Slit seeded 4 weeks ago, very little grass showing

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by dae06, Sep 25, 2012.

  1. dae06

    dae06 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 51

    1). The #5 setting on the Billy Goat is the amount of seed dropping, not the depth. My depth was between 1/8" and 1/4" depending on the uneven terrain.

    2). I have an in ground irrigation system. Normally I water for 35 minutes on each zone 3 times a week to get ~ 1" of water (deep watering, fewer times). My system puts out 15 ga/min. For keeping the seed moist I set it for 10 minutes per zone, 3 times a day/ 7 days a week at 10:00 am, 1:00 pm and 5:00 pm. This is roughly 50% more water/week but way more often to keep the seed moist.

    3). 85% of my lawn has very well established grass. It was 100% before the drought. In the areas (15% of lawn) that we bad I increased the seeding rate. Thus the reason I ran out finishing the rest of the lawn.

    4). I believe there is plenty of cover (dead grass) to help protect the seed. The slit seeder made the rows to drop the seed in and after a few waterings that laid back down. So it is nor "bare" dirt, but rather daed grass covered area.

    Keep suggestions coming

    BTW, It does get real hot in Minnesota. :laugh:
  2. Darryl G

    Darryl G Inactive
    Messages: 9,500

    I can't help but think it was a problem with the depth setting on the tines, since you said the areas that you broadcast seeded came in well.
  3. dae06

    dae06 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 51

    It could be a combination of everything. I know it got extremely hot the week after I seeded.

    All I know is that the water cost me more than $10.00 a day to try to keep the seed moist. To do normal (deep) watering, it would cost me over $25.00 a day (only 3 days a week though).

    I just broad casted and raked the bad area and will concentrate the watering to that area only.

    Either way, I couldn't afford to keep watering this Summer. Mother nature didn't help much for watering.:p I guess I should have expected this to happen when you don't get the water to the lawn.
  4. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,671

    This is mysterious. Moisture in soil sounds adequate.Temps sound OK unless you were getting frost at night. Planting depth OK. Why should broadcast seed germinate OK? Did seeder damage seed somehow?

    What kind of seed? What was in the mix? How old since last test date? Bluegrass germinates very slowly--perhaps not very successful in an overseed situation.
    On the other hand--ryegrass establishes easier--but may not survive a hot spell--and it is not a spreading type of grass --so it does not self repair (not much).
  5. dae06

    dae06 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 51

    It comes from a company that sells to lawn care professionals. 20% rye, 20% fescue and 60% Bluegrass.

    I broadcasted by hand on areas that were completely bare due to me digging and raising the sprinkler heads up a couple of inches and areas I added soil to level some low spots. They were very small areas and I dropped a lot of seed.
  6. DA Quality Lawn & YS

    DA Quality Lawn & YS LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,266

    Tell you what, re-do the thin areas now. The 10 day forecast is above normal temps and non-freezing temps at night. Stuff ought to shoot up. Soil temps would still be plenty above 50 degrees.

  7. Darryl G

    Darryl G Inactive
    Messages: 9,500

    I'll second that, and emphasize the NOW part.
  8. dae06

    dae06 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 51

    I already did this Monday. Wish me luck.
  9. cgaengineer

    cgaengineer LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,778

    50lbs of seed will not cover an acre...

    50lbs of fescue will cover 5k new and 10k overseeded (roughly)
    Posted via Mobile Device
  10. dae06

    dae06 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 51

    I agree. After subtracting my house, drive, shed and garage, I have 33,000 Sq ft left.

    For overseeding Kentucky Blue grass (from what I've read) would require 2-3 lbs./1000 Sq ft.

    In my case this would be 66 to 99 lbs. of seed for the entire lawn.

    I dropped 2-3 times the recommended settings on the Billy Goat seeder over the bad area. I used a much lower setting for the remainder of the lawn, which I ran out of seed for the side and front of the yard (~8000 sq ft) that didn't really need overseeding. So I used that 50 lbs. over ~25,000 sq ft.

    I was trying to use at least 3 lbs./1000 over the bad area. and just do the rest off the lawn untill I ran out.

    Does that make sense?

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