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Preparing lawn for fall overseed?

Posted by michael1022 Zone 5 (My Page) on
Wed, May 30, 12 at 20:21

Ok so we bought a new house and the 13000 sf lawn was in bad shape. Weeds all over, especially Dandilions, clover, plantain, oxalis, wild violets and chickweed. So in preperation to fixing the lawn i used a tow behind thatcher and bagged all the dead stuff. I have put down Scotts fertalizer with halts to prvent crabgrass on April 15th, since then i pulled up at least 300 dandilions with a special tool to extract the whole taproot. Had about 80% sucsess getting the whole taproot. Anyways as of now i have them under control. I also seeded bare patches with seed, topsoil, and starter fert on May 15th. As of now the grass filled in. Then i put down pesticide from Spectacide Triazicide to control some tics and grubs. Ive also put down Scotts fertalizer with weed stop on Memorial day. The grass has come up green so far with all this labor. Ive also used my 2 gallon tank sprayer and have been killing off the clover/chickweed/oxalis/and wild violets. Ive sprayed twice and i gotta say the clover is going byebye, the chickweeds look yellow and sick and the violets may need another spray. I doubled the dosage to make sure these die before summer drought.

I have to put down some grubex this week so it can work before the eggs hatch in late July and August. I did sharpen the mower blades mowed high and have been bagging all the clippings. I also sent a soil sample to UMass to see what i need for lime or organincs. I should get the results back sometime next week.

So the questions are:
Should i aerate and dethatch Aug 15th?
What kinda seed is good for Massachusetts? (really don't now what kinda grass is there now)
When do i fert again?
Do i need to cover the seed or can i just water and hope for the best?
Once the new grass comes up if there are new weeds can i spray?

Sorry for the long post. Also i am a new member and would like to say i'm pleased to be one.
I will post pics of the lawn soon then post the after product when the time comes.

Thank you,
Michael


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Preparing lawn for fall overseed?

A Type A lawn guy. Please take some time to breathe. Your heart is obviously in this, but you might be moving a little fast.

Had you asked what to do back in April I would have let you go with the crabgrass preventer at your own pace. I would have suggest Weed-B-Gone spray for all your weeds. The violets will be hard to get rid of and may require a different strength of WBG. Many have resorted to RoundUp which kills every living plant, so that is the nuclear option. Spot spraying works and does not waste resources. But follow the directions on the bottle. Do not double the dose. Give them a chance to die. WBG would have saved you a lot of labor on the dandelions.

What is summer drought? You are going to water the grass when it gets dry aren't you? If not, why are we trying to grow grass at all? If you are not going to water, you'd be better off with a different kind of ground cover.

Seeding on May 15th will be your biggest waste of resources from the list you have given. Those grass plants will come in but die in the heat. Their roots do not have time to toughen up before the heat.

How do you know you have ticks and grubs? Did you dig around in the soil? Generally a dozen grubs per square foot is acceptable. More than that and you might think about killing them - or not. Applying insecticide does more harm to the soil than you probably know. Even if you feel you need to use it you should be aware of the issues. All the -icides cause problems with the microbes in the soil. Having a good population of the beneficial bacteria, fungi, micro-arthropods (tiny insects), and other microbes is most important to the health of your soil and turf. Fungicide is the worst (because fungi are the most important critter in the soil), insecticide is less worse, and herbicide seems to be the least worst of the three. None are good, though. Herbicide spray is always applied by moistening the leaves of the weed, not drenching the soil, so that is probably why herbicide is not as bad.

The Scott's fertilizer on Memorial Day was perfect. Not sure what the Weed Stop is. Does that make it a Weed-N-Feed product? If so I would suggest separating the two applications. Fertilize with pure fertilizer and kill weeds with a pure herbicide. If it was a crabgrass preventer, then that seems to be okay.

If I'm not mistaken grubex works on grubs, not eggs. It is never a good idea to use insecticide in anticipation of a problem. If you do not have June bugs swarming your porch light, then you likely will not have any grubs.

Did someone suggest bagging the clipping? We almost never suggest that here. Mulch mowing returns a lot of carbon and protein to your soil. It is essentially a weak organic fertilizer every week when you mow.

