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When Is A Good Time For Grass Seed?
#96038 March 17th, 2007 at 07:39 AM
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My lawn needs ALOT of attention. When is a good time for me to douse it with grass seed?

Also - is putting down all the straw neccessary?

Re: When Is A Good Time For Grass Seed?
#96039 March 18th, 2007 at 07:03 AM
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My lawn needs ALOT of attention.
Boy, Crystal, mine did too, BIG time, eek so I just brought in two loads of topsoil and planted grass seed the other day! wink Actually, I've never liked putting down the straw, but a lot of people do it. Duh What I did was buy some seed Germination Blankets at Lowes, but that can get a little pricey. frown eek :rolleyes: I didn't have to do the whole yard so it wasn't too bad. wink

Re: When Is A Good Time For Grass Seed?
#96040 March 18th, 2007 at 10:29 AM
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How big is your yard and do you have a tractor or tiller? I have 5 1/2 acres of yard and had lot's of room to experiment. I tried putting out the straw and it actually inhibited the grass seed germination. I had a section right next to it that I didn't put anything on and it sprouted and grew MUCH better than the seeds covered in a thin layer of straw. I also have used the burlap strips made to cover grass seed and it did pretty good. But I can honestly say the best grass we got was where we lightly disked the ground and then seeded. We tried to always do this just before a light rain (that didn't always work out :p but we tried!) Of course, if you have a small yard, you can use a sprinkler. If you don't have a tractor, a tiller will work as well.

Re: When Is A Good Time For Grass Seed?
#96041 March 18th, 2007 at 10:40 AM
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Our property is only about 2 acres but I am just worried about the front part. Our lot is very narrow and long so I would say my front area is 50'x150' We have a huge driveway for my husbands equipment and workers so that's all the yard I can get. The back half if for my dogs. Most it is fenced in for them so there is really no hope for it.

I don't know if my husband will let me tiller up our yard or not. It could really use the entire top layer taken off and new dirt tilled in with it since we have that clay soil. I may be able to do a little at a time - maybe he won't notice smile

Patches - what are the blankets you are talking about. My husband has these huge warming blankets that he puts on the concrete work he does if it is a bit on the cold side and there is a chance of it getting colder - they are grey or something like that. Are they the same?

Re: When Is A Good Time For Grass Seed?
#96042 March 19th, 2007 at 07:48 AM
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I tried putting out the straw and it actually inhibited the grass seed germination. I had a section right next to it that I didn't put anything on and it sprouted and grew MUCH better than the seeds covered in a thin layer of straw.
Marleine, that's exactly what happened eek when I tilled up part of the back yard three years ago and planted grass seed. frown It just didn't do any good at all and I had to re-seed it to get some decent grass. mad

Crystal, the Germination Blankets I'm talking about are supposed to be great for controlling soil erosion and enhancing seed germination. They are biodegradable and 100% weed-free. I got them to help keep the soil from washing away on the sloped part of lawn, eek which is why I had to bring in some topsoil. wink Unfortunately, they would be pretty expensive if you're doing a large portion of your lawn, because they are only 4' x 20'. eek

Re: When Is A Good Time For Grass Seed?
#96043 March 19th, 2007 at 06:30 PM
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The best time to do any seeding is in the late summer or early fall. This way the new seedlings will not have to deal with the high heat of the summer, and also rains are usually more plentiful at this time. The main reason why you do not want to do it in the spring is that any time you disturb the soil in the spring, you can pretty much bet on crab grass growing in the same spot come later in the summer. Since it will be newly seeded you will not be able to put down a crab grass preventer either, as that will keep the good seed from filling in as well. Straw or some other type of mulch does help a lot if you have any erosion in the area. If you are just dealing with a flat area, loosening the soil and raking the seed into the soil will do just as good. Also NEVER use any of the quick grow grass seed, as it is mostly annual rye, which will sprout very quickly, but die the same year that you plant it, and not come back again.

Re: When Is A Good Time For Grass Seed?
#96044 March 20th, 2007 at 04:43 PM
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NEVER use any of the quick grow grass seed, as it is mostly annual rye, which will sprout very quickly, but die the same year that you plant it, and not come back again
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It's actually useful to mix rye with a slower growing seed of a permanent grass. The rye holds the soil together while the lawn seed gets established and takes over. It's done quite extensively here when roadworks have disturbed roadside areas for example.

Crystal, if the lawn isn't healthy, then there is a reaon for it and seeding may not work. If the soil isn't right, then seeding won't help long term. MAybe look at getting your soil tested and/or have an expert come in and tell you what it needs. Might save some expense and heartbreak later on.

