Ready to overseed

Cool season grasses like Kentucky Bluegrass, Fescue & Rye
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Wilbursan
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Ready to overseed

Post by Wilbursan » Sat Oct 05, 2019 3:47 pm

I've been putting off the over-seeding for weeks waiting for the temps to come down. September averaged 94 degrees and the last day of September was 100. High today is 95, tomorrow is 85 and Monday is 75. But Monday will also be storming so looks like Tuesday is the day. Soil temperature in the back and side is 75 because it gets a lot of shade but the front is the problem. It was 83 last night. The front is also in the worse shape with lots of direct sunlight on half and lots of trees to soak up the water on the other half (the back gets it's shade from a wooded area so it gets shade without competing for water).

I've been following some threads here. I've got a pretty big yard with a lot of trees up front so after looking up some of the recommended tools I've decided to take a pass on any hand tools. I've been aerating before seeding and that worked just OK (it worked better when the pros did it with their big rideable aerators and spreading 100lbs of seed). My yard is in better shape this year than previous years and not as much bare ground so I don't think that's really necessary (I know that's not it's real purpose, but the last time the yard was really bad all the grass seeds that grew were growing in holes. Apparently they kept the rain from washing them away). The yard could use a good dethatching and reading here that that's actualy the preferred method for many I've decicded to do that this year and see how it works. It's also something that a decent homeowner version is just as good as the pros.

So this is the plan. For the last two weekends I've been using the new riding mower to vacume up leaves and keep the grass cut but I'm keeping it high for now (given the heat it's growing surprisingly well in some areas). I'll do the same this weekend. After the rains move through on Monday I'll no doubt have a ton of leaves again so I'll wait until Tuesday for them to dry, then mow and bag again, this time cutting low. Then I'll drag the dethatcher around the yard and follow that up with another pass of the mower to pick up the debris (or hand-rake if it's not that bad). After that I'll put the seeds down and set the sprinklers to water it twice a day. I'll give it a couple of days after I see grass coming up and then put down 13-13-13.

I'm curious about what the last step is. Is there a good recommended "winter" herbicide? I've been battling crabgrass, goosegrass and dallisgrass every summer and plan to put down pre-emergent pretty heavily in late winter and mid-spring or so. The only thing I've ever really noticed here in the winter is broad leaf weeds.

Bo Jangles
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Re: Ready to overseed

Post by Bo Jangles » Sat Oct 05, 2019 6:43 pm

I would put down Scott's with Tenacity until you can put down a longer acting pre em.

Miggity
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Re: Ready to overseed

Post by Miggity » Sat Oct 05, 2019 7:00 pm

I wouldn't both overseed and apply pre-emergent this fall. Pre-m has a root pruning effect which is the last thing you want on your new seedlings. Tenacity or Scotts starter fert with weed preventer is an exception as the pre-m in it only lasts 30 days or so.

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social port
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Re: Ready to overseed

Post by social port » Sat Oct 05, 2019 7:38 pm

I usually don’t use a preM after I overseed. I wait for the spring. I do two apps of spring preM.

Wilbursan
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Re: Ready to overseed

Post by Wilbursan » Sat Oct 05, 2019 10:24 pm

social port wrote:
Sat Oct 05, 2019 7:38 pm
I usually don’t use a preM after I overseed. I wait for the spring. I do two apps of spring preM.
I think I'm going to go with this. So far I've only done one app but this year I'm going to do two. I might even do three. Trying to kill weeds in the summer here is brutal on the grass.

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social port
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Re: Ready to overseed

Post by social port » Sun Oct 06, 2019 10:08 am

Wilbursan wrote:
Sat Oct 05, 2019 10:24 pm
social port wrote:
Sat Oct 05, 2019 7:38 pm
I usually don’t use a preM after I overseed. I wait for the spring. I do two apps of spring preM.
I think I'm going to go with this. So far I've only done one app but this year I'm going to do two. I might even do three. Trying to kill weeds in the summer here is brutal on the grass.
Yes, I find that post-emergent spraying is pretty much non-existent once July hits -- unless, of course, I'm OK with damaging my grass.
I use granular dithiopyr (sourced at farm supply source without fert) in late February and then again in June. Your schedule should probably look pretty close to that, I would imagine.
If you have one year when you don't need to overseed, you could put down a third app in the fall. I did that this year with Prodiamine.

Wilbursan
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Re: Ready to overseed

Post by Wilbursan » Wed Oct 09, 2019 8:52 am

Finally got a break in the heat and put the seeds down yesterday. The average temp all week before this was 97, it dropped 23 degrees in two days. I don't think the soil temp is where I want it to be in the front yet but we got over an inch of rain and with nothing above 84 in the forcast and nights as low as 39 I think it will drop a lot faster than the roots.

I've never cut my fescue this low before. Man it was thick in some areas. I had to empty the bags 4-5 times. I'm not sure I liked using the dethatcher in the grassy areas. All it seemed to do was tear up the lawn. There wasn't much thatch to pull up, which is kind of surprising. But it did "score up" the barer areas so that's useful. While using the mower to clean up it occured to me I was running over my newly scored lawn with a 500 pound mower and closing everything back up so next year I'll try to use a rake.

I put down 45 pounds of Hogan's mix in the areas that really need it and around 15 pounds left over from last year which I put in the areas that didn't really need it. Got the sprinklers set for 5 minutes each zone at 9 and 3. Nothing to do now but wait and watch. I think I can back that water off quite a bit in the back and sides so I'll keep an eye on it.

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Harts
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Re: Ready to overseed

Post by Harts » Wed Oct 09, 2019 10:16 am

Make sure the area stays consistently moist for at least the first 2 weeks. Your weather will determine if watering needs to be done twice a day or 4-6 times a day. This can change from one day to the next depending on temp, sun, clouds, rain etc.

After 2 weeks, assess your germination and begin dialing back the irrigation. Still watering everyday but less frequently with more water. Make sure to back off slowly over several weeks.

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social port
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Re: Ready to overseed

Post by social port » Wed Oct 09, 2019 11:52 am

Wilbursan wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 8:52 am
Finally got a break in the heat and put the seeds down yesterday. The average temp all week before this was 97, it dropped 23 degrees in two days. I don't think the soil temp is where I want it to be in the front yet but we got over an inch of rain and with nothing above 84 in the forcast and nights as low as 39 I think it will drop a lot faster than the roots.

I've never cut my fescue this low before. Man it was thick in some areas. I had to empty the bags 4-5 times. I'm not sure I liked using the dethatcher in the grassy areas. All it seemed to do was tear up the lawn. There wasn't much thatch to pull up, which is kind of surprising. But it did "score up" the barer areas so that's useful. While using the mower to clean up it occured to me I was running over my newly scored lawn with a 500 pound mower and closing everything back up so next year I'll try to use a rake.

I put down 45 pounds of Hogan's mix in the areas that really need it and around 15 pounds left over from last year which I put in the areas that didn't really need it. Got the sprinklers set for 5 minutes each zone at 9 and 3. Nothing to do now but wait and watch. I think I can back that water off quite a bit in the back and sides so I'll keep an eye on it.
I hear you loud and clear. I'm not sure how large your property is, but changing those bags out is one of the least enjoyable activities of lawn work, at least for me. My backyard alone gave me at least 6 bags last year.
I also cringe when I use my dethatcher. I always have to remind myself that the turf will recover with all of the water and nitrogen it will be receiving. Getting that seed into the soil will pay off. Good luck.

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