How to overseed KBG

grass1950August 30, 2013

This post adresses how to integrate a new KBG cultivar into an existing KBG lawn or other existing established lawn.

If you want a lawn of pure KBG or want a KBG monostand, overseeding is not the route to take. You need to kill your existing lawn and renovate. You cannot convert an extabilshed lawn into a monostand or a fescue lawn into a KBG lawn by overseeding.

1. The new KBG seed needs every advantage to establish. This means that it will need good soil to seed contact and it will need to have little competition from the existing turf. You need to do considerable damage to the existing lawn to open access to the soil.

2. Scalp the existing lawn. Mow the lawn at the lowest level possible that does not "ground" the mower blade. Be aware, this will stess the current turf and may cause some existing turf loss.

3. Thatch the lawn. ( a verticutter/slit seeder can be used--depth of blades set at just below soil height). This will open up acess to the soil and open up the existing lawn to allow sunlight for the new seed.

4. Rake up the thatch/residue.

5. Spread the new KBG seed so that coverage is 1-3 lbs. per 1000 sp ft (1llb/k).

6. Make a pass with the verticutter/slitseeder set at 1/4" depth. If the lawn is sloped, make the pass at a 45 degree angle or parallel to the slope. If you are so inclined to accept additional damage to the existing lawn, make a second pass at a 45-90 degree angle to the first pass (depending on the sliope).

7. Apply a "starter" fertilizer. Optional: Apply Tenacity or apply Scott's Starter fertilizer with mesotrione to suppress weed germination. It is advised that waiting until the new seed has germinated befor applying a starter may reduce growth of the existing turf and reduce mowing.

8. Optional: Apply peat moss topdressing at a depth of no more than 1/4".

9. Water as recommended. (lightly 3-4 times a day until germination then as recommended on this site.)

  1. Keep existing turf cut. Mow carefully at 1" until new grass reaches same height as existing established turf. Carefully means 3 pt turns and soft walking without turning on heels or balls of feet.

This post was edited by grass1950 on Fri, Aug 30, 13 at 11:56

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grass1950 - Have you had any luck with this approach? On another forum there was quite a bit of discussion about whether it was possible to overseed KBG into an established lawn, and the majority of folks said that it was a failure. While they got some germination, the KBG never managed to really establish itself in the existing turf.

I'm in the midst of a front yard overseed and I pretty much followed the steps exactly as you've outlined. I found that using the starter fert with Tenacity was a mistake as it helped the existing turf recover and grow rapidly, so in 2 weeks the existing turf was already 2-3 inches tall. In general, I've been pretty unimpressed with germination rates and it definitely seems like the TTTF and KBG seeds are being outcompeted by existing turf. I have a decent point of reference since I pretty much used the same approach in seeding a 3000 sq ft plot in the back where I had killed off the existing turf prior to seeding.

In the back plot, I see much much better germination and uniformity and it has left me pretty disappointed with the overseed in the front. The only thing I didn't do was topdress, but that is partly because I used the verticutting after seeding to pull the seed under the top soil by around 0.25" or so before I rolled over the lawn to improve seed to soil contact.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2013 at 8:16AM
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I know of the other site. You might want to ask those who report poor overseeding results if they aggresively slitseeded (to open the lawn up for overseeding and bury the seed) and kept the lawn mowed short. In order to be successful, the lawn needs to be pretty well destroyed by the verti-cutter. I wrote this for those people who refuse to do a kill and reno either because they are stubborn (like me) or can't bare to have a dead lawn for the 4-6 week fallow period.
I used this method to overseed my "established" new construction (2 year old) lawn and it worked quite well. I've also used it on other lawns with good results as far as integrating the new seed into the existing lawn. (I think I have pictures of my lawn still posted on that other site--handle there was nugrass2012)
As I mentioned, depending on how aggressive the slitseeding, some % of the existing turf is going to survive even with repeating the process (but that is the point of overseeding vs a reno), which I did a year later.
I am personally unhappy with not having a pure KBG lawn and a complete reno is the only method to get that.
I don't think you can get good results without keeping the lawn mowed short. The initial scalping will stunt the established turf and I kept the lawn mowed at 1 1/4" through germination with the mower set at a lower rpm to help reduce the vacuum.
I doubt that not topdressing had any effect on your results. Not keeping the lawn mowed short probably did.
How many passes did you make with the slit seeder?

Edit: Your observations concerning application of a starter fertilizer are well taken and I have edited my original post to reflect that.

This post was edited by grass1950 on Fri, Aug 30, 13 at 11:59

    Bookmark   August 30, 2013 at 11:00AM
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My appologies to Hamsterhuey and the GW community.

