This time of year my clients’
questions usually turn to seeding. Is it to early to seed? What kind of seed do
I use? Should I kill the weeds first? How much should I water? These are all
good questions, and it's enough to make a person crazy! The simplest answer is
to call us and let us handle it all for you, but for you do-it-yourselfers, I
have a few suggestions...
1) Purchase a quality broadcast spreader. (About $80-$150 for a residential grade unit)
2) Purchase 3-5 lbs. of fine blade fescue for every 1000 ft. of turf.
3) Purchase starter fertilizer. I like 18-24-12.
4) Make sure you have a quality sprinkler and plenty of hose if you don't have an irrigation system.
5) Rent an aerator and a verti-slice machine.
6) Make sure the entire lawn is watered well to facilitate high performance from the verti-slice and aerator.
7) Aerate entire lawn.
8) Verti-slice heavily thatched areas and use a hard rake to remove debris.
9) Spread seed over entire lawn at 3-5 lbs. per 1000 square feet of turf. (It should look like pepper on a potato)
10) Fertilize entire lawn with starter fertilizer as directed on the bag label.
11) Water twice daily about a 1/4 inch per area.
12) Sharpen your mower blade and wait.
Many people like to wait until September to seed, but late August works just fine. In fact, on heavily shaded lawns, August is actually better because you can have mow-able turf that has been cut several times before you start raking leaves and you don't have to clean up every time you want to water the new seed.
I honestly believe this is an operation that most people would be better served by hiring it done. The machinery is heavy and difficult to transport, as well as being exhausting to operate. Calibrating the spreader can be tricky and if you’re not careful, you end up making numerous trips to the store. The cost of having a professional do it is about $35 per thousand square feet. A 10,000 square foot lawn will cost the homeowner about $200-$250 to seed properly. It would be approximately $350 to have us do it.
Because of the tedious nature of the operation, our results are generally much better. We also repair any sprinkler damage, re-touch areas that didn't perform well, and have the trucking available to import topsoil if you have a few low spots that need to be filled. If you do decide to do it yourself, please feel free to give us a call. We're always happy to give advice, and the best part is that it's free!