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How do you spread grass seed?
Posted by: AlphaDog
Date: May 09, 2006 05:44PM
I've studied all the directions on the bag, and I've done as much prep work as I can handle for reseeding the front lawn. What's the best method of spreading the seed? I have a fertilizer spreader, one of those whirlygig things, and I have gloves. The area isn't real big - I'd guess about 350 square feet. Do I moisten the area first? After the seed is down? Both? Neither? The directions left out some important details. sad smiley

Thank you.
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Re: How do you spread grass seed?
Posted by: Harbourmaster
Date: May 09, 2006 05:57PM
The little whirilgig will give you the most even coverage, do several passes going in different directions to ensure even coverage. Once the seed is down cover with a nice even layer of manure and keep it moist, not wet, until the seeds sprout. This may mean wattering as many as five or six times a day depending on the weather but whatever you do, you do not want the seeds to become dry!



Aloha, Ken


“I have developed significant attachments to several members even though I wouldn't recognize them if I sat next to one on a park bench. I'm often tempted when in an airport to walk around, hollering "The Løpe", to see if anyone other than the Homeland Security people will acknowledge me. ” - The Løpe
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Re: How do you spread grass seed?
Posted by: papercup
Date: May 09, 2006 05:58PM
2 most important things for planting seed are:

1. Seeds must be in direct contact with soil to germinate
2. Seeds must not be allowed to dry out at all before germination, or risk greatly reducing germination percentage. Lightly mist twice a day, or more in hot weather.



I mow short, then rake to loosen/expose soil, use a fertilizer rated for new seed (not with weed control). Then I use a broadcast spreader, then water.
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Re: How do you spread grass seed?
Posted by: mattkime
Date: May 09, 2006 06:13PM
plant them idividually.





VTPKL it!
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Re: How do you spread grass seed?
Posted by: h'
Date: May 09, 2006 06:18PM
I have a similar project hanging over my head.
Anyone in Chicago need some exercise?
I was thinking of just going with commercial lawn fertilizer and stirring the seed with the soil a bit rather than covering it with anything or having the additional expense of manure. Am I inviting disaster?




I suffer from the same sensitivity that you do. A few nuggets of wisdom were shared with me and I'm "trying" to incorporate them into my life. First, remember that nobody can hurt your feelings unless you let them. You can always reject what is being forced on you emotionally.
Second, nothing changes unless you change it. If you don't want the behavior to be repeated then you need to take action. Otherwise the kid has learned that his behavior is the way to get things done, because everyone lets him get away with it.
In the meantime I sympathize because I've been there.
-beerman
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Re: How do you spread grass seed?
Posted by: Panopticon
Date: May 09, 2006 06:23PM
Consider using a hyrdo-seeder.










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Re: How do you spread grass seed?
Posted by: AlphaDog
Date: May 09, 2006 06:24PM
OK, it looks like tomorrow is the day, because I better get back to the store and buy some fertilizer. I'd wondered about that. The only thing the directions said about fertilizer was to use a weed and feed in the summer, and I'd been wondering about how to make it between now and then; I'm sure there's a need for nutrition.

Thank you. I wish I could include the manure step, but I don't got that much gumption left.

Wish my lawn luck, and, no, I'm not entertaining any fantasies about a putting green. A few more blades of green will be an improvement.

Edit: Oh my, 'h! At least I have something out there already! Can you do turf? We did that at the last place, and I loved the instant lawn.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/09/2006 06:27PM by AlphaDog.
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Re: How do you spread grass seed?
Posted by: Racer X
Date: May 09, 2006 06:33PM
good time of the year to get that lawn started around here. Keep it moist for a few weeks and you should be fine. Ask the lawn and garden people about fertilizer with seed mixed in.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/10/2006 01:13AM by Racer X.
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Re: How do you spread grass seed?
Posted by: papercup
Date: May 09, 2006 06:42PM
I'd hurry up & get some sod down...maybe some asphalt...
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Re: How do you spread grass seed?
Posted by: AlphaDog
Date: May 09, 2006 06:47PM
Racer X Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> good time of the year to get that laws started
> around here. Keep it moist for a few weeks and
> you should be fine. Ask the lawn and garden
> people about fertilizer with seed mixed in.

I couldn't find a soul to talk to at Lowe's yesterday; maybe all the people who know anything about lawns were home resting after a hectic weekend. I didn't know they even made a combo of seed and fertilizer, so thanks for letting me know. I may take my little bag of seed in tomorrow and see if there's something better. I do need seed for very shady areas, so that might limit my choices.

