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Help with lawn care, grass seed recommendation for fall overseeding. Login/Join 
paradox in a box
Picture of frayedends
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quote:
Originally posted by KMitch200:
I'm shocked that someone in MA overseeds.
Doesn't it get covered in snow in about 2 months?


Fall is great weather for seeding. It will grow and fill in bare spots. Then it comes back in spring. Seed may also be dormant and terminate after winter.




These go to eleven.
 
Posts: 10095 | Location: Westminster, MA | Registered: November 14, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
paradox in a box
Picture of frayedends
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quote:
Originally posted by jigray3:
Sounds like you did a soil test, that's step one. In lieu of topsoil, a layer of compost evenly distributed will do wonders for your soil foundation. It's a little work to apply though.

K31 is a Gen 1 wide blade fescue that tends to grow in clumps. It's the choice of builders because its cheap and grows fast, which means a lot of mowing. I prefer a newer generation fescues with a finer blade that is more drought and disease resistant and gives a more carpet like dark green appearance. There are usually mixes developed specifically for your area. I like mixes because yard composition and sun exposure varies so that one seed in the mix may thrive in one area while a different seed may thrive in another. Jonathan Greene will likely make one for your region.

I utilize the SOD system for over seeding - September, October, December. September is areation, seed, fertilize, and lime. I like to areate heavily to give the seed better purchase. Over raking will also improve germination rates a great deal. I prefer a starter fertilizer for this one with a higher phosphorus content, the middle number on the bag. It's harder to find these days due to run-off restrictions, but this really helps get the roots going, one of the most vital aspects of your lawn's health. I fertilize again in October and December with slow release fall fertilizers.

Then, in my area, I follow up with weed/crabgrass pre-emergent in March and May, though I can get out there earlier if there's a warm spell and the weeds pop.. Next comes high nitrogen green up fertilizer in May (first number on the bag), and broadleaf control, insect control as necessary in the summer. I like to try to knock all the weeds down in August, 4 weeks before I overseed.

As for irrigation, you'll want to keep the soil damp, but not wet, until seed germination, usually 9-14 days. Then 1"/week during the growing season. An empty tuna can makes a good gauge to calibrate you irrigation system.

Sounds like a lot of work, but it really isn't, maybe 20-30 hours per year. I used to spend a great deal more than that and had an immaculate lawn, but I found I could do 20% of the work and get 90% of the results. Im in the Mid-Atlantic, timing is likely to be a little different for MA, so do your research.


Great info. Thank you. I did use a mix earlier after the contractor. I will use a mix in the future also.




These go to eleven.
 
Posts: 10095 | Location: Westminster, MA | Registered: November 14, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Go Vols!
Picture of Oz_Shadow
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How short are you mowing?
 
Posts: 15594 | Location: SE Michigan | Registered: February 10, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
paradox in a box
Picture of frayedends
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by Oz_Shadow:
How short are you mowing?


3.5 inches. I like to keep it long. Heard that’s best for lawn.




These go to eleven.
 
Posts: 10095 | Location: Westminster, MA | Registered: November 14, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Ammoholic
Picture of Skins2881
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by jigray3:
Sounds like you did a soil test, that's step one. In lieu of topsoil, a layer of compost evenly distributed will do wonders for your soil foundation. It's a little work to apply though.

K31 is a Gen 1 wide blade fescue that tends to grow in clumps. It's the choice of builders because its cheap and grows fast, which means a lot of mowing. I prefer a newer generation fescues with a finer blade that is more drought and disease resistant and gives a more carpet like dark green appearance. There are usually mixes developed specifically for your area. I like mixes because yard composition and sun exposure varies so that one seed in the mix may thrive in one area while a different seed may thrive in another. Jonathan Greene will likely make one for your region.

I utilize the SOD system for over seeding - September, October, December. September is areation, seed, fertilize, and lime. I like to areate heavily to give the seed better purchase. Over raking will also improve germination rates a great deal. I prefer a starter fertilizer for this one with a higher phosphorus content, the middle number on the bag. It's harder to find these days due to run-off restrictions, but this really helps get the roots going, one of the most vital aspects of your lawn's health. I fertilize again in October and December with slow release fall fertilizers.

