Seeding Too Much?

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by Smartgene, Jun 10, 2002.

  1. Smartgene

    Smartgene LawnSite Member
    Messages: 62

    I'm working on my own lawn and i have a lot of bare spots and a lack of thickness overall. So, last week, I put some seed and starter fert down with a spreader. I'm wondering if I may not have put enough seed down. With seed, is it the more the better, or is it important not to overseed?
  2. Kent Lawns

    Kent Lawns LawnSite Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 870

    Seed:Soil contact.

    You need to till the soil. (Even if it's only slightly)
    An overseeder (Gandy, Ryan Mataway or Landpride) will till soil and place seed in the slit for effective germination.

    Sprinkling seed on hard soil is fruitless.
  3. stslawncare

    stslawncare LawnSite Bronze Member
    from DE
    Messages: 1,484

    even when tilling in is it possible to put to much seed down?
  4. Russo

    Russo LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 287

    Good point, Kent. Even if all you do is scratch the soil loose with a steel rake, you need some type of soil preperation.

    It's not really possible to use too much seed. The only considerstion is waste.
  5. lawnstudent

    lawnstudent LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 472

    What they teach in turf management class is that you can put too much seed down. If all those seeds germinate because you have properly prep'd the site and have good soil contact, then your seedlings will be too crowded. Too much competition and a weak turf susceptable to stress and disease will result. There is a recommended seed density based upon the grass type that you are trying to sow. Also, this recommendation varies based upon a the establishment of new turf versus overseeding in an establing turf. Good luck.

  6. Smartgene

    Smartgene LawnSite Member
    Messages: 62

    Seems I'm getting conflicting responses here. Lawnstudent - where are you taking turf classes? I could use a few.
  7. Russo

    Russo LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 287

    I respect your input, as I do everyones when possible, but let's use our own heads and a little common sense. Based on what you're saying, then we don't want thick lawns at all because there's too much competition! Should we try to keep our turf thin? NO, we keep it healthy by providing the proper conditions and nutrients.

    As with anything, you don't want extremes either way, but I think that this goes without saying. Smartgene, I think you are smart enough not to put a 2" layer of seed down.

    The only conflict I see in opinion is that mine is mine, and Jim's is his teachers theory.

    No offense, Jim, I understand that we are all here to help eachother, and you have helped me on previous posts on more than one occassion. I'm just not with ya on this one because of the reasoning behind it.
  8. tremor

    tremor LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,476

    Hey Guys,

    There is some basis in fact here. If seeding with a blend of two or more species, the quickest germinating species (usually Anual or Perennial Ryegrass) will likely establish in numbers the blender/buyer didn't intend. This may or may not set the resulting stand up for some maintenance problems after establishment. It depends on the situation.

    Seeding way too heavy certainly DOES result in a weaker & more disease prone stand.

    Shadey areas are the most dramatic example where the individual seedlings are all competeing with one another for the limited light.

    The most critical factors of all though are proper selection of blends/varieties, site preperation (including fertility), & post installation maintenence. In the heat we're having in Metro NY right now, post installation watering would have to take place 3 or more times per day to insure consistant germination regardless of prep.

  9. paul

    paul Lawnsite Addict
    Messages: 1,625

    Jim is right along with how the seed is installed, drilling has better germanation than just throwing seed down. Grass seed planted 1/8" to 1/4" deep in the soil requires far less seed than say hydroseeding or broadcast seeding. Seed types also call for more or less seed, blue grass requires 5 lbs per 1000 sq ft while rye grass needs 7-9 lbs per 1000.
  10. GroundKprs

    GroundKprs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,969

    Definitely seeding any grass type too heavily will cause stress from overcrowding. Just like too much water or too much fertilizer hurts the lawn, too much seed is also a no-no.

    Common recommendations for a properly prepped and planted cool season lawn are 3#/K for bluegrass, 6#/K for rye, fine fescue or tall fescue. However, turf type dwarf tall fescues are best seeded at 9# to 12#/K. These numbers are for perfect planting, and are for viable seed. (If you're planting blue, and germination rate of your seed is 80%, you need 3#/0.8, or 3.75#/K.) You also need to know the germination success rate of your method of seeding; if your success rate is only 50%, you have to double the recommended rates.

    And when using blends, you must be aware of the speed of germination of the different seed types in the blend. Tests at Purdue in early 90s showed that if using a blue/rye blend seeding in fall, you have 100% rye next summer if the rye part is greater than 10 to 15%. The rye germinates and grows so quickly, it smothers the later germinating blue.

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