The UMass test will give you a lot more to think about than lime and organics. They are big on micronutrients. Post your results here for a reading. I can help you with organics. Assuming you have none now, apply alfalfa pellets (rabbit food) at a rate of 20 pounds per 1,000 square feet. You can apply organic fertilizer any day of the year even if you have already applied chemical fertilizer. If you want to really hit it with organics, apply every week. Every month is fine, too. With alfalfa pellets you should moisten them so they expand and soften. Otherwise the birds will fly in and remove them for you. Other critters have other things to do besides eat alfalfa pellets. Even rabbits will turn their nose if they have other options.

Soil testing is good once you learn the basics of lawn care and have some track record of keeping it nice-ish. Most people wait, but no harm. The problem with you in particular is you might go out and do something you don't need to do based on what you read in the test results. Fortunately for you, UMass does good testing.

Should you aerate and dethatch? No and probably not. If you want to soften your soil, spray it with 3 ounces per 1,000 square feet of clear shampoo. I use generic baby shampoo from Wal-Mart. Spray it twice 2 weeks apart. Water deeply after you spray the soap. You should be amazed how soft your soil becomes. It will only be soft after rain or irrigation. Soil will always become hard as it dries out. If you think you have a thatch problem, please send pix. You already dethatched once (too many) times.

To some extent the best seed needs to be tailored to your yard. Do you have much shade? Are there parts of the proposed turf that get no direct sunlight? Do you have romping pets or kids who will be playing baseball on it?

Before talking about seeding, please find out what grass you have or send pix. Some grasses never need to be reseeded. Others always need to be reseeded. Since you say you have thatch, I'm leaning toward the grass that never needs to be reseeded. The two are fescue (reseed every year) and Kentucky bluegrass (never reseed).

If you seed in the fall, new weeds should be very minimal. One of the huge issues with spring seeding is the weed problems. Fall seeding does not have near the problem with that.

Here is the 1-2-3 guide to lawn care. These are not my ideas. In fact I was in violation of all three when I first found this forum. What this is is the collected wisdom of the ages from this forum, other forums, and from various specialists.

Basics of Lawn Care

After reading numerous books and magazines on lawn care, caring for lawns at seven houses in my life, and reading numerous forums where real people write in to discuss their successes and failures, I have decided to side with the real people and dispense with the book and magazine authors. I don't know what star their planet rotates around but it's not mine. With that in mind, here is the collected wisdom of the Internet savvy homeowners and lawn care professionals summarized in a few words. If you follow the advice here you will have conquered at least 50% of all lawn problems. Once you have these three elements mastered, then you can worry about weeds (if you have any), dog spots, and striping your lawn. But if you are not doing these three things, they will be the first three things suggested for you to correct.

Watering
Water deeply and infrequently. Deeply means at least an hour in every zone, all at once. Infrequently means monthly during the cool months and no more than weekly during the hottest part of summer. Do not spread this out and water for 10 minutes every day. If your grass looks dry before the month/week is up, water longer next time. If that does not work, then you might have to water more than once per week during the summer's hottest period. Deep watering grows deep, drought resistant roots. Infrequent watering allows the top layer of soil to dry completely which kills off many shallow rooted weeds.


You will have to learn to judge when to water your own lawn. If you live in Las Vegas your watering will be different than if you live in Vermont. Adjust your watering to your type of grass, humidity, wind, and soil type. It is worth noting that this technique is used successfully by professionals in Phoenix, so...just sayin.' The other factors make a difference. If you normally water 1 inch per week and you get 1/2 inch of rain, then adjust and water only 1/2 inch that week.

Mowing
Every week mulch mow at the highest setting on your mower. Most grasses are the most dense when mowed tall. However, bermuda, centipede, and bent grasses will become the most dense when they are mowed at the lowest setting on your mower. In fact there are special mowers that can mow these grasses down to 1/16 inch. Dense grass shades out weeds, keeps the soil cooler, and uses less water than thin grass. Tall grass can feed the deep roots you developed in #1 above. Tall grass does not grow faster than short grass nor does it look shaggy sooner. Once all your grass is at the same height, tall grass just looks plush.


Fertilizing
Fertilize regularly. I fertilize 5 times per year using organic fertilizer. Which fertilizer you use is much less important than numbers 1 and 2 above. Follow the directions on the bag and do not overdo it. Too little is better than too much. At this point you do not have to worry about weed and feed products - remember at this point you are just trying to grow grass, not perfect it. Besides once you are doing these three things correctly, your weed problems should go away without herbicide.


