I have a lawn with very little grass, and a lot of weeds. I want to
reseed, and from what I have been reading the seed to soil contact is
most important in seed germination. Is plug aerating before seeding
enough to get good seed to soil contact, or is it necessary to spread a
little soil on top of the seed?
Thanks for your help!
Aeration has little to do with seeding. I believe you want to
"overseed." In preparation, do not use any weed killer at least two
months before overseeding. Mow your lawn as close as possible,
picking up the grass clippings. Dethatch the lawn if needed. The
dethatching will bring the seed in contact with the ground. Use a
spreader to distribute the seed and use a starter fertilizer, then
lightly drag a rake over the ground. Protect with straw and keep
moist. The best time of year to overseed varies on what seed that is
used and the location. Treating weeds and overseeding should be
planned several months apart.
On Fri, 25 Mar 2005 15:40:30 GMT, Barry Andrews
Any comments/recommendations on specific fertiliser
brands or formulations?
Rake *after* the seed is on? I thought the raking was
I have found that gentleness is needed with the
watering. A blast from a hose tends to push the grass
seeds around (I.e. distributes unevenly.) I just have
a small grass area, so I use a 5-litre hand-pump
sprayer, three times per day, while the grass seed is
still working on itself.
Get Credit Where Credit Is Due
Hi ! I am in the lawn care business and from my 5 years experience I
have seen many lawns that have been seeded thru overseeding, aeration
and seeding and slit seeding. With a bare lawn, your best bet is slit
seeding using a machine that cuts slits in the soil and drops the seed
in them. Aeration can do a good job, but only if you have a decent
stand of grass to begin because the best germination occurs in the
pluged areas where moisture collects with the seed. Overseeding without
breaking the soil will give you even less results. Do not use any straw
or else you'll be fighting various wild grasses all over your lawn. You
may want to kill any weeds before, but wait 2 weeks after spraying
before applying any seed. The main reason why people fail to get a
thick turf is not enough water. You must keep the seed moist by
watering each area at least 20 minutes twice daily until germination
and then you can cut back to once a day.
Thanks for the replies! So can I assume that I don't need to water if it
rains that day? If the seed gets too much water, will it mold?
How long after the seed comes up can I apply a weed killer?
thanks a lot,
The straw helps the seed from drying out. If it dries out while in
germination, it will die. Watering every other day should be enough.
Too much water will "drown" the seed and rot it, a process called
Best to wait some months, better a year. Weed killers are harsh on
grass, especially young tender grass.
Weed control may be applied after the new grass is mature enough,
usually after it has grown tall enough to be mowed 3 times. Just make
sure that when applying the weed control that you keep walking, making
an even application. You do not need to stand there and drown the plant
for it to be effective.
Again thanks for the replies.
How long does it typically take for the seed to germinate when overseeding?
I aerated with a plug aerator and overseeded with Penington Kentucky
Tall Fescue last Saturday. I also used a starter fertilizer and have
watered everyday at least 30 minutes in the evening except on days when
it rained. The temperature has been between 60-70 degrees. Should I
expect the seed to germinate this early, or am I being impatient? So far
I don't see anything. Thanks!
Fescues with right conditions may take 1 1/2 to 2 weeks to germinate.
Moisture and soil temperatures being the key. If its been
consistently warm for you lately I'd expect to see something by next
weekend since you seem to have kept up with the watering. But what do
I know? 30 minutes could be a dribble over an acre on a hot windy
day, or a drenching of a small area on a calm cool cloudy day.
Deep watering for grass seed isn't as important as frequent light
waterings. (Opposite is true for growing the lawn...) Don't want
those tiny little plants to dry out. :) But Yes! You are being too
impatient. You only need to get out there 6 or 7 times a day with
your magnifying glass and look for signs of growth. :)
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