Then, in my area, I follow up with weed/crabgrass pre-emergent in March and May, though I can get out there earlier if there's a warm spell and the weeds pop.. Next comes high nitrogen green up fertilizer in May (first number on the bag), and broadleaf control, insect control as necessary in the summer. I like to try to knock all the weeds down in August, 4 weeks before I overseed.

As for irrigation, you'll want to keep the soil damp, but not wet, until seed germination, usually 9-14 days. Then 1"/week during the growing season. An empty tuna can makes a good gauge to calibrate you irrigation system.

Sounds like a lot of work, but it really isn't, maybe 20-30 hours per year. I used to spend a great deal more than that and had an immaculate lawn, but I found I could do 20% of the work and get 90% of the results. Im in the Mid-Atlantic, timing is likely to be a little different for MA, so do your research.


Where are you buying your seed, and what mix is it?



Jesse

A couple SIGs and a few others
 
Posts: 14654 | Location: Loudoun County, Virginia | Registered: December 27, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
posting without pants
Picture of KevinCW
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by chellim1:
quote:
We have mainly sand under our loam and the contractor didn't really give much loam. I'll take any recommendations. Hoping to go buy seed today.

I'd put down some topsoil first. Around here you can get a dump truck delivered for a little over $100. I know, everything's more expensive in Mass... Razz
But you're probably wasting your money on good seed if you've got bad dirt.
Spread out your topsoil, rake it a bit to fill in holes and low areas, then rake in your new seed.


Where?

I need some.





Strive to live your life so when you wake up in the morning and your feet hit the floor, the devil says "Oh crap, he's up."
 
Posts: 32593 | Location: St. Louis MO | Registered: February 15, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Get my pies
outta the oven!

Picture of PASig
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by frayedends:
quote:
Originally posted by Oz_Shadow:
How short are you mowing?


3.5 inches. I like to keep it long. Heard that’s best for lawn.


It really does work! I had been scalping my grass all this time thinking you needed the grass to be golf-course-short and this year in conjunction with Lawn Doctor doing their thing, left my mower at the second to highest height setting and it worked great.

The grass grows thicker and crowds out the weeds and the taller grass also protects the roots from the summer heat and sun.


 
Posts: 25469 | Location: Pennsylvania | Registered: November 12, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Ammoholic
Picture of Skins2881
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by KevinCW:
quote:
Originally posted by chellim1:
quote:
We have mainly sand under our loam and the contractor didn't really give much loam. I'll take any recommendations. Hoping to go buy seed today.

I'd put down some topsoil first. Around here you can get a dump truck delivered for a little over $100. I know, everything's more expensive in Mass... Razz
But you're probably wasting your money on good seed if you've got bad dirt.
Spread out your topsoil, rake it a bit to fill in holes and low areas, then rake in your new seed.


Where?

I need some.


Just called my local place. They are charging $45 per yard (3 min) plus $40 for delivery up to 20 yards.



Jesse

A couple SIGs and a few others
 
Posts: 14654 | Location: Loudoun County, Virginia | Registered: December 27, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
come and take it
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Thanks for the reminder. I have a fescue lawn and will go buy some seed to overseed today.




I have a few SIGs.
 
Posts: 1546 | Location: Texan north of the Red River | Registered: November 05, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
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I am in the process of working on some thin/bare spots now with Kentucky 31 fescue. Started it this past week due to possibilities of rain for the area Friday night and Saturday. Not a drop! Watering it now. Ugh!
 
Posts: 206 | Location: NW North Carolina | Registered: November 04, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Ammoholic
Picture of Skins2881
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This was my Sunday, after a 50 hour M-F and 7 hrs Saturday. Roto tilled multiple sections of yard after round up week before. Got five yards coming this week to grade and provide something better than rock and clay dust to plant seeds.








Jesse

A couple SIGs and a few others
 
Posts: 14654 | Location: Loudoun County, Virginia | Registered: December 27, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Get my pies
outta the oven!

Picture of PASig
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by Wolfpacker:
I am in the process of working on some thin/bare spots now with Kentucky 31 fescue. Started it this past week due to possibilities of rain for the area Friday night and Saturday. Not a drop! Watering it now. Ugh!


Keep it moist and you'll have grass starting in 7-10 days.


 
Posts: 25469 | Location: Pennsylvania | Registered: November 12, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
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Thanks PASig for the positive thoughts.

Slight chance of a passing shower tonight. Back to the late evening - early night watering rotation tomorrow.
 
