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Seeding Question

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by ScCo, Sep 26, 2004.

  1. ScCo

    ScCo LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 251

    The lawn at my new house STINKS! It has a few patches of clover and bermuda grass (not established bermuda turf, just strands here and there of bermuda grass), and a heavy layer of thatch. Actually, I should say that it did have a heavy layer of that, which I raked up and did away with.

    What I want to do is use a mix of fescue, blue, and rye developed by our local university for my area. The test plots that they used to develop the seed blend are very impressive and clearly show that it favors my region moreso than any other seed mix that they have tested.

    Our local temperatures are still getting into the mid-upper 80's with night time lows in the mid 60's so I'm thinking I should wait another 10 days or so before seeding. I just want to make sure everything is prepared properly for when it is time to seed.

    Here's what I've done so far:

    1. Dethatched the lawn
    2. Had a soil test done, and made the recomended ammendments. I had to add a LOT of lime and they recomended some compost to add organic material to the soil

    What is the best plan of action I can take from this point forward?

    Here's my guess, please recomend a different procedure if you have a procedure that works better as I want to make sure I get this done well.

    1. Raise low spots with a mix of topsoil and compost
    2. Till the entire lawn to mix in the compost I have added and to chop up the little bit of remaining bermuda grass.
    3. Rake the lawn level
    4. Aerate
    5. Seed at (10lbs per thousand square feet)
    6. Fertilize
    7. Rake again to re-level and to make sure seed is worked into soil (I don't have access to a slice seeder, to seeding and raking seems to be my only option).
    8. Water regularly (of course)

    Anything "goofy" in my plans that I need to change?

    I'm assuming that using roundup or fuselade on the bermuda strands would be be for the seeding even though it is 10-12 days until I will be seeding, but pleae correct me if I'm wrong.

    Anyhow, I'd like all the input that those of you who do a lot of this type of work can give me.

    Again, this is simply for my own property as I refer all of my customers to a different company for chemical applications, and we just don't do much seeding in this area...all the new lawns are sodded common bermuda.

    If you see anything screwed up in my plan of action please let me know. The 10 lbs per K is recomended for seeding new areas with the seed mix I will be using, but I have considered going to 12lbs per K just for extra coverage.

    What do I need to do differently (if anything) and am I right in that I should avoid using fuselade or roundup this close (10-12 days) before time to seed?


  2. all ferris

    all ferris LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,309

    You could use round up the same day that you seed. It won't hurt the new seed. If you're gonna till the yard I see no need to aerate. Tilling will loosen the soil. I would also consider strawing the yard as the last step. Strawing will hold the moisture in the ground. Then water, water, water.
  3. pjslawncare/landscap

    pjslawncare/landscap LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,410

    How big is your yard. Is it flat or sloped, trees or open, fenced in back yard or not. Sounds like your on the rite track by getting soil testing done. If yard is small, Id till it, pick all the sticks, rocks and vegitation from it. Then rake it, sow & fert it , lightly rake to cover seed then straw.
    If its large I would rent a tractor and gill it real well, sow & fert. Then gill again but lengthen upper 3 pt link so teeth arent dragging, just roller contacting ground. This mixes dirt, seed & fert mixture in top 1/2 inch layer. Then straw
  4. Davis Lawn Mowing LLC.

