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Old 05-23-2012, 02:49 PM   #1
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Dethatch, Aerate, Over-seed + Weed & Feed questions/advice


I am going to pick up the dethatching blade for my lawn mower and use a hand push aerater on my lawn, then overseed. I also need to Weed & Feed the lawn (getting to it kind late unfortunately).

1.) For overseeding being that I live in the Northeast, Buffalo to be exact, that a good Perennial Ryegrass mix with a good amount of Kentucky Blue as the base of the mix would be best for my area, plus I love the way it looks. From what I can tell and getting my old farm boy fathers opinion my lawn is mostly Annual Rye and Perennial rye mixed

2.) Assuming I am right on the above question, what brand should I get, I would prefer to not get Scotts have not had much luck with there grass seed lines.

3.) For Weed & Feed, I have always typically used Scotts Turfbuilder Plus 2, unlike there grass seed products this stuff has always worked out well for me. My question is there a product that works just as well and would carry a cheaper price, in my experience Scotts always carries a price premium, or just I just stick with what works.

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Old 05-23-2012, 05:37 PM   #2
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Dethatch, Aerate, Over-seed + Weed & Feed questions/advice


I am by no means an expert, but I was under the impression that if you are laying down any new seed, you can only use starter fertilizer, due to the fact the weed and feed stuff will burn the grass.

That being said, I stick with the brand name stuff for my lawn, I just don't know enough about whats what when it comes to fertilizer or seed composition to leave it up to chance.

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Old 05-23-2012, 06:38 PM   #3
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Dethatch, Aerate, Over-seed + Weed & Feed questions/advice


Quote:
Originally Posted by evane View Post
I am going to pick up the dethatching blade for my lawn mower and use a hand push aerater on my lawn, then overseed. I also need to Weed & Feed the lawn (getting to it kind late unfortunately).

1.) For overseeding being that I live in the Northeast, Buffalo to be exact, that a good Perennial Ryegrass mix with a good amount of Kentucky Blue as the base of the mix would be best for my area, plus I love the way it looks. From what I can tell and getting my old farm boy fathers opinion my lawn is mostly Annual Rye and Perennial rye mixed

2.) Assuming I am right on the above question, what brand should I get, I would prefer to not get Scotts have not had much luck with there grass seed lines.

3.) For Weed & Feed, I have always typically used Scotts Turfbuilder Plus 2, unlike there grass seed products this stuff has always worked out well for me. My question is there a product that works just as well and would carry a cheaper price, in my experience Scotts always carries a price premium, or just I just stick with what works.
First of all, stay away from the Weed n Feed stuff when you're trying to start grass. It probably won't kill the seedlings, but it can certainly stunt their growth. Actually, if it was me, I wouldn't fertilize at all until the grass is growing.

That said, I cannot really advise you regarding exactly what type of grass you want to use. I live in the Midwest. However, I'd advise you to go to a local nursery, or TSC for your seed. You'll get better grass seed (or certainly just as good) for less money than if you're buying a brand name. Also, the people there will probably know what kind of grass you should plant.
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Old 05-23-2012, 07:42 PM   #4
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Dethatch, Aerate, Over-seed + Weed & Feed questions/advice


Quote:
Originally Posted by evane View Post
I am going to pick up the dethatching blade for my lawn mower and use a hand push aerater on my lawn, then overseed. I also need to Weed & Feed the lawn (getting to it kind late unfortunately).

1.) For overseeding being that I live in the Northeast, Buffalo to be exact, that a good Perennial Ryegrass mix with a good amount of Kentucky Blue as the base of the mix would be best for my area, plus I love the way it looks. From what I can tell and getting my old farm boy fathers opinion my lawn is mostly Annual Rye and Perennial rye mixed

2.) Assuming I am right on the above question, what brand should I get, I would prefer to not get Scotts have not had much luck with there grass seed lines.

3.) For Weed & Feed, I have always typically used Scotts Turfbuilder Plus 2, unlike there grass seed products this stuff has always worked out well for me. My question is there a product that works just as well and would carry a cheaper price, in my experience Scotts always carries a price premium, or just I just stick with what works.