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Re: How do you spread grass seed?
Posted by: jardster
Date: May 09, 2006 07:10PM
seed this time of year? I just sodded my very small back yard because every garden place i talked to said you should seed in the fall and sod in the spring. Seeding this time of year often results in a weed filled lawn. i am in MD so ymmv.



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Re: How do you spread grass seed?
Posted by: AlphaDog
Date: May 09, 2006 07:30PM
I'm sure it's a difference in climate, although I don't know enough about it to be able to explain it. I'm in the Pacific Northwest, and Spring is when people generally do this if they have control over the timing.

I would have loved to be able to tear out the existing lawn and resod, but that wasn't an option for a couple of reasons.
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Re: How do you spread grass seed?
Posted by: h'
Date: May 09, 2006 07:33PM
Garen places seem to have a lot of sod to sell in the spring . . .hmmmm . . .



I suffer from the same sensitivity that you do. A few nuggets of wisdom were shared with me and I'm "trying" to incorporate them into my life. First, remember that nobody can hurt your feelings unless you let them. You can always reject what is being forced on you emotionally.
Second, nothing changes unless you change it. If you don't want the behavior to be repeated then you need to take action. Otherwise the kid has learned that his behavior is the way to get things done, because everyone lets him get away with it.
In the meantime I sympathize because I've been there.
-beerman
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Re: How do you spread grass seed?
Posted by: Mike Johnson
Date: May 09, 2006 07:41PM
Don't use a chemical turf fertilizer with your grass seed unless it's designed for that. Too much nitrogen will kill the little baby grass plants. Aged manure or something gentle & composty is better -- but you really want something weed free. I guess you could use something like Osmocote but I don't know for sure how quickly it'll release the nutrients.

Don't water right before seeding -- you don't want to get the soil wet and then walk on it, because your footsteps will compress the soil, and could cause weaker germination. Sometimes on new lawns you can see shadows of footprints or wheel tracks or hose marks.

When broadcasting seeds, sometimes it helps to mix the seeds with sand. This is especially true if you're just going to be flinging it around by hand.

I would strongly advise testing your soil for pH, nutrient balance, and drainage, then adjusting it, before seeding. It's fifty times easier to make your soil rich & loamy before seeding than after.
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Re: How do you spread grass seed?
Posted by: Paul F.
Date: May 09, 2006 07:43PM
Here in far-northern california, growing grass isn't rocket science...

Hose the dirt... grab some grass seed, throw it around on the ground. Eyeball it even.. toss more in the thin spots etc.

Grass grows.

Trying to get it to NOT grow so fast is the challenge.





Paul F.
-----
A sword never kills anybody; it is a tool in the killer's hand. - Lucius Annaeus Seneca c. 5 BC - 65 AD
----
Good is the enemy of Excellent. Talent is not necessary for Excellence.
Persistence is necessary for Excellence. And Persistence is a Decision.

--

--

--
Eureka, CA
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Re: How do you spread grass seed?
Posted by: billb
Date: May 09, 2006 07:47PM
I've always used Nature's method and thrown it by hand through the air.
One seed for every square quarter inch or so sounds good to me.
Then rake it in so the birds eat less of it, increase germination.
Water lightly several times a day until the darned things have rather long roots.

Sure you don't want to plant a groundcover?

You don't have to mow/fertilize wood chips, bushes or pavers. smiling smiley
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Re: How do you spread grass seed?
Posted by: Ted King
Date: May 09, 2006 07:50PM
I don't think you need to sweat about absoutely even coverage of the seeds. Just hand broadcast them as evenly as you can with plenty of seeds in every square foot (but stay away from having many of them piled up on each other). Ideally you would have worked compost and fertilizer with potassium and phophorus into the soil beforehand, but it sounds like you didn't and aren't up for that. (Though if you can find the gumption to do it, it will definitely benefit your lawn. Incidently, if you use manure make sure it is well composted - manure that is not well "aged" will actually inhibit your lawn rather than help it.) It'll still probably work out - just not quite as well as it could be. After spreading the seeds, sprinkle some 10-10-10 fertilizer (don't go too high with the nitrogen right away) and lightly rake the soil - that will probably put most of the seeds in contact with enough soil to germinate them. Better than sprinkling in the fertilizer and raking it in would be to spread the seeds and then barely cover them with a layer of compost. Then, as was said previously, water often. That is probably the biggest thing - keep the seeds and soil moist. After the grass has come in if there are spots that are thin, just throw more seeds in those spots and keep it moist. Unless there is something really odd about your soil, that should do the trick. (I'm not a professional ornamental horticulturalist but I do have a degree in agronomy so I'm not completely clueless and have done essentially what I talk about above and have had it work.)



