Overseeding steps

gbig2(6)June 8, 2007

I'm going to overseed Labor day weekend. I'm going to use either the Lesco perennial ryegrass double eagle blend or a mix from my local feed mill of %30 Passport perennial ryegrass, %30 Wizzard perennial ryegrass, %25 creeping red fesue, and %15 KBG, with less than .01% weed seed. My 3 year old, acre lot is a mix of KBG, rye, fescue.

Would you go with the straight perennial from Lesco or the mix from the feed mill? I'm concerned about the feed mill mix because of the creeping red fescue. My research shows the fescue is more for shaded areas? I don't have much turf in shade. One of the grass mixes above will be overseeded in the front yard. I will overseed with Dutch white clover in the back.

Correct me if I'm wroing, but from reading these forums, the basic steps to overseeding are:

1. Lime : my ph is 5.7, I should raise that now so it has time to take effect.

2. Throw down some Soybean meal a couple weeks after the lime.

3. Mid August - spread alfalfa pellets

4. Mow low- the day before overseeding

5. Aerate heavily with core aerater- already reserved a Bluebird aerater

6. Seed

7. Spread on thin layer of compost

8. Use roller to ensure contact with ground

9. More SBM?

  1. Water lightly twice a day

Can I skip any steps? Did I miss a step?

I've read that I should overseed the clover by mixing the seed with either sand or Milogranite or compost (since the seed is so small)? I'm wondering if mixing the clover seed in with SBM would be a good idea? I already know what the setting needs to be on my spreader to spread SBM, so it would take the guess work out of the trial and error of setting the spreader up for the sand/clover mixture?

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okcdan(7 OKC - Bermuda)

Looks pretty good to me....

Can I skip any steps?

I'd say you could skip the compost. Let me qualify that.... We all know it's a good soil ammendment... In fact, for lawns where there's been a recent flood or really heavy chemical usage it's almost a must. But, it's not really mandatory or necessary in your case, and the fact is, it's the single most difficult and time consuming step in your list (likely would take nearly as much time as all the other steps combined.) Your soil already has microbes that are just waiting to be fed so they can multiply & you're taking care of that by applying protein based feed grains.

9. More SBM?

After you mow the new grassplants a couple times....

My 2 cents

Good day, Dan

    Bookmark   June 11, 2007 at 12:54PM
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ok, thanks Dan. I saw the pictures on your profile page, very nice, good job. The compost step was the one I was most worried about. Worried because I'm overseeding over 15,000 sq ft. I would need 15 yards of compost ($160) plus, like you said, the time and work to get it all spread, etc. I think I'll skip the compost and add homemade compost next year. So I just aerate, the then overseed? I don't have to lightly rake after I overseed, the seed will fall into the aerated holes and will be fine?

    Bookmark   June 11, 2007 at 2:54PM
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greenjeans_il(zone5 IL)

I agree with Dan, I'd skip the compost, but I'd also skip the lime. The best methods for organically altering your pH is through altering your food web balance. Having an acidic condition is indicative of fungal dominence. You can raise your pH by introducing bacteria and bacterial foods to your food web. Foods high in glucose and other sugars are good for raising your pH. Lime contains salt that kills microbes in your soil. You decide which would be better in the long run. I should also point out that soybean meal is a great fungal food so it's not helping much in that regard (but it's still an excellent source of protein).

The only other piece of advice I can offer is to be careful how quickly you change the balance. Too much bacteria grown at once can be worse than not having enough. Take it slow. Alfalfa meal makes for good bacterial food. The longer you tend to the needs of your food web the more balanced it will become according to the needs of your plants. If your plant prefers fungal dominance or acidic soil, it will support the fungi in its vicinity. If the plant prefers bacterial dominance it will support the bacteria. Sometimes we can push a little one way or another but it's usually best to just leave it up to the plant and the microbes. Symbioses is the goal!


    Bookmark   June 11, 2007 at 3:07PM
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