ask for the seed label (or a copy) so you can see what your company applied, (the quality and disease resistance of the blend, and the percent weed seed, germination percentage, and how old the seed is). Save a sample of the seed and plant a pinch of it inside in a coffee mug. (1/4 inch deep). If anything goes wrong, at least you have evidence. Under warm conditions inside the house, you should see some germination in a week. Probably close to two weeks wait outside. Read your water meter before and after, and save your water bill. In case of a dispute you can prove how much water you applied (minus an estimate of how much you used to shower and flush your toilet).

    And there is a slight complication to look forward to...new perennial ryegrass is very susceptible to rust disease in the fall. You get an orange powder on the grass and it looks very yellow. It looks bad, but it disappears about the time of frost.

    Good luck and take pictures. And if you get the label we would probably enjoy criticizing the quality of the seed mix your contractor used. Sorry, we hate cheap seed, don't take it personal.

    Do you mean Lesco All Pro Transition Blend? Item number 007330? If so it contains tall fescues Magellen, Biltmore, and Reunion--or it did last year--mixtures often vary depending on seed harvest availability.
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2011
  10. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,562

    Found a link for the Lesco All Pro Transition Blend:


    This seed sounds good, but it may be a bit slow to appear as temperatures are cooling off. Plan to see new grass in about 3 weeks.

    Also no bluegrass is included. Tall fescue does not creep to fill in bare spots. I am not sure if it is needed, but some experts recommend 10 percent bluegrass to improve the ability of the grass to creep and fill in thin spots. Sorry to confuse the issue and sorry to criticize what your expert is sowing. Should be good, anyway.

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