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Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by stslawncare, Jul 22, 2000.

  1. stslawncare

    stslawncare LawnSite Bronze Member
    from DE
    Messages: 1,484

    hey guys,<br>i tried posting this on a other forum but there obvisiously is nothing as good as lawnsite.com! I have a few seeding jobs to do, im doing my yard first for practice, then grandmothers then possibly some others. i have free unlimited supply of any type of topsoil, even a custom mix i think. the yard is currently mostly weeds, just about all weeds. i dont have a tiller, nor have i ever used one, but do have access to one. what would you say is the best way to seed. should i just put seed down. put soil then seed. should i kill whats there then put seed. should i kill then put soil down then seed., i think i need some soil for its not level. i am not crazy about tilling but if its a have to i will. any suggestions? thanks a lot.<p>----------<br>Scottie Schmidt<br>STS Lawn Care
  2. Barkleymut

    Barkleymut LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,116

    Depending on the condition of the soil you may want to attempt a couple of the methods you suggested. Where I live there is a thick red clay which in drought periods is hard as a rock and near impossible to get seed to germinate on it. Tilling is a decent option and will garner good results, (If an adaquate amount of water is supplied). Topsoil at any depth will generate awesome results on relatively flat land, especially if the seed is raked into the topsoil. Power seeding is becoming very popular because it is much less labor intensive than tilling or laying topsoil and it will also give great results. I hope I answered you questions, If not let me know.

    FIREMAN LawnSite Senior Member
    from n.j.
    Messages: 318

    Since you need top do the entire lawn here's my method. 1st kill existing grass, roundup works well on most types of turf grasses, when the lawn is dead you need to either till it in or scrape it up, tilling is time consuming and tough work, and may not be practical due to the size of the property. once the old turf is tilled or removed you need to spread the topsoil. I've found more than 2 inches is not needed and can actually cause problems. The next step is the seeding, when this is done use a broadcast spreader and go in two directions, perpendicular to one another. Don't forget starter fertilizer and mulch. As for mulch salt hay works well and so do the little paper pills lesco sells. Paper is nicer because there is no need to clean-up after lawn is established, however it is also more expensive. The most important part of seeding a lawn is watering...everyday in the early morning is best. Obviously a skidsteer will help if you decide to scrape up the old lawn and will aid you in spreading new topsoil, if you've never run a skidsteer before consider finding someone who knows how to run one well as you can make a mess of a property if you are not careful. And lastly if you can find someone with a hydroseeder get them to seed the lawn for you, you will save time and get a much better germination rate than regular seeding also most hydorseeder will apply the starter fertilizer and muclh all in one neat step. Remember water,water,water.....if you or your customers don't the most well planned and executed seeding job will fail miserably and you'll be back either redoing the whole job or at least patching up a crappy looking lawn. I hope this helps, if you have any more questions e-mail me.
  4. gil692

    gil692 Guest
    Messages: 0

    What is power seeding? Is it like on the farm using a seed drill only smaller? Inquiring minds would like to know<p>thank you<p>gil warren<br>goldsboro, nc
  5. OP

    stslawncare LawnSite Bronze Member
    from DE
    Messages: 1,484

    I would like to bring this to the top, in hope to get more advice. is it safe to rule out a tiller? I know tilling is a hard job. can i kill then get the hard rake out and scratch it up big time then put top soil down (2&quot;) then seed? is there anyway to get out of killing whats there and get out of tilling to? or is that asking to much? anyone know of any books on this topic? or a page devoted to it? thanks.<p>----------<br>Scottie Schmidt<br>STS Lawn Care
  6. GroundKprs