Re: When Is A Good Time For Grass Seed?
#96045 March 20th, 2007 at 05:43 PM
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When we bought this property it hadn't been taken care of in years. weeds were almost over my head. It took a lot work and big equipment to clean it up. Then my dogs destroyed the front grass area. I don't think it can't be healthy I think it is just beat up and the crabgrass found it's way in. When we seeded other areas it did really good. We did use a mix that had the rye in it. I just need to work on all the damaged areas. If it doesn't work this year I may call someone in to take care of it.

Thanks for the tips. I hope it works this year...

Re: When Is A Good Time For Grass Seed?
#96046 March 21st, 2007 at 12:04 AM
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There are annual ryes, which will sprout in about 3 days, and perennial ryes which will sprout in about 7. The perennial ryes are fine and make a good turf grass, as opposed to the annual. The quick grows are loaded with the annual which will also re seed itself, and stick out like a sore thumb since it is a much finer bladed grass then the others

Re: When Is A Good Time For Grass Seed?
#96047 March 21st, 2007 at 11:08 AM
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"NEVER use any of the quick grow grass seed, as it is mostly annual rye, which will sprout very quickly, but die the same year that you plant it, and not come back again."

"The quick grows are loaded with the annual [rye]which will also re seed itself,"
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Can't have it both ways Mike;-) Does annual rye "not come back again" or "reseed itself" and therefore come back again?

I ask because as i said, rye is used here as a quick cover, with couch grasses for example. Planted in Autumn it grows quickly, while the couch establishes and then it dies back thru spring as the couch gets hold. The Summer heat burns it off all together. By this time it has done its job and held the earth together over winter while the couch has become established. .

Re: When Is A Good Time For Grass Seed?
#96048 March 22nd, 2007 at 04:34 PM
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Longy,

Most lawns are made up of perennial grasses, which go into dormancy each fall, and come back to life again in the spring. The crowns of the individual plants die off, but the plants themselves, stay alive. Annual grasses on the other hand totally die each season, and new plants are generated by seed. The rest of your lawn grass will be made up of perennial grasses, and the annual rye coming back from seed sticks out badly from the other grasses creating a patchy and broken appearing lawn, instead of a continious smooth and even green.
Perennial ryes come up quickly as well, most of the time within 7 days, but the stuff that makes up the highest percentage in quick grow type seed mixtures is annual. Your right the summer heat will burn it off most of the time, but the seeds will remain and the cycle will continue.
The only time I like using annual rye is when I am seeding a hill side, that does not have to be a quality turf/lawn area, and even then I will mix my own, since most of the quick grow mixes have way to high of a percentage of the annual seeds in them. I will mix it with regular seed blends at a rate of about 10 to 1. This will give you enough plants for erosion control, but it will not be the primary seed in the mixture.

Re: When Is A Good Time For Grass Seed?
#96049 March 22nd, 2007 at 09:49 PM
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when I am seeding a hill side, that does not have to be a quality turf/lawn area, and even then I will mix my own, since most of the quick grow mixes have way to high of a percentage of the annual seeds in them. I will mix it with regular seed blends at a rate of about 10 to 1. This will give you enough plants for erosion control, but it will not be the primary seed in the mixture.
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Yeah that's how it is used here too Mike. I would have thought a decent running couch though, would eventually choke out the rye and it would become less prevalent in a lawn over time. Providing that the lawn was mown correctly and well looked after generally. Do you find the rye to be more persistent than that? Or can a good strong grass just 'squeeze it out'?

Re: When Is A Good Time For Grass Seed?
#96050 March 23rd, 2007 at 01:08 AM
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For some reason annual grasses are very persistent, both ryes and blues. Like the dandelion they actually adapt to what ever level the lawn is being mowed at, and will still push flowers and seeds.
Once established they are darn near impossible to get rid of, by doing anything short of killing the entire area and starting off again from scratch.
Theoretically, there is one possible way of keeping the new seed from coming up, with crab grass preventers like Pre M or Dimension but it may be against the label's usage directions. Doing this will also weaken the rest of your lawn too, but I don't think that one season will do any major harm to your lawn.
You can apply the crabgrass preventer/fert at regular application strength 4 times a season. This is not going to be the optimal amount of N-P-K going down for the summer and fall, but by having the pre-emergent there full time it will kill off any seeds that will try to germinate.
Unfortunately in most states these materials can only be used twice a season. Or so much product with in a 1000 square foot area per season, so you may want to check before doing such an application, just to make sure you are not breaking any laws.

Re: When Is A Good Time For Grass Seed?
#96051 March 23rd, 2007 at 10:11 AM
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Unfortunately in most states these materials can only be used twice a season. Or so much product with in a 1000 square foot area per season, so you may want to check before doing such an application, just to make sure you are not breaking any laws.

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Lol. OK Mike. I'm not in the US so i don't know about the laws and such regarding these things here. Frankly i figure if a law needs to be made limiting or restricting the use of something then i'd just as soon not use it. However, thanks for your insight into the rye and its' growth habits.


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