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RE: Preparing lawn for fall overseed?

Thanks for chiming in dchall.

I wish i knew about this site back in April. I moved into this house January of 2011 before it was owned by my great grandparents. Last year my wife and i had spent all our time gutting and renovating the kitchen, livingroom, bathrooms, and sunroom, so the lawn was only mowed. Before that my grandparents probably only mowed and fertilized once a year.

I tried the WBG max and the dandilions just kept growing after repeated sprayings so i just bought a tool to extact them. I wanted them gone like yesterday. So i read some reviews on the ortho CCO herbicide with 8% Triclophr and many people had results by doubling the dose. At first i tried the recommended dose but the violets just laughed at me.

I figured i will have to water an inch all at once a week during July/August when it gets hot and just does'nt rain like the spring and fall. I have no ingound sprinkler system so i'll have to pull out the hoses and sprinlers and put them on a timer.

I seeded the bare patches only on May 15th (like 6 2ft patches) I'm hoping they make it throught the summer.

My son had gotten bitten twice last year by ticks in the yard so that was something that had to be addressed. Also the Jap bettles were rampide here last year, eating all the roses and other plants. Swarms of them. Also there was alot of white grubs in the soil i saw when i did some planting this spring. I was suggested to use grubex before the first week of June so it will take time (60-90days) to reach 4in into the soil so when the Jap bettles lay there eggs then hatch and burrow they will take in the grubex and die so i wont have them next year.

I used Scotts Turfbuilder with plus2 weed control on Memorial day. Your suggestion of keeping the fert and herb sounds logical.

As for bagging the clippings, i had so many weeds i did not want the seeds to get dropped back on the grass so i've been bagging them. Trust me i don't want to since its like 8 bags of clippings. I figured i would mulch them back in once the weeds are under control (i happy to say i'm almost there!) I assume it would help retain some moisture in the summer.

On my front lawn i have another 2000sq ft and for the second fert i used milorganite last week. I wanted to see the difference and so far it seems slow.

Ok so the alfalfa pellets is a new one to me. I have a great deal of rabbits in my neck of the woods. Will they not be families of bunnies in my yard from these. Also what is the cost for these? 260lbs of alfalfa pellets seems like it may break the bank. I will definitely post the soil test here so i can get some of your expertise on where to go from there. Any other options to get organics into the soil? Mind you i dont think the soil has been "feed" since the house was built in 69.

Ok i dethtched all the dead grass and thatch this spring. it seemed to have a heavy thatch problem. It seemed to do a good job so far. The back 13000 sq ft section is 90% sun as ALL the trees are cleared now. My neighbor has overhaning trees and there is a great deal of moss in that section of the lawn. Again i was told to aerate and lime to prevent that. Suggestions? Also aerate because of the high traffic and compacted soil before seeding. Makes kinda sense i think.

I will be taking pix before the end of the week so we can find out what kind of grass is here. Pix will tell a thousand words. I'll take many.

This grass seems old and thin. I don't think it's ever been overseeded and i'm sure it could use it. Any recommendations to buy some 100% seed would be very helpful.

I agree with you about the fall overseeding as the weeds just out compete gernination in the spring.

Look foward to have you and this forum help me get a nice lush dark green lawn for years to come.


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RE: Preparing lawn for fall overseed?

Soil test is in

Limestone and Fertilizer recommendations For Established Turfgrass.

Apply 80 lb of dolomitic Limestone/1000 ft.
Do not apply more than 50 lb/1000 sq ft at one time.
Split application between early spring and mid-autumn.

Recomendation: 1 lb/1000 sq ft p205, and 2 lb/1000 sq ft k20.

To provide the above recommendation you may follow the directions below, or you may follow your own fertilizer program using the recommended amounts of phosphorus (p205) and potassium (k20) along with one pound of Nitrogen per 1000 sq ft. It may be necessary to raise nutrient levels over several applications.

Apply a 20-3-12 fertilizer @ 5 lbs/1000 sq ft in late April and late June; Apply a 10-6-4 fertilizer @ 10 lbs/1000 sq ft in very late August. If more convenient you may substitute the late April recommendation with the same application made 1 to 2 weeks after your last fall mowing. Following year apply a 30-3-3 fertilizer @ 3 lbs/1000 sq ft at the three application dates given above.
Retest in two years.