This post was edited by grass1950 on Sat, Sep 7, 13 at 0:51

    Bookmark   August 31, 2013 at 2:14AM
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andy10917(NY 6a)

You know, GRASS1950, I've known who you are on the other forum for quite a while. And I chose to ignore the fact that you "borrow material" from the other site and represent it as your own - I found it very funny that someone that previously pointed at other people for being nothing but reposters of Google material would do it himself from another site. But since you've chosen to single me out, I'll take the bait.

I wonder if the folks here are aware that on a score-your-own-lawn poll, you gave your own lawn a 46 on a scale of 0-100. That you've posted that you didn't know the difference between sand and silt. I kind of think that advice about soil that comes from someone that knows the elementary things about what the primary topic is. By the way, all of this is from public postings that others are free to read. Why don't you post your ID that's on the other site, or give me an OK to do the same. Then people can draw their own conclusions and read about how other people did when they followed the advice given.

Let's chat for a moment about what evidence you DO find legitimate. Academic and university sources are clueless in your opinion. (PS: I think academics follow to "industrial" an approach myself). So are anecdotal experience from people with 25-40 years of experience with lawn care, even when accompanied by photographic evidence. So, what is it that is acceptable to you?

I make no bones about it that I think disturbing the soil is a big mistake. I personally lost a renovation to Poa Trivialis following core aeration. I still own a core aerator and it is outside my barn rusting away since it will never be used again.

This post was edited by andy10917 on Sun, Sep 1, 13 at 15:56

    Bookmark   September 1, 2013 at 2:02PM
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This post was edited by grass1950 on Thu, Sep 5, 13 at 21:57

    Bookmark   September 1, 2013 at 7:36PM
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andy10917(NY 6a)

First of all, determining who was taking material from the other site and posting it as their own didn't involve the use of any IP Addresses or any other information like it. I wouldn't have access to IP Addresses anyway on GW to match it to. I matched up your claimed location and list of seeded cultivars, on both sites. Perfect match.

Thin skin? Maybe. I don't like someone taking material and representing it as a How-To guide, when they don't have a clue as to what to do if the reader of that material has problems. I'm not making a claim that what you're doing is any form of plagiarism, legally. I don't care about that. It doesn't change anything, though, about the fact that you're a simple copier of other people's approaches to lawn care and pretender to have the experience yourself.

I've been doing this for 43 years - long before there was a Google to become an instant solution-meister.

For those interested, here is the lawn that Grass1950 feels is 40/100. Grass1950, feel free to post your lawn, but please offer some evidence that the pictures are not a copy of someone else's lawn - if you'll do it with text material, it wouldn't be too much of a stretch to do it with pictures too:

    Bookmark   September 1, 2013 at 9:17PM
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This post was edited by grass1950 on Thu, Sep 5, 13 at 21:59

    Bookmark   September 1, 2013 at 9:43PM
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This post was edited by grass1950 on Thu, Sep 5, 13 at 22:03

    Bookmark   September 2, 2013 at 2:15AM
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andy10917(NY 6a)

Let's make one thing perfectly clear - I didn't not make any attempts to annoy you or draw you into this thread. That was all your own doing - by posting such childishness as "For Andrew" with an edit to a post when your previous attempts at goading were ignored. I have been just fine with ignoring you.

You can try to deflect with items like the fact that I can see IP Addresses as much as you like - the absolute truth is that no such information would have been useful at all. You have posted the cultivars used in both sites, and anyone is capable of matching them up.

As far as my lawn and renovation are concerned, that is the exact picture that was used at the time of the score-your-own-lawn poll. That is my front lawn. The renovation underway is of my BACK lawn. This should have been obvious to you when the thread was named "Andy's 2013 Back Yard Renovation". I'll try harder to be more clear for you in the future. My front yard pictures were posted recently right after treatments with Certainty, and clearly labeled as such. The Certainty treatments were necessary because of a 5-year battle to eliminate Poa Trivialis that was spread widely from the use of core aeration and slit seeders. This is exactly why I try to discourage the use of core aerators and slit seeders - I had a small patch of Triv get spread to a 3,000 sq ft area in a single year. It's all documented - I share my mistakes so that other folks don't need to repeat them.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2013 at 9:34AM
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...all of this over freakin' lawns!

Put your anger and energy towards Obamacare or the pending Syria debacle! I may very well lose my house due to our health insurance cost increases and one of my sons will be put into harms way because of those who feel that the USA should be the police force to the world!

Have a nice day!

    Bookmark   September 5, 2013 at 2:52PM
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