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Renovated lawn--grass is sparse; need help!

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by rmmitchell, Sep 23, 2006.

  1. rmmitchell

    rmmitchell LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    I began a lawn renovation fourteen days ago. I used Lesco's Duro-Turf (a fescue / hybrid bluegrass blend). My soil is clay, so I used a plugger / aerator before I began. The steps I took were: I performed a soil test, spread lime, went over the seed bed four or five times with a plugger (weighted it down to 200lbs to penetrate deep), spread fertilizer, spread seed (at a heavy rate), and rolled over the seed with a lawn roller; I water 10 minutes, twice a day. Now, my problem...

    While there is grass everywhere (and Duro-Turf is awesome, by the way) and some sections of the yard are moderately thick, most areas are too sparse. I am concerned that there is too much dirt available for weeds in the spring. I seeded very heavily, but the seed has mostly "taken" in the holes created by the aeration. I have already spent oodles of money and can only afford $200-300 more (I really can't afford even that, but don't want all the money I have already put into this to go down the tubes!). To give you an idea of how far my buck will go, I have about a half acre. One guy suggested organic fertilizer to see if I can get what's already out there to germinate, but I really can't afford enough to make it worthwhile. The only other option I can see is to overseed. I don't want to do it in the spring because I want to be able to apply a pre-emergent. My questions:

    1) Given my budgetary constraints, are there any better suggestions than overseeding?
    2) If I overseed:
    a) How can I get optimum results?
    b) Should I mow over or rake up the straw that is out there now from my first seeding (to ensure that the new seed will reach the soil?)?
    c) Can I / should I use a slit seeder to overseed or is my new grass too fragile?
    d) I have a moderate slope in my front yard, can I slit seed on it?

    Sorry for the length of the post...just wanna get it right!
  2. joshua

    joshua LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,226

    not from your area but why would you use a tall fesque kentucky blue mix? you should of used one ( tall fesque or the blue ). reason tall fesque doesn't like heavy amounts of water when its a seed. tall fesque and kentucky blue both take 14-21 days to germinate. if the seed in the aeration hles are just starting to pop then the seed on the surface is a few days away. simply test on checking the seed on the surface is the grab a few seeds on the top of the dirt and see if they are starting to come out of the protective coat. depedning on how thick the straw is you might want to lightly rake some of it up. a picture would be helpful
  3. rmmitchell

    rmmitchell LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    Actually, in this area, a mixture of the two is pretty desirable--the bluegrass helps repair areas of fescue that die due to our hot summers. Unfortunately, you can't even purchase hybrid bluegrass (a cross between Kentucky Bluegrass and Texas Bluegrass, which makes it more heat tolerant); they always add fescue. Unfortunately, regular old KGB just won't survive the heat of the summers. On the other hand, I REALLY don't like the still coarse texture of even the finest turf type tall fescues. So...that's how I ended up with my choice.

    Actually, I'm finally getting good results--it took the full 21 days...I'm used to fescue, which sometimes germinates sooner. I'm still planning to go back and fill in bare spots and will probably rake up the straw before I do to ensure good soil contact. I would still like to overseed, but I'm concerned because the clay has alread started to show compaction again and may not provide good soil contact. Do you think I should slit seed over a new lawn?
  4. baddboygeorge

    baddboygeorge LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,249

    slice rite into it It wont hurt a thing I did a few yards like that last year with great results have fun George

    TURFLORD LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 834

    Leave the straw alone,slice the bare spots, and have a little patience. Don't apply any Pre in the Spring, you might shock the new seed. If the Crab is a big problem, use a post-emergent. If you do any slicing, use a spring rake upside down to rake the seed into the slits.

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