Consult the interpretation sheet enclosed or obtain on of the Turf Guides referenced on the backside of the interpretation sheet.

Micronutrient__PPM__Soil_Range
Boron (B)0.1 0.1-2.0
Manganese (Mn)4.6 3 - 20
Zinc (Zn)1.7 0.1- 70
Copper (Cu)0.6 0.3-8.0
Iron (Fe)14.2 1.0- 40
Sulfer (S)14.2 1.0- 40

-----------------------------------------------------------
Soil pH 5.0
Buffer pH 6.3 ORGANIC MATTER: 6.4% ( Desirable range 4-10%)

NUTRIENT LEVELS:_PPM______LOW___MEDIUM_________HIGH______VH
Phosphorous (P) 6xxxxxxxxxx
Potassium (K) 77xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Calcium (Ca) 262xxxxxxxx
Magnesium (Mg) 39xxxxxxxxx

CATION EXCH CAP PERCENT BASE SATURATION MICRONUTRIENT LEV
9.9 Meq/100g k= 2.1 Mg= 3.3 Ca=13.4 ALL NORMAL

EXTRACTABLE ALUMINUM 180 ppm (Soil range 10-250 ppm)

The lead level in this soil is low.


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RE: Preparing lawn for fall overseed?

That soil needs a lot of work. pH is very low, bordering on the range where aluminum becomes toxic. All your macronutrients are low. The lime recommendation Umass gives is wrong for turf. You should use calcitic lime at the high bag rate, or a product called Cal Turf Pro at the high rate (I like this better since it works faster). Then two weeks after the lime, apply starter fertilizer, enough to provide 1 lb. of N per 1000 square feet. Your base saturations are very low, don't understand why Umass thinks those numbers are normal.


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RE: Preparing lawn for fall overseed?

So, tiemco, beyond the calcium correction, what would you suggest for improving the soil? What products, what rates, and where to buy?

I tried the WBG max and...ortho CCO herbicide with 8% Triclophr and ...the violets just laughed at me.

Violets are very tough to get rid of.

My son had gotten bitten twice last year by ticks in the yard so that was something that had to be addressed. Also the Jap bettles were rampide here last year, eating all the roses and other plants. Swarms of them. Also there was alot of white grubs in the soil i saw when i did some planting this spring. I was suggested to use grubex before the first week of June so it will take time (60-90days) to reach 4in into the soil so when the Jap bettles lay there eggs then hatch and burrow they will take in the grubex and die so i wont have them next year.

Don't assume last year's issues will become this year's issues. Wait and see. For the grubs you saw, treat them, but don't anticipate anything. Last year you saw the beetles. If you see them this year, you'll know what to do. I doubt they will be a problem this year.

On my front lawn i have another 2000sq ft and for the second fert i used milorganite last week. I wanted to see the difference and so far it seems slow.

Organic fertilizers take 3 full weeks to make a difference and that is only if you have a healthy soil. If you have an unhealthy soil, it might take longer or a second app.

Ok so the alfalfa pellets is a new one to me. I have a great deal of rabbits in my neck of the woods. Will they not be families of bunnies in my yard from these. ... Any other options to get organics into the soil? Mind you i dont think the soil has been "feed" since the house was built in 69.

Given a choice, rabbits will not eat rabbit food. They will eat what grows fresh in the wild. If you moisten the pellets after applying, they will swell up and burst making it hard for any critter to eat. Alfalfa pellets run about $12 for 50 pounds. The other option for organics everyone thinks of is compost. In my corner of the world, it costs about $70 per 1,000 square feet to apply compost. It costs about $5-6 per 1,000 square feet for alfalfa.

Ok i dethtched all the dead grass and thatch this spring. it seemed to have a heavy thatch problem. It seemed to do a good job so far. The back 13000 sq ft section is 90% sun as ALL the trees are cleared now. My neighbor has overhaning trees and there is a great deal of moss in that section of the lawn. Again i was told to aerate and lime to prevent that. Suggestions? Also aerate because of the high traffic and compacted soil before seeding. Makes kinda sense i think.

It is okay to prune your neighbor's trees as much as they overhang your property line. As for the moss, that should go away with all the sunlight. Your thatch was probably mostly dead grass. Thatch is a rare problem, at least in this forum. It certainly is not an annual problem. Once you get rid of it, you're good for another 10-20 years.


