1. Ask the Expert: Fertilization Strategies for Success: Dec. 12, 2017
    Learn how to do more with less when it comes to your fertilization services. Join the live Ask the Expert event hosted by Koch Turf & Ornamental: Dec. 12, 12-2 p.m. ET in the Fertilizer Application forum .

Watering too much? And a problem....

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by robv60, Sep 25, 2007.

  1. robv60

    robv60 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 9

    Ok, I seeded TTTF this past Saturday (been four days). I am concerned that I may be watering too much. I have been keeping a close eye on the soil, making sure it isnt drying out. After I first planted on Sat. I watered the ground for about 15 minutes to water everything in. This was about 3PM didnt get too dry looking to me so I did not water it again until ~11AM Sunday for 10 minutes. Started looking a little dry-ish so I watered it again around 2:30PM the same day. Now, I had to leave the house and while I was gone, sometime around 5PM we had a rain shower. I was not here but it looked as though it wet everything pretty good. Did not water again that evening. Got up Monday morning and just to give the soil a buffer until my wife made it home at lunch, I cut them on for like maybe 2 minutes, just to mist the ground a little-probably didnt need it. Now, my wife came home at noon and cut one watering zone on for ~10 minutes, and forgot the other zone and let it run for 35 minutes. Flooding a couple of the lower spots in the yard. I didnt notice any run off like the seed had been washed away, however there was standing water and really soggy soil when I arrived home at about 1:30. It all had pretty much soaked in by 4-5PM. Needless to say, Neither zone was watered again that night. Zone 1 that wasnt flooded looked pretty good into the evening. Wife came home today(Tuesday) and didnt turn the sprinklers on-didnt need it. I cut each zone on for less than five minutes at ~3:30PM. Wasnt dried out but some of the areas within the flooded zone that werent "flooded" were starting to need some water to keep from drying. It is now 10 til 10PM and the lawn has not needed water this evening. Now aside from the obvious flooding fiasco, The soil has remained damp/moist/whatever. Has not dries out. But I am afraid that maybe Im keeping the ground too moist. Its never soggy or squishy, just has that cold damp feel to it. The temps around here have been in the high 80s since I seeded and it is steadily cooling off this week. Should be in the mid 80s tomorrow and lower still by the end of the week. After about 3PM my yard starts geeting shade pretty rapidly and seems to hold moisture throughout the rest of the evening. I have GA red clay, that was tilled well, leveled the best it could be, fertilized with starter and based on the soil test-nothing else was really needed. I seeded and covered with straw, which I may have put on a little thick. Will probably thin it out some tomorrow. I guess my questions are:

    1. How wet is too wet(flooding aside), Does the soil just need to be misted for a couple of minutes or wet really well so that it will not dry out within several hours in 80 degree weather?

    2. What should I do about the areas that were flooded? Rake back the straw and re-seed, or wait and see what happens. If I do wait to see if anything grows in those areas, will it be too late to re-seed? How long should I wait or will I know pretty quick if anything is going to grow in those areas based on surrounded areas. No grass yet to tell, only been 4 days.

    Sorry for the long post, but its easier to get it all out there in the beginning. Ok, Ill shut up now....
  2. carcrz

    carcrz LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,085

    When you are trying to germinate seed, the wetter the better. You do not want the seed to wash away though. I water 2 times a day for 30 minutes.

    Flooded areas should be reseeded & straw put down to help prevent the problem again.
  3. Lawn-Scapes

    Lawn-Scapes LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,810

    If you cannot tell if the seed was washed away then wait and see what happens... only 5-6 more days 'til it pops. You still have time to reseed. I only watered once a day for 20-30 minutes or so and seed popped in 10 days.
  4. Cliffside Stump Grinding

    Cliffside Stump Grinding LawnSite Member
    Messages: 27

    robv60, see my post in this section about seeding/watering. Joe's got some great info on watering stages, ect ect ect...

    Seems keeping them moist all the time untill they pop is the way to go.

    Also, I had a similiar situation happen to me on maybe day 2, where I had a leaky sprinkler head, that flooded alittle area maybe 2 feet square. I noticed that over-seeded seeds floated, and migrated to the lowest spot of the puddle. I fixed the sprinkler head, and threw alittle straw in the area. But, a flood spot like that is a definate no-no for sure. Learned a valuable lesson early on.

    Theres no rule that says you cant re-seed alittle if you have a situation such as this. Rough the area alittle, throw a handful on it, and play on ..
  5. robv60

    robv60 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 9

    Well, good news is I have lots of tiny sprouts coming up. Can only see them if you get close and pull some straw back, but growing nonetheless. I know this because I raked a lot of the straw back today. Why? Well, because today I left the sprinklers on, dammit. So anyway, I raked back the straw exposing the flooded areas, shoveled some dirt to try and absorb some of the standing water, threw on a little topsoil for good measure, pitched out some seed and recovered with straw. Hopefully it'll be ok. I cant believe I forgot to turn the damn sprinklers off. Did the same thing my wife did. It is encouraging to see the tiny green sprouts coming up though! Hopefully I didnt kill too many by walking on them today to fix the wet spots. We'll see i guess.
  6. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    The grass seedlings would have to be able to deal with an all night rain of about an inch or more. Just let it drain and then start up again. IMHO the new seedlings should now be allowed to have dry surface soil in order to force deeper root growth. I back off watering as soon as I see green and down to every other day in about a week or so old. Depending on the temp/sun/wind etc.
  7. turfnh2oman

    turfnh2oman LawnSite Member
    Messages: 127

    From your previous posts, my advice is leave it alone. As for watering you want moist seedbed. Moist, this has a wide course of definitions. My best description of moist is this, you take your dishrag, wet it at sink, wring it out completely and what's left is moist. Anytime you have standing water or squish underfoot, that is too wet.

    Let things get dryer and then set one zone of sprinklers for say 10 minutes or so and watch what happens ! That will be your guide !
    If that gives you what you want set up 10 minutes at midnight and 2 more cycles for 3 minutes or so at 8 hr. intervals to keep it supplemented. Keep an eye on the 3 minute cycles as well. If too much knock back to 2 or 1 minute cycles, etc.
    What about fert ? Should have got 3/4 to 1 # N / m ft. 2 at seeding. If you didn't, do it now. get another app. down in 4-5 weeks if you're irrigating regularly.
    The ryegrass in the mix will be the first to "pop". The fescues won't pop until 4 weeks or so under ideal conditions. So keep the above plan for at least 6-8 weeks if you want complete success and good healthy turf.
  8. robv60

    robv60 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 9

    Is there ryegrass in Rebel Supreme? Hadnt seen anything about it anywhere. I did put down some starter fert right before I seeded. The green isnt showing through the straw yet, wouldnt even know it was there unless you get down and REALLY look. Shouldnt I wait on backing off the water until the grass is about 1" or so?
  9. gene gls

    gene gls LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,213

    When you put straw on a seed job, you do not need as much water. The seed pops faster if it gets a dry spell in between the watering. Don't mess with it, everything will be fine.
  10. robv60

    robv60 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 9

    Its coming in QUICK! Only been 6 days and there are areas now that are about an inch tall already. Crazy!

Share This Page