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Seed Quality vs Fert Quality?

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by andyh3, Jun 30, 2009.

  1. andyh3

    andyh3 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    Which is MORE important - to have a higher quality seed or higher quality fertilizer?

    I understand that they are both important. But if you seed with a lesser quality seed and use a high quality fertilizer, can you still achieve excellent lawn appearance? Or are you going to be limited based on seed type?

    Many of my clients have newer lawns started with contractor-grade seed and they are wanting 'golf course-like' appearance. Can that be done with selecting good fertilizer? Or will I have to re-seed?

  2. phasthound

    phasthound LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,143

    Tell your clients that "golf course-like" appearance requires both high quality fert and annual power seeding.
  3. mdlwn1

    mdlwn1 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,443

  4. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,723

    Top quality seed is absolutely essential. Fertilizer lasts about a month. The seed lasts 20 years. Put in bad grass or weedy, disease-prone, stringy grass and you have a problem that will last 20 years. See above pictures on worst red thread problems. Don't buy seed on price--buy on performance. Get a bluegrass like Northstar, Midnight II, or Limosine. Add a rye like Palmer IV, Derby Xtreme, Silver Dollar or Manhattan IV. Fertilizer cannot fix bad seed.
  5. andyh3

    andyh3 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4


    that was kind of what I had originally thought
  6. bigslick7878

    bigslick7878 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 809

    Its the seed by a mile.Every seed has its own genetic makeup and it makes a HUGE difference in the quality of turf you get.It is everything when trying to get lush green grass that you could sleep on,resists disease and weeds and can survive drought or other tough conditions.

    That contractor grade garbage comes in really fast and then when you go 4 days without rain it is dying and thinning out.....like it is around where I am at at a couple of new houses and businesses I ride by all the time.
  7. andyh3

    andyh3 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    what is the best way to get around bad seed - complete renovation or simply overseed?

    if overseeding is the way to go, how long does it take for the good grass to 'replace' the bad? and is that even possible?
  8. bigslick7878

    bigslick7878 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 809

    Best thing to do is just thin out the junk grass as much as possible before you overseed.Power rake it and chop it down as low as the mower will go,it will struggle to come back and in the meantime the good grass is coming in replacing it. I wouldn't kill it all off because that existing grass does wonders shading the new seed and keeping it moist while it is germinating.

    Eventually you can crowd out the old stuff after a few overseedings.The strong will survive over the course of time and that will be the new good quality turf.

    I'm assuming you are talking about a cool season grass??
  9. muddstopper

    muddstopper LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,341

    Use a good quality seed and a verygood quality fertilizer application program. The best fert and the best seed in the world wont make up for poor management practices.
  10. mdlwn1

    mdlwn1 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,443

    Actually...the BEST thing to do is kill it and reseed completely. The faster growing sht grasses will always continue spreading.

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