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RE: Preparing lawn for fall overseed?

So for most lawn supplies I recommend Lesco/John Deere Landscapes. They sell to the public, just get entered into their system, and they have a much better selection of ferts and amendments. Cal Turf Pro is what I recommend for liming. I am almost positive the high rate is 12lbs/1000 square feet, but you might want to buy enough for two applications. I would also buy a bag of Mag Turf Pro, since your Mg levels are low too, so you will want to alternate after two Cal applications. Starter fertilizer is what I would use for all you applications in order to boost your P and K levels. Their starter is good, 18-24-12 is what I think it is. If they have potash or potassium sulfate, 0-0-50, I would buy a bag of that too. You could use muriate of potash, or potassium chloride, 0-0-60, but the only issue is chloride buildup in your soil. I don't think it will be too much of a problem since your CEC is 10, but if that's all they have, then I would probably get that, but use less at each application. So then apply high bag rate Cal Turf Pro ASAP, then starter about 2 weeks after that at a rate of 5 lbs/1000 square feet. A month after the starter, 2 lbs of potassium sulfate per 1000 square feet.


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Overseeding vs. renovation

I strongly recommend renovating instead of overseeding. It is not much more work than an overseed, and your results are almost always exponentially better. Something to think about.


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RE: Preparing lawn for fall overseed?

You guys truly know your stuff! We just got hit with 3" of rain which is great for the lawn. The Milorganite seems to started to take effect and is greening up the front lawn well. Had the neighbors prune their overhanging branches to cure the moss problems.

Ok so here's the deal i have 15 bags of dolomitic lime in my basement storage that my grandparents have left there since they have passed. I assume limestone does not go bad. So can i still use this? Maybe put down 40lbs per 1000 sq ft then use the cal turf pro to ammend the other application? I would hate to have to have all those bags and not use them. I've also did a google search and found a product called Jonathan Greens Mag-i-cal, is that a product that rivals the cal-turf pro? Could not find any specs for it.
The allfalfa pellets are definatly on my to do list asap!

Thanks again guys


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RE: Preparing lawn for fall overseed?

You can use it now if you don't want to do what you should be doing. Here's the deal. Your pH is 5.0, which is pretty lousy, and while grass will grow, it's going to struggle. Raising pH is not a quick endeavor, it takes years, and straight dolomitic lime is the slowest acting lime out there. Calcitic is what you need now, and what I recommended is the fastest acting I know of. Mag-i-cal I believe is calcitic lime, which is better than what you have in your basement, but I'm not sure it is as fast as Cal Turf Pro. Save the dolomitic for a late fall application. Too much magnesium (dolomitic) will also tighten up your soil, so get the calcium up first. The lime in your basement is not going to go bad.


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RE: Preparing lawn for fall overseed?

Here is that Mag-I-Cal stuff.

http://www.jonathangreen.com/index.cfm/product/7/45/


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RE: Preparing lawn for fall overseed?

I already looked at that and watched the video. Cal Turf Pro is calcitic limestone that has been crushed and prilled with organic acids and chelating agents, which increase the speed at it incorporates into your soil. Mag-i-cal from what I have read, is basically just pellitized calcitic lime, so while it is better than the dolomitic you have, I still think Cal Turf Pro works faster. If you can't get Cal Turf Pro, or just don't want to, then by all means, use the Mag-i-cal.


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RE: Preparing lawn for fall overseed?

Ok Tiemco i put down the CalTurf Pro at it's highest bag rate. As you probably know living in CT is that we had alot of rain up here in Ma. 5" of it Saturday thru Tuesday. So I applied it yesterday. Your recommendation was to put starter fertilizer down 2 weeks after. Since i fertilized with Scotts turfbuilder with weed stop Memorial day weekend which is a ratio of 28-1-4 will the starter fert burn up the lawn considering i put down that app memorial day and will putting some starter fert two weeks from now be a little too hot and late in the season? I do not want to burn up the lawn but if anyone thinks this will be fine i will proceed.


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RE: Preparing lawn for fall overseed?

You can skip the starter since you already fertilized. The main reason for using it is the high P and K in starter, something your lawn really needs. It will be too late to apply unless you want to renovate (kill everything and start over), but if you still plan on overseeding the excess nitrogen in late June will force the grass to grow when it doesn't really need to, which will stress it a bit and increase its water needs. Your lawn won't burn up, unless you apply fertilizer to damp grass and don't water it in. If you managed to get your hands on some potassium sulfate, then you can apply that in two weeks.


