Reseeding my wooded lot (for dummies)

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by tacoma200, Sep 27, 2007.

  1. tacoma200

    tacoma200 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,426

    Well I'm pretty much a dummy when it comes to reseeding. I am going to try to reseed my 13,000 sq ft area around my home. The problem is I live in a wooded lot and thinning the trees is not an option so I will just have to live with the results which haven't been too bad. I am just now learning about taking care of grass even though I've been mowing for several years now. I just send off my soil sample to be checked and bought a bag of tall fescue (falcon III). leaves will be falling in a few weeks, do I want to get this sewed ahead of the big leaf fall? Can I add fertilizer and lime when my test comes back on top (after the seed is sewn). Or am I too late to do it this year and need to wait and get the soil ready. I really have some heavy leaf fall here but I like the trees more than the grass so I'm willing to live with the results. I may put some creeping red in the heavier shaded areas. Be easy on me, I'm just now learning this stuff. I have never done anything to this lot except put down Ky 31 12 years ago and put some red creeping in the front which hasn't done all that bad considering I've never put fertilizer on it. This picture isn't much but you can see what I'm going to be dealing with. I'm definitely going to start keeping soil test, fertilize, and doing a better job of taking care of it. Should I sew before the leafs fall? Can I fertilize after ward? Falcon III was the best seed I could find in this area (rural) but I'm sure I'll be adding some fine red creeping to the mix in the heavier shaded area's. Like I said I'm a dummy at this but I've been reading some books by Scotts and others and am ready to start learning I'm not seeding the area in fore ground of the picture just a 100 ft border around the home, give or take.

    My house.jpg
  2. BrandonV

    BrandonV LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,603

    i'd go to lesco and get some shade mix, good stuff and plan on watering next summer the turf never wins when it fights trees for water
  3. Marcos

    Marcos LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,720

    Looks like a real nice place. (Maybe around Cumberland or Laurel Lake area?) It looks like you might get more sun CLOSE to the house than you led us to believe? If so, the Falcon III is fine in that area. (but a blend of 3 or more turf type tall fescues is better). Moving into the 'treed' area, and into the shade, I would also use T.T.T. fescues at about 1/2 the normal rate ( 4# / 1000 sq. ft in your case), and also a small amount of the creeping fescue you described. At the outdoor field day I attended at the Ohio State U. campus this year, the TALL fescues 'endured' the best overall in the shade, and the CR fescues 'came back' the best!
  4. gene gls

    gene gls LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,213

    Your at a catch 22 stage. If you can get the seed in and growing before the leaves accoumalate very much, you'll be good. But, if the leaves fall too much and cover the ground, the seed will smother. Chances are, you will tear up the ground when trying to blow the leaves off so that will also cause problems for the new seed growing.
  5. tacoma200

    tacoma200 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,426

    Yep Gene, that is a concern. I may have to get the seed into the ground and growing before the leaves fall, then maybe I can gently keep them off the new turf. When I first moved here and knew zero about grass i just spread Ky 31 and it actually grew Ok for 2-3 years and steadily declined. I threw a few red creeping seeds in the shady front of the home and they have actually done OK considering I've never fertilized or watered it much. I will have all the leaves off by early November but then It will probably be too late to seed. And I hear spring seeding usually doesn't yield as good of results but it would be easier for me because I wouldn't have to contend with leaves. Catch 22 as you say. I have 3 acres and most of it is low maintenance woods. The trees are wide enough to get in there with a mower/bushog 2-3 times a year. I only maintain a small area around the home as an actual lawn. Everyone that comes out to my place loves it because of the trees and privacy so my lawn takes second place. I have a friend with a seeder that may be a better solution. I know I'll have to keep the leafs off of it. Definately a catch 22.
  6. tacoma200

    tacoma200 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,426

    Yes, I live near Lake Cumberland. Most of my best customers live in Ohio, and Northern KY and have homes on or near the lake. Lots of wooded lots and most of them go down hill (turf wise) after the first few seasons. I try to keep most of the property as a low maintenance wooded lot with natural cover such as ferns that only need attention a few times a year and keep grass around the home. I'm not familiar with the term T.T.T. fescue though. Maybe I should just work on the soil and try to get started next Spring. I just keep hearing that no one has much luck with starting in the Spring. What do you think?

    eagle 005.jpg
  7. tacoma200

    tacoma200 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,426

    I have not found any Lesco or Scotts distributors around this area, not sure what Lowes carries. When you go into a farm, or feed store here and ask for tall fescue for lawns they don't know they make anything but KY 31. I'm guessing TTT is tall turf fescue Marcos?
  8. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    I have many wooded areas that need help and you are correct that a low maintenance program is the best. IMO at least. I fertilize twice a year and water enough to keep the grass alive. Blow the clippings on the lawn to keep the top layer separate from tree roots.
    Here we seed in August/early Sept. and blow the leaves off the new grass in October. I figure the leaves could sit for 2 weeks before damage unless they are 'soaked' into the turf. I blow every 2 weeks when the soil is dry, so you can get around the catch 22 situation. Spring time is good for annual ryegrass and a bit of your best adapted perenial seed.
    My forest lawns are getting better but it is definately a challenge.
  9. TAZ

    TAZ LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 344

    My last house was wooded. Like the others stated the competition for water with the trees is a problem as well as the acidity of the leaves. In order to keep it thick and full I ended up overseeding often. No matter what I did I couldn't keep it from thining out. The fescues are better in that environment for sure.

    TTT = Turf Type Tall Fescue

  10. gene gls

    gene gls LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,213

    Lance, Check out have a wide verity of seed blends and products. Thier catalog has a lot of very good information. I have used them for years. You will need a seed that requires less sun light to survive. As others have stated, you will also have to overseed more often in the shaded areas. I have the same problem in my shade areas and also moss sets in fast and will take over.

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