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/09/2006 07:54PM by Ted King.
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Re: How do you spread grass seed?
Posted by: ArtP
Date: May 09, 2006 09:01PM
Where were u guys three weeks ago when I did my seeding?

I seeded an area that had been shaded by hedges that have been cut back. I used a Scotts spreader according to the directions and settings. I spread the seeds, cover it with top soil to deter birds. I still have Bare Spots.

I guess I should have watered more.

Good info here.
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Re: How do you spread grass seed?
Posted by: incognegro
Date: May 09, 2006 09:20PM
i did it by hand, with a little bit of starter fertilizer, also hand-tossed. raked the dirt quite a bit before, added in some rich soil, again a bit after seeding. water 2x per day. mine is in a party-shady corner of the yard, and it came in thick & hardy.

now to see how it stands up to dog pee several times a day... ;(
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Re: How do you spread grass seed?
Posted by: Monster
Date: May 09, 2006 10:29PM
by hand, water everyday twice a day for 15 to 30 minutes, for two weeks, first watering I used Miracle-Gro Lawn Food fed through my sprinkler, did that again about three days later, then just plain water.
The grass is looking pretty green and growing thick now, just cut it today for the first time since throwing the seed down.
Since I have a shady backyard I used seed for shady areas, and closer to the tree I mixed in seed for densely shaded areas.
I have a couple of patches that need more seed, but that's because I have NJ clay for soil, and the first couple of times I watered I did so for to long, thus the seed floated up and came to rest in a clump. I tried to spread it around put it just doesn't work the same as tossing it in the air and letting float down.
I have to do this practically every year due to the maple tree in the backyard, and it's damn invasive root system, if I can get the grass to survive the summer this year, maybe I won't have any bare patches next year.





The Taoist Zhuangzi said, "Good order results spontaneously when things are let alone".
The sociologist, and historian, Adam Ferguson described the phenomenon of spontaneous order in society as the "result of human action, but not the execution of any human design".
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Re: How do you spread grass seed?
Posted by: Ted King
Date: May 09, 2006 11:21PM
Monster, you might try sprinkling an even layer of about a quarter to half an inch of compost all over your yard after the grass is up and going strong. I think there is a good chance it will help your lawn stay greener longer and need less resuscitation next year.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 05/09/2006 11:32PM by Ted King.
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Re: How do you spread grass seed?
Posted by: JEBB
Date: May 10, 2006 12:35AM
Use a spreader like this:

[www.homedepot.com]

Then cover the seed with wheat straw which is usually available at Home Depot type places. Water it every day until the grass spouts and as needed after. There are some fertilizers labeled as intended for starting lawns that you should probably apply as well.
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Re: How do you spread grass seed?
Posted by: TLB
Date: May 10, 2006 08:05AM
Seems like everything has been addressed. Like jardster said in my area spring seeding is a bad idea. First choice is early fall and second best is actually mid to late winter (freeze/thaw cycle gets could soil contact and improves germination yield). I've also found that a good late summer fertizer and a late fall winterizer really encourage rhizoming and you get good fill in without seeding.
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Re: How do you spread grass seed?
Posted by: AlphaDog
Date: May 10, 2006 09:51AM
billb Wrote:

>
> Sure you don't want to plant a groundcover?
>
> You don't have to mow/fertilize wood chips, bushes
> or pavers.

My son suggested cement. smiling smiley Unfortunately the landscaping really needs a little patch of lawn to "soften" the overall effect. I've already got tons of trees, shrubs, and a deck, and a huge driveway. Dang. I've never had to mow or fertilize that driveway, although the deck is a pain in the butt.

OK, I'll be heading out soon, and here's my Lowe's list:

Soil test kit and some lime, because I think I need it.

Fertilizer for newly seeded areas or maybe MiracleGro.

Some kind of topping that's bagged, so it's easier for me to manage. "Cured" manure?

If anybody wants to add to my list, you've got about 45 minutes! smiling smiley




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Re: How do you spread grass seed?
Posted by: beagledave
Date: May 10, 2006 10:04AM
One trick to seeding is to put the bag of grass seed in the freezer the day before..the temperature shift will aid in germanation when planting.
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Re: How do you spread grass seed?
Posted by: billb
Date: May 10, 2006 08:19PM
How much $ is 325 square feet of astroturf ?
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Re: How do you spread grass seed?
Posted by: Monster
Date: May 11, 2006 08:41PM
Ted, that's exactly what I will be doing when next I seed.





The Taoist Zhuangzi said, "Good order results spontaneously when things are let alone".
The sociologist, and historian, Adam Ferguson described the phenomenon of spontaneous order in society as the "result of human action, but not the execution of any human design".
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