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RE: Preparing lawn for fall overseed?

Do you recommend aerating? I was gonna pick up a Craftsman tow behind. I have a tow behing Dethatcher. Could i just cut short and open up the soil with the dethatcher? Also is it a good idea to drop some lime and seed and starter fert? I probably have KBG,Fescue,Rye as a lawn now but i would like to overseed with the blend that i poseted a link to. You know if this is a reputable seller and a good blend? Especially that i have the old cultivars for a lawn now. Will the KBG take over like i'm hoping. 3rd week in August is when i would like to overseed since KBG take 3 weeks to germinate and another 3 to mow that puts me at around October 7th. So i measured the WHOLE yard that will be overseeded front and back and it comes out to 16,750 sq ft. 3000 more since the back of the lot is just soil now and will be seeded. The cost just keeps getting higher lol. I can put down the starter and water an inch a week if that what it takes to have somewhat of a decent lawn this summer. Gonna look into the potassium sulfate today.I appreciate your willingness to help.

http://www.outsidepride.com/seed/grass-seed/bluegrass-seed/kentucky-bluegrass-supreme-seed.html


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RE: Preparing lawn for fall overseed? W/pics

Front yard
Photobucket
Side of house. Right part of lawn is neighbor's
Photobucket
Back Yard
Photobucket
Back Yard
Photobucket


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RE: Preparing lawn for fall overseed?

If you overseed your lawn with dark elite KBG, it's not going to look like the picture on outside pride. Overseeding a very dark blend into a light green lawn might even look patchier than what you have now. KBG doesn't take over a yard, engulfing older grass. It spreads to thin or bare areas, but it's not going to magically all become KBG in a year or two. Overseeding in my opinion should be done with like cultivars and species, and only if the lawn is thin and needs it. For example, I have a tall fescue lawn. If it was thin, I would overseed with tall fescue of a similar color and quality so the lawn stays consistent. If you want your lawn to look like the picture on outside pride, you will have to kill off your old grass and start fresh with the KBG. That blend they are selling isn't bad, but you can do better. You can aerate if you want, but aerating is most beneficial on compacted turf, which is not typical of home lawns. It can also bring up weed seeds. Aerating for aerating's sake is a waste in my opinion. I've done it, but didn't really see any benefits. Why would you drop starter, lime and seed all at once? I hope you aren't planning on doing that now.


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RE: Preparing lawn for fall overseed?

I would be dropping the lime,seed, and starter when its time to overseed. So what about using the dethatcher to open the soil? Looks like i'm gonna have to go with a KGB,TF,Rye blend tp match up with what I have. Any ideas what is a decent blend of that mix?


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RE: Preparing lawn for fall overseed?

This is not a good time of year to be performing any mechanical cultivation on cool season grasses, and dethatching is a mechanical cultivation process. It would be best to wait until just prior to seeding if you choose to dethatch.


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RE: Preparing lawn for fall overseed?

1. You don't want to drop lime and seed at the same time.
2. There is no shortcut to a good lawn by overseeding with TTTF, RG and KBG. It isn't the route to go as it's just about imposible to color match for one thing, especially if you don't know what cultivars are there already.
3. I'm a big believer in mechanical plug aeration and de-thatching but only when it serves my objective. What is your objective/reason for doing so?
4. As dchall has said, you seem like an A personality lawn person, make the commitment and follow tiemco's advice. You'll be mutch happier with your lawn if you do a reno rather than an overseed. It's apparent you are willing to do the work and put in the effort, why not make your time worthwhile and get a payoff that you'll be proud of?


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RE: Preparing lawn for fall overseed?

Quite frankly, if you improve your soil condition, your lawn will reward you with an improved appearance. Then you may not have a need for other turf varieties. Based on your photos, you've already got the density of turf cover. Improve the soil condition, then see if there really is a need for other turf varieties.


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RE: Preparing lawn for fall overseed?

I forgot, you need to add Mg to your soil. Pick up some epsom salts at the drugstore. You need to add 2 lbs per 1000 square feet. If you get the granular form, you can use it in your spreader, if it's the powdered form, you will have to use a carrier like Milorganite.