First, I've read that dethatching or "power-rake" blades don't do a good job. However, you'll probably be fine, if you take a few passes over each area, going in different directions each time. (in other words, power rake your lawn from left-to-right, then go perpendicular - front-to-back, then finally diagonally).

Second, what do you mean by "hand push aerator"? My front lawn is only about 500sq ft. I thought I'd try out one of those manual lawn aerator tools - you know, the kind you step on and it takes two plugs out with each step? Well, I bought the "super manual aerator", which takes 4 plugs each step. I got half way through the front lawn and decided it wasn't worth the work or my time. I called my local lawn aerator and had him run the gas-powered plug aerator over my front and back yards all for $50. On the other hand, mabye you're talking about one of those push-around aerators, with the spikes or tines that tick out of a central hub. Don't waste your money there either. They simply dont penetrate the soil deep enough to do any good.

1 & 2) I agree w/ DrHicks - use the type of grass that is recommended by your local nursery or university extension. And don't use the cheap stuff from the big box stores (Scotts only contains 50% grass seed in the bag!). Many of the big name seed suppliers also package their weaker cultivars for sale at the big box stores.

3) Fertilizers - Many lawn care professionals and golf course superintendents are switching to organic fertilizers. Jobes organic lawn food, Milorganite, Perfect Blend, just to name a few. Scotts also makes an organic fert, but I'd rather not give them my money. Now, organic ferts are different than synthetics in many ways. First, organic ferts don't start working immediately. Instead, they take a few weeks for bacteria to begin breaking them down. However, they have many numberous benefits....

..Organic Fertilizers are not water-soluble, so therefore, they are slow-release. Due to this, you only have to apply twice a year at most. When they break down, they are also returning organic matter to the soil. Organic matter helps your soil retain moisture and builds a better environment for the soil microbiology (bacteria, worms, beneficial fungi). Also, since they are slow-release, isn't basically impossible for you to burn your lawn by applying too much!

Synthetic Fertilizers, on the other hand are water-soluble. Therefore, all that NPK is dumped onto the soil, some gets used up quickly by the plant, while the rest gets washed off or through the soil. At Scott's recommendation, you apply every 3 months (they recommend every 2 months in some areas), driving your fert costs up even higher.

As for starter fertilizers....these are typically a synthetic fert, with the purpose of making those nurtients immediately available to the grass plant. Is it necessary? Likely not. I simply put down a good organic fert when I'm overseeding. Since my grass seed (fescue) takes 3 weeks to get going, my fert is already breaking down and available by that time.

Weed & Feed - avoid it, if you can. Like DrHicks hinted - it can result in germination problems. The bag probably even warns that you should wait to apply it, if overseeding existing or seeding new lawn. The herbicides will also kill the soil microbiology (believe me, it's important). Treat any weed problems separately. If there are few weeds, pull them or spot-treat. I have an organic lawn, so I spot treat with Iron HEDTA. It works great on many broadleaf weeds (including dandelions) and won't kill your grass. You can find Iron HEDTA sold as Bayer Natria Lawn Weed Killer, Scotts/Ortho Ecosense/Elementals lawn weed killer, or Iron X. If you have a high percentage of weeds, then you may want to give a single application of 3-way selective herbicide now and then do your overseeding in the fall (overseeding in the fall gives better results than springtime....but I still do both)

Last edited by Seattle2k; 05-23-2012 at 07:47 PM.
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Old 05-23-2012, 10:14 PM   #5
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Dethatch, Aerate, Over-seed + Weed & Feed questions/advice


Good advice so far. This time of year you should be able to buy nice, fresh, turf seed in exactly the proportions you want in bulk. No pretty picture of a lawn and no fancy packaging but PM $20 and I will send you an image of a nice lawn.

Remember that the seed mix you propose will have different germination times. Perennial rye will sprout in about 7-10 days and bluegrass in about 14-21. Fescue is often added to turf blends. Between the three you should have a seed mix adaptable to sun or shade.

As mentioned, a weed and feed product should not kill off new turfgrass seed but it could stunt it. Wait until the seed has established.
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