Seed in Dead Grass Cover

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by Smallaxe, Sep 13, 2012.

  1. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    This is not thatch, although many would call the processing of removing this dead plant material "de-thatching", technically it is not thatch...

    Regardless, this is where the seed was placed last week... it has washed in under the cover of the dead grass after being broadcast into the area... this area was killed off early in the season, due to heavy traffic(games) and no irrigation when the heat and drought was burning up the turf... it is essentially a sand hill with a thin coating of topsoil and decayed plant material...

    The idea is to follow its ability to germinate in here and grow... :)

    Seed in dead grass.jpg
  2. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,808

    Anxiously awaiting results. Hope you get rain. Not much in Michigan.
  3. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    We got 2 short squalls over the past weekend period that added up to over 1/2 inch and period over Wednesday nite into Thursday of steady gentle downfall... I also have a hose sitting on this area, so I can just turn the faucet when I'm in the neighborhood...

    It's been cold here though... :)
  4. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    The spot that I got the photo from is starting now to grow grass from the seed that I simply broadcast onto "UnPrepared" ground... However,,, NOT in the type of areas that I photographed...

    Also in this area there is open , bare ground that consists of a heavy dose of compost, left over from last Fall,,, and that's the spot that has germination...
    So: As it stands now,,, loose bare soil/compost with seed broadcast onto it,,, germinates quicker than seed in/under the dead grass cover... :)

    This area needs to be full of new green grass, established well enough to survive, any weather, after the irrigation is turned off... so I cheated and added compost to that particular spot...

    There are plenty of other areas that I broadcast seed into without the use of compost, so as they germinate I'll try to get pix and describe what's happening with them...
  5. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,808

    I am also conducting a tiny test. 4 circular areas. No prep, cut short, seed before aeration, seed after aeration. But it is difficult to see the results. The crabgrass that was cut short promptly grew back. Non-irrigated spot, and not much rain. Ace hardware seed, used a teaspoon of seed in a half sq foot area, (about 0.17 ounce), (about 21 pounds per thousand sqft). Results later.
  6. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    Our CG is scaling back... we haven't had a frost yet, and the nights only dropped into the 30's briefly and the CG were the only things affected that I could see...

    Nevertheless, It will be interestting to compare notes as time goes by... :)
  7. suzook

    suzook LawnSite Member
    Messages: 147

    Looks like that area is under some pines...tough to grow grass in an area like that.
  8. Hineline

    Hineline LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 562

    A good steel tinned leaf rake works great in dead grass for germ. Once I was taking the slit seeder through an area of my lawn that had grubs and tore a bunch of turf out before I realized how bad it was. I didn't have time to bring in soil so I threw seed down on bare ground and raked the loose slit seeder stubble over it and it came in great. The area was about 20' x 20'.
  9. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    You're right... Most of my lawns are shade lawns and it is pine and oak that dominate those landscapes...

    I agree that the loose stubble works great as cover for the seeding...

    I'm headed down there again today to see if any more germination occurred from our last warm day of the season...
    Riggle, I think our CG will be nothing but seed cover by next Monday... :)
  10. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,808

    I sowed seed, (Ace Hardware, blue, fine fescue, per rye and annual rye), in 6 test areas consisting of an 7.5 in circle, about a third square foot. Not irrigated, only one good rain fell during the test.
    I sowed 1 ounce seed, 1 oz seed after short cut, 1 teaspoon seed, 1 teaspoon seed cut short, 1 teaspoon seed after aeration, 1 teaspoon seed before aeration.

    The results using an ounce of seed became visible after 3 weeks. One ounce of seed sowed over grass and crabgrass cut short was best foreground photo, and had the thickest grass, but 1 ounce of seed without cutting short was nearly the same.
    The remainder was not so easy to distinguish, bit it appeared to me that 1 teaspoon of seed applied to short cut crabgrass was about the same as 1 teaspoon of seed applied after aeration.

    The remaining treatments had very little visible results so far.
    One ounce is about 208 pounds per thousand--about 40 times the recommended rate. One teaspoon was about 7 times the recommended rate.
    Left to right lower photo. One teaspoon of seed: Before aeration, after aeration, cut short, no prep.

    It is clear that a very high seeding rate results in a very dense stand...even if the preparation is minimal. Clearly I applied far more than necessary. If a high rate of seed is applied a good stand can result.



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