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RE: Preparing lawn for fall overseed?

Epsom salt ok, thats definitaly a first for me lol. I'll pick some up. So i was reading up on BAY STATE FERTILIZER and they sell this stuff by the pallet. Anybody want to split up one?
The objective to using the dethatcher is to open up the soil to overseed (In the fall). Would that be a decent method of soil to seed? Anybody have good results with that?
Most of the decolorlization in the pics are from chickweed, clover, and wild violets yellowing by spaying them with Triclophr. Seems to be working well


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RE: Preparing lawn for fall overseed?

I haven't had good results seeding with a de-thatcher. I have had very good results using a verticutter/slitseeder. Many people say You can also get decent results without machinery by topdressing.


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RE: Preparing lawn for fall overseed?

Ok Tiemco I got the Epsom salt. It is in grandular form. I have a scotts dropspeader acugeen 3000 and also a scotts 3000 broadcast spreader, any idea the settings ro get 2 lbs per 1000 sq ft?

Also thanks for pointing me in the right direction with Lesco, their products are far better than the big box stores.


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RE: Preparing lawn for fall overseed?

If you can compare the size of the granules to a fertilizer you use, that's a good place to start. If not, then I would start off on a low setting that you think will give you 1 lb. per 1000. Measure out half of what you need, and do an application on that setting. If you run out before you apply it all, then you know you need to go to a lower setting. If you have some left, then open it up a bit. Use the other half of the app at the new setting, but in the perpendicular direction.


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RE: Preparing lawn for fall overseed?

I have FINALLY found Potassium Sulfate 0-0-50, i found it at an Agway in Danvers,Ma for anyone who is near the North Shore in Ma.

I added the epsom salt app 2 weeks ago. So with that i assume it's safe to now drop the 2 lbs of potassium sulfate per 1000 sq ft or is it just too hot?

What i am really wondering is,
How long does the K take to work?
How many times would i have to apply the 0-0-50?
Does the K stay in the soil for many years?
I plan on overseeding the back and renovating the front so will the K be there in the fall?


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RE: Preparing lawn for fall overseed?

Hi Micheal,
Could you please provide me with the address for UMass?
We are in a similar situation, new construction and our lawn needs help.

Thanks


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RE: Preparing lawn for fall overseed?

Potassium sulfate isn't like nitrogen, it's not going to force topgrowth, so you can apply it in summer if you want but if your grass isn't growing all that much it might be wasted. If you must add some, wait till the heat wave breaks, and use 1 lb per 1000. Potassium's effects aren't like nitrogen's either, your grass isn't going to be noticeably different, but it will be healthier and more able to handle adverse conditions. Potassium leaches out of the soil, but it isn't as fast as nitrogen, that's the reason most fertilizers have some potassium, usually 10 to 25% or so of the nitrogen. Once you get your base saturations to about 5% you don't have to use straight potassium sulfate regularly.


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RE: Preparing lawn for fall overseed?

http://www.umass.edu/soiltest/pdf/Routine Soil Analysis - Use This Form for Turf, Landscaping, and Home Gardening.pdf

Claga use this link to do your soil test. Takes about a week to get your results.


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RE: Preparing lawn for fall overseed?

Thank You
How's it going with your lawn?
Are you seeing an improvement?

Thanks again


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RE: Preparing lawn for fall overseed?

I do see an improvement with the lawn. The lawn is 17,000 sq ft so i'm just gonna renovate the front lawn this fall and hopefully will have time in the season to renovate 3000 sq ft in the back lawn. There are just too many weeds that would probably take years to fully eradicate. Plus the lawn is old cultivars and just plain ugly. But the lime and fert treatments have helped it come along way. Did you send that soil test yet? I strongly advise that you do.


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RE: Preparing lawn for fall overseed?

So Tiemco i'm taking your advice and I am gonna reno the front lawn and side of the house.

The questions are for all are:
When should i Round up the lawn?
Which type of RU? I saw blue and green cap ones
Should i drop the Calcium lime before i drop seed or after?
Drop Potassium sulfate before or after?
Would it be smart to fallow the lawn?
Better to do a TTFF/KBG lawn or just KBG?

I'm interested in these cultivars:

TTFF

LS1200
Bullseye
Hemi
Van Gogh
Wolfpack 2

KGB:

Bedazzeled
Prosperity
Moonlight 2
Emblem
Blueburry
Moonlight SLT
Award


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RE: Preparing lawn for fall overseed?

