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when is it too late to seed?

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by Cj's lawnservice, Oct 8, 2008.

  1. Cj's lawnservice

    Cj's lawnservice LawnSite Member
    Messages: 15

    I am trying to find info or suggestions on when it would be to late to aerate & seed in NC. I have been having some trouble trying to find any info on this topic. Any info and or suggestions would be greatly apreciated.:usflag:
  2. Marcos

    Marcos LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,720

    What type of seed are you planning on sowing?
    Why not go about it the CORRECT way, by obtaining a slice-seeder?
    Core aerators, in and of themselves, were never meant to be prep machines for seed. They are, by definition, turf MAINTENANCE machines....

    They were only "degraded" to that point thru the 70's, 80's and 90's by lawn care salesmen who were trying to do things 'on the cheap'....and undercut the competition who had more expensive equipment & overhead.

    But there's no reason you couldn't employ BOTH pieces of equipment, IF you had the resources! :cool2:
    I sometimes will aerate turf an hour or so before I slice-seed it.
    What this does is bring soil to the surface (of course) where the slice-seeder can later pulverize it as it cuts vertically into the turf and drops seed; thus dramatically increasing the seed to soil contact % that you'll likely achieve in the end.

    And...the % of seed to soil contact is every bit as important as the right kind of watering, moisture control, & erosion control, when it comes to growing in new turf.
  3. cpa4t9r

    cpa4t9r LawnSite Member
    Messages: 124

    Totally agree with PP on aerate and slit seeder. First year using a Turf Revitalizer and I have tremendous results compared to just aerating in prior years.

    Extended forecast in Triad (proximate to you) is mid-70's, so that should be warm enough unless we get cold snaps at night. TTTF usually takes 7-14 days to germinate and KBG is usually 7 days after that. I use a TTTF/KBG blend the last several years. I would give it a go ASAP because you are rolling the dice once you get much past September 30. If it doesn't have time to pop, then you may need to be careful with pre-emergent applications in the spring i.e. dormant seeding.

    Hope that helps.
  4. Whitey4

    Whitey4 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,448

    Slit seeders are OK on rye, TTTF and other fescue lawns (creeping red fescue as the exception) but on blue grass... it does more damage than good IMO.

    On a KGB turf, I'd aerate 2 or 3 times, then overseed and aerate again. 15% germination would be an acceptable number.

    Grasses like KGB that spread through rizhomes can get really flocked up with slit seeding. Unless the lawn is in dire straights, I would not slit seed a KGB turf. Clumping upright growth habit grasses like most ryes and TTTF with deeper root systems hold up pretty well to slit seeding.

    As far as when it's too late to seed.... rye comes up in 1 to 2 weeks, depending. Fescue and KGB 2 to 3 weeks, depending. Seed needs soil temps of at least 60 degrees to germinate at the label rates. I would think that in NC you could seed next week fairly safely... but after that, success becomes more unpredictable. On LI, I did my last seeding jobs yesterday and today, and have my fingers crossed for fair weather temps for the next 2 weeks. Seed in shaded areas will take longer to germinate, in full sun, less time.

    I think you have another week...
  5. Marcos

    Marcos LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,720

    Could be that you've had some bad experiences with "clunky" slicers like the ones typically seen in rental yards, specifically Bluebirds.

    Being that the size of bluegrass seed is less than 1/2 the size of fescue, alot more precision in equipment is needed to control its release.

    I personally have tried both sizes of the Revitalizer over the last two years and have hated working with them. They're much too lightweight for what we've got around here; and frankly they're 'made to fall apart' mechanically.

    For my one of my 2 Lesco renovators, a few winters ago I jerry-rigged in the seed hopper a special piece of "seed weight control" screening, that I put in only when I renovate using bluegrass (which isn't too often anymore.)
    I have used this screening with the Renovator in slicing in crownvetch & inoculant in hard-to-access areas, too.

    The real key with the Lescos, though, is to always make sure the hydraulic slide-bar mechanism is working 100% up to par.
  6. Whitey4

    Whitey4 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,448

    I own a Husky SD22 unit, which is in fact a BlueBird. I don't think that is my issue... anything that slices deep enough to penetrate thatch for soil to seed contact will rip up a KGB lawn real good... as that is a rhizome spreading turf grass.

    BTW, with the Husky unit, I slice with no seed, broadcast seed, and slice again. That seed box tends to dump piles of seed on turns.

    What in the fark is is crownvench and inoculant? Please excuse my ignorance.... never heard of that.

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