What's the best approach for overseeding?

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by mcollins, Sep 13, 2007.

  1. mcollins

    mcollins LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    We put our lawn in last spring and had very little success due to the lack of rain. We just couldn't get enough water to it. Thru the summer alot of grabgrass has come up which so die out pretty soon. I'd like to overseed here in the next week or so but am wondering what the best approach is? My thought was to mow the lawn short then either core aerate and use a broadcast spreader or to use a slit seeder. Any thoughts as to which approach I should take? Will just core aerating produce a high enough soil to seed ratio? Also, I should mention that the ground is really hard and compacted. Will a slit seeder work well with compacted ground? I'm also assuming that I don't need to mulch after I've seeded and applied start fert? Any other advice is appreciated. Thanks.
  2. scalpit77

    scalpit77 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 27

    Scalp, dethatch, aerate, fertilize, seed, and water water water. After turf is up and healthy, spray out any weeds with a good selective herbicide. Pre-m after that.
  3. mcollins

    mcollins LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    The lawn is pretty thin and there isn't much thatch, if any. So, is running a core areator enough before I fertilize and broadcase seed? Is it worth the extra time, money and effort to use a slit seeder instead? Will I get far better results?
  4. carcrz

    carcrz LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,085

    aerate a couple times. The more contact the seed gets w/ bare soil the better.
  5. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,501

    Aerate twice and broadcast with starter fert then your grass seed
  6. turfnh2oman

    turfnh2oman LawnSite Member
    Messages: 127

    1) Spray Roundup and slice seed, No. Spray Drive at label rate and slice seed, Yes. Only if there's enough desirable turf there already. Wait one week to seed after Drive.

    2) Spray Roundup then dethatch down to bare soil, rake off debris, overseed and ROLL IN [do not DRAG !] . Use debris you raked off as mulch or use straw. (Debris is lighter weight, decomposes quicker and starts a nice minimum organic thatch layer, besides that, it's free and onsite !] Whatever you prefer. Starter Fert at 1 lb N/Mft.2 at seeding and another 3/4 lb. N 4-6 weeks later, weather depending. Keep moist 5-7 weeks and Voila'! Lesco Starter 18-24-12 is what I use. 50% SCU.

    Option 2 will give you best results. I prefer this rather than slit seeding into what was crap grass to begin with.

    Objective, a healthy, UNIFORM stand. :weightlifter:
  7. dcgreenspro

    dcgreenspro LawnSite Senior Member
    from PA
    Messages: 688

    I don't mean to knock ya, but why spend the money for drive when the crab is already starting to do out now (I'm in PA)......and then come back in with round-up. Waste of time AND money.
    Double aerify or slit seed what ever you prefer. If you can afford it some starter mulch will go a long way in keeping the new seeds moist.
  8. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    Aerating is useful but IMHO overated. Your soil and tilth is basically fresh and new. I would run a tiller before an aerator and have better results.
    Slit seeding over dead crabgrass works too :)
  9. turfnh2oman

    turfnh2oman LawnSite Member
    Messages: 127

    I wrote that as do option 1 OR option 2, not both. Therefore it's not a waste of time and money. As for the crab dying out, it sure as hell isn't here in Cincy. Crab doesn't usually get fritzed until the first hard frost anyway which is quite a way off both here and in Pa. unless you're already down to overnight freezes ?:confused:
    As for the starter mulch, if you're talking about the pellets I wouldn't give you a penny for a ton of them. Try using the dead thatch you rake off if you take the roundup method and go all the way down to the soil. It'll work much better for several reasons. First it'll decompose quicker an give an organic boost to your entire seedbed with a starter thatch layer that'll not be detrimental to your turf. Secondly, it's all dead [inert] materal with no weed seed in it. Even if you don't roundup but only dethatch you can still use the debris as mulch. The trauma alone to it when you dethatch will keep most weed seed from coming through and the decomp process will still be quick and beneficial.
  10. mcollins

    mcollins LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    One more quick question.....I stopped into the local Agway and was talking to them about overseeding and they say that I shouldn't apply my fert until after the seed has germinated so that it doesn't burn out the seed. Agree/disagree? They also urged me to apply lime before I seed(even though the pH of the soil is between 6 and 7). There reasoning was since we're expecting rain this week nurtralize the acidity. Thoughts?

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