When should i Round up the lawn?
It all depends on when you are going to drop seed, and if you are going to fallow for a bit. In actuality you can round up a few hours before you lay seed, but that isn't too practical for home lawns. For a home lawn, 2 weeks is probably the least amount of time I would suggest, since after about a week you should know if you missed any areas, and you can reapply. Also when applying it, it is important that everything is green and growing. Dormant, or sluggish grass/weeds won't absorb it, and they can wake up during the renovation. So most people recommend watering a few times a week before you apply round-up, and afterwards as well.

Which type of RU? I saw blue and green cap ones.

Just use the straight round up or any brand that has glyphosate as the main ingredient (I use Ortho's from Home Depot, it's a little cheaper). The other kind has another chemical that makes things turn brown in a few days, but I don't see the need for it when renovating, plus it costs more.

Should i drop the Calcium lime before i drop seed or after?
Drop Potassium sulfate before or after?

Your next liming should be 90 days after the one you did this spring. If that coincides with seeding then I would wait till your grass has been mowed a few times. When seeding I would use a half app of starter fertilizer at the time of seeding, and the other half after it has been mowed once or twice. So then lime 2 weeks after that starter app. The starter is high in K, so that will count towards a K app.

Would it be smart to fallow the lawn?

It's not a bad idea, especially if your weed pressure is/was high and you don't mind having a brown lawn for a month or so.

Better to do a TTFF/KBG lawn or just KBG?

It all depends on you and your lawn. If you have a good amount of shade, TTTF is going to do better. KBG makes the best lawn in my opinion, but it has a longer establishment and maturity time, so don't expect a full KBG lawn to be really nice next spring. It really hits it stride in its third year. TTTF/KBG is a nice compromise, but there can be some issues with color matching and growth rates.

For the TTTF cultivars, those are all good. I would definitely use Bullseye, it is one of the best. LS 1200 is good, but it does poorly in shade.

For the KBG:
Bedazzeled: A good choice, not too dark, good spring green up, not sure about it's disease tolerance.

Prosperity: A very dark cultivar, might not blend well with TTTF due to color, but I can't say for sure. It also has some disease issues, might not be the best if you are just using one in a mix.

Moonlight 2: Not sure about this one, check the NTEP's and it's tech sheet.

Emblem: Not a good choice. Seed on the market is old as it's being discontinued. A very aggressive cultivar, might dominate lawn. Also very dark. Has a very long dormancy period as well, i.e. slow spring green up.

Blueburry: One of the darkest cultivars you can get. Might not blend well, and it might have disease issues.

Moonlight SLT: A good cultivar, supposed to have some shade tolerance. Check the NTEP and tech sheet for mixability.

Award: A compact midnight, so it's going to be dark, and might not blend well. Does OK in shadier sights, but not great.

There are a few others to look at.

Bewitched: A dark cultivar so be warned, but does well in shadier areas, not too aggressive, and has good disease tolerances.

Unique and Apollo. Not as dark as some, good shade tolerances.

America: An old standard, has been around for a long time, but still performs well. Has some shade tolerance, not as dark as others.

Orfeo: A very fast one to germinate and establish. Blends well with TTTF, but is aggressive, so it can take over.

In reality, color might not be as big an issue as I make it out to be as KBG really needs good soil high in iron to reach it's full potential while TTTF seems to be less finicky to iron levels. Many of the growers say a lot of their cultivars blend well with TTTF. If you are really worried about it though, then just go with all TTTF or KBG.


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RE: Preparing lawn for fall overseed?

So I did a little searching and I found a place called Valley Green in Wilmington,Ma they have some of the seed I am interested in. So how's this sound?

25% Bewitched
25% Bedazzeled
25% Midnight
25% Blueberry

These are the seeds that they have on hand and its 6 miles from my house. I did inquire about the other cultivars but they do not carry them. They quoted me $125 for 25 lbs of seed mixed.

The front yard is full sun


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RE: Preparing lawn for fall overseed?

As long as the seed is free of noxious weeds or it's labeled as sod quality, that is a very good blend. It's a bit heavy on the compacts (50%) but all four of those cultivars are proven winners with good dark color. Five bucks a pound is a good price, in line with most seed sellers.


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