    GroundKprs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,969

    If total renovation is the object, first step is surely Roundup: no sense in having existing weeds continue to grow. Tilling or covering with new soil is not as effective as Roundup.<br>If you are considering adding topsoil to level the area, that is the lazy man's approach. Any addition of soil should be tilled in anyhow. (Proper addition of topsoil to enhance site, say 4&quot; = spread 2&quot; of topsoil, till in as deep as possible, then spread rest and till again.) If leveling is the object, just till the areas and rake level.<br>To achieve a proper seedbed, roughing up the entire seeded area is necessary. Since you would till to level some areas, till the flat areas, if any, more shallow, just 2&quot; deep. Only alternative to roughing up is to slit seed, and no sense in going with another machine if you are already tilling some areas. <br>Seeding is final step and very small part of the work. But it is critical to understand that grass seed must be PLANTED, not just thrown on surface - seed to soil contact will govern seeding success. Ideal is 1/32&quot; to 1/16&quot; planting depth, kind of hard to achieve. But if area has been tilled, and soil is loose, special raking procedure can set seed at right depth. Take metal tine leaf rake, turn rake over so tines point upward, and pull rake as you walk across seedbed (NO DOWNWARD PRESSURE on rake, just pull with 2 fingers). This will mix seed lightly into soil. Important to go over all areas just once, or seed can be set too deep. Once you are used to this, in future you can do larger areas by pulling 2-3 rakes in each hand to go quicker. Irrigation of new seedbed also settles soil around seed.<br>If you have any sloped areas, mulching with straw would help prevent washout in case of heavy rainfall before seed is established. Mulching is beneficial to all seeding to protect from erosion and somewhat from drying out.<br>Do not expect instant ideal lawn from seed. If I sold a seeding job this fall, I would tell client that lawn will be what he wants for Memorial Day, 2002. This is in normal ornamental turf care. One Super Bowl years ago was played on a field seeded just 28 days before game.<p>----------<br>Jim<br>North central Indiana
  7. 1MajorTom

    1MajorTom Former Moderator
    Messages: 6,066

    An oldie here but some good info.

    Was wondering what everyone used to cover the seed after a small seed job when straw is not an option.

    Matt worked the soil all day, seeded, and covered with Penn Mulch. Thought about using peat moss to cover, but opted for the Penn Mulch.
    What does everyone else use on small jobs where you don't want the straw to blow everywhere?

    Yes, I know seeding is best in the fall, unfortunately this was not an option either. ;)
  8. imalandscper

    imalandscper LawnSite Member
    Messages: 185

    The best time to seed (at least around here) is the dead of summer. why? Cause the soil is at the prime temp. for germentation. Also, I ONLY use penmulch. No straw. Very seldom hydroseed. The soil seed contact in hydroseeding is not very good. Hydroseeding was brought in from farming many a years ago. All the special seed that farmers have (hybrids) It is worth it for them to do it. I have seen a 50/50 chance with hydroseed. (Yes i have done a good amount of it) The best is always sod!!! For the guys that use straw. Why would you wanna put all those weeds in the yard? Anything from a field is gonna contain weeds and weed seeds. Penmulch with slow release starter fertilizer (extra cause the mix is not enuf in the penmulch) Works well. but like mentioned WATER WATER WATER.

    I make drive bys of all my lanw installs and document when they were watered and when they were not. I will not waranty anything that has not been watered properly.

    Hope this helps.

  9. the scaper

    the scaper LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 689

    just a thought, if you're going to till, and you're in the front yard of a residential subdivision or area which is suplied by natural gas, you might want to contact the "call before you dig" utilities locater. generally around my area gas lines are two to twelve inches deep, i dont usually till deeper than 2 or 3 for seeding unless theres a contour factor, but when tilling a low spot that two inch line may come into play. locaters are free around here so i'd rather be safe than sorry. i once had a customer who insisted they had no lines and they would take responcibility, well, i reluctantly got started tilling for the new flower garden and ten minutes later hit a buried cable tv line. :eek: ~scaper~
  10. TotalCareSolutions

    TotalCareSolutions LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 518

    Thank you for your thoughts. It does seem like the more we 'fumble around' and make mistakes in this business, the more 'ins and outs' we learn.

    Proper planning is key for safety and protection.

    Aditionally, a reminder for all of us, there is a spell check at the bottom of the response page.

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