    Davis Lawn Mowing LLC. LawnSite Member
    Messages: 200

    My folks' house which I am staying at again since I started my business and tapped my resources, we had 3 huge locust trees removed on Labor Day weekend. The following weekend we had the stumps grinded and last weekend we brought in 6 yards of screened black dirt to raise a couple of the low spots and basically fill in where the trees were taken out which in turn we ended up just covering the entire front yard of there property. We have had a late summer and fall is here now and the temps have gone back down a bit to the 70s and low 40s or so at nights, in 10-14 days I suspect we will be down the 60s and 40s at night. So we seeded, raked it in, seeded again heavily and laid down straw. Man, we got a lot of straw on our yard! We seeded last Sunday morning(1 week ago today) and I am starting to notice some little tiny grassies starting to pop! On Tuesday before watered at night, my father and I walked the area and hand seeded on the straw to try and coat it even more. I just wish we would get some stinkin' rain so I can stop watering at least for only 1 night! I got anywhere from 45-60 minutes of watering depending on wind and the direction. We will seed again maybe in 7-10 days to coat again. This formula has worked for dad and I here at the house 2 years ago when we needed to seed the backyard after putting in my mom's flower garden and also last summer and this spring up at our cottage where we cleared crap loads of trees and broght in about 35-40 yards of topsoil to raise it up level with the surrounding areas. So far it has worked like a charm but we have had to use a different seed mix because with the trees removed, our front yard faces west so we get beat down with sun all afternoon at the peak warmth times of the day. Im just hoping this works but we will more than likely toss down more seed in late March to let it fester and pop in early spring before I am out mowing in mid-late April.
  5. ScCo

    ScCo LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 251

    my front lawn, which is the only part I'm renovating is 1950 square feet. So it is rather small. Tilling it isn't a big deal. It is not a fenced in front yard, and it is flat.

    Glad to hear that roundup won't hurt the new seeds. That makes the bermuda grass riddance fairly easy.

    I can pick up some straw this week to have to put down over the seed. That's no problem.

    THanks for the input,

  6. mbricker

    mbricker LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 505

    ScCo, sun or shade? Where are you? pm me if you want.

  7. drsogr

    drsogr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,275

    LOL Round Up will kill some of it off, but not all. Bermuda just plain sucks! I would plan on having some Bermuda in your yard next year. Bermuda is one of those things that is hard to get rid of. I imagine that your grass should come up great, with all of the work that you are putting into. With only 1950
    sq. feet I probably would have just sodded it.
  8. ScCo

    ScCo LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 251

    sent you a message about where I'm located mr. Bricker. I think we've ran into each other at harber meadows before, and we just didn't know that we were both one here. ;)

    I didn't want to sod the yard because of the fact that I was able to get seed that the university of arkansas (just a short ways south of me) tested and has determined is best for our climate zone.

    We are in an area that can be really tough on certain fescues throughout the summer, so I wanted to get the best match up that I could get and hope for the best finish results.

    thanks all,

  9. GroundKprs

    GroundKprs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,969

    You're OK up to #4:

    4. Aerate - no sense in aerating after tilling. Both are to loosen soil for ease of root growth, and tilling is best.

    5. Seed at (10lbs per thousand square feet) - overdoing the seed rate will result in weak plants from overcrowding. Blues are generally seeded at 3#, rye and fescue at 6#. Better get correct rate for your seed blend.

    6. Fertilize - OK but use a starter fertilizer, high in P. And hit it again just after germination if possible.

    7. Rake again to re-level and to make sure seed is worked into soil (I don't have access to a slice seeder, to seeding and raking seems to be my only option). - NO NO NO!!! Get your finish grade done before seeding. Raking after applying seed will bury seed. Grass seed should be "planted", but only 1/32" to 1/16" deep. Any deeper and it won't be able to survive. Best way to "plant" grass seed is to drag a metal leaf rake, with tines turned upside down, over the seedbed - absolutely no downward pressure on rake, and only drag an area once. I've even used 4 rakes (2 in each hand) for large areas.

    8. Water regularly (of course) - But water right. Seed germinates by absorbing moisture and swelling until hull cracks. But too much water will rot slower germinating seeds. Wet and dry cycles are best. Water just after seeding to soak soil profile; then, on sunny days, water just to dampen seed a couple of times a day. You'll get germination in 4-6 days that way with most seed.
  10. walker-talker

    walker-talker LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 4,771

    I agree, aerating is no help at all. I would round up and till both, but you wont get rid of all the bermuda. I tilled my lawn with no round-up and the burmuda came back after a couple years. There are chemical out there to help supress it and that is what I am doing now. Good luck!!

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