Posts: 206 | Location: NW North Carolina | Registered: November 04, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Too clever by half
Picture of jigray3
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quote:
Originally posted by Skins2881:
Where are you buying your seed, and what mix is it?


Recently it has been Jonathan Greene brand from a local hardware store. They have a blend for our region called "Chesapeake". The actual seed mix seems to vary from year to year as new strains appear on the market.

Prior to that it was the blend from Southern States.




"We have a system that increasingly taxes work, and increasingly subsidizes non-work" - Milton Friedman
 
Posts: 10114 | Location: Richmond, VA | Registered: December 11, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Too clever by half
Picture of jigray3
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by PASig:
quote:
Originally posted by frayedends:
quote:
Originally posted by Oz_Shadow:
How short are you mowing?


3.5 inches. I like to keep it long. Heard that’s best for lawn.


It really does work! I had been scalping my grass all this time thinking you needed the grass to be golf-course-short and this year in conjunction with Lawn Doctor doing their thing, left my mower at the second to highest height setting and it worked great.

The grass grows thicker and crowds out the weeds and the taller grass also protects the roots from the summer heat and sun.


Different grasses prefer different mowing heights. Fescues like 3.5" - 4", and yes, this helps crowd out the weeds.




"We have a system that increasingly taxes work, and increasingly subsidizes non-work" - Milton Friedman
 
Posts: 10114 | Location: Richmond, VA | Registered: December 11, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Get my pies
outta the oven!

Picture of PASig
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by frayedends:
quote:
Originally posted by PASig:
So, what seed did you go with?!
.

I got the Kentucky 31 from Tractor supply as you suggested. I also bought some lime but my pH measurement shows I don’t need it. Will see how it goes.


So, how is your Kentucky 31 growing?

I had Lawn Doctor do a power seeding on October 1 with DLF K31 seed I supplied and it's starting to germinate now, which is what I expected for K31 and the cooler weather we are having.


 
Posts: 25469 | Location: Pennsylvania | Registered: November 12, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Add 1/2" of loam this fall.

Rake it into to existing lawn. (disrupt existing soil)

Overseed and shuffle new soil around it.

Drop some starter fertilizer.

Let the leaves cover it.

Wait for results in April/May.
 
Posts: 2458 | Registered: April 20, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
paradox in a box
Picture of frayedends
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by PASig:
quote:
Originally posted by frayedends:
quote:
Originally posted by PASig:
So, what seed did you go with?!
.

I got the Kentucky 31 from Tractor supply as you suggested. I also bought some lime but my pH measurement shows I don’t need it. Will see how it goes.


So, how is your Kentucky 31 growing?

I had Lawn Doctor do a power seeding on October 1 with DLF K31 seed I supplied and it's starting to germinate now, which is what I expected for K31 and the cooler weather we are having.


It’s going very good. The lawn is filling in nicely. Not much growing time left. But I have some areas already thick as carpet. Other areas will need more attention. But I’m happy with the 31.




These go to eleven.
 
Posts: 10095 | Location: Westminster, MA | Registered: November 14, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Too clever by half
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The growth you really want is root growth. A fertilizer with phosphorous really helps with that over the winter and into the spring. Good fescue roots can go 2-3 feet into the soil.

Next year when you over seed, you'll want to cut it very low prior to aerating, seeding and fertilizing. About 2" is pretty good. That way the seed gets good access to light, and soil. I keep the soil moist, but not wet for at least 2 weeks until germination is really going well. This means irrigation is on twice a day for short periods, rather than 3 times a week for longer periods. Extension service here recommends 1" of water per week total. Then, I wait until the seedlings are at least 3" tall before I resume mowing. I use a push mower instead of the lawn tractor for the first couple of cuts, and make sure the blades are sharp.

Here's a little history on K31. It was originally developed for pastures, conservation, and erosion control, and was later adapted for lawns.

Link




"We have a system that increasingly taxes work, and increasingly subsidizes non-work" - Milton Friedman
 
Posts: 10114 | Location: Richmond, VA | Registered: December 11, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
paradox in a box
Picture of frayedends
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Good info jigray. I appreciate it. I like the idea of long root growth. There is lots of sand under my loam. Any organic matter that can get down there to stabilize is helpful.




These go to eleven.
 
Posts: 10095 | Location: Westminster, MA | Registered: November 14, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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