grass seed issues

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Old 08-17-13, 08:43 AM
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grass seed issues

Back in June I bought some grass seed from my local nursery for this 300 sq ft area and it grew for about 1-1/2 months. It has been very dry around here lately. I watered this area daily so it stays moist, I even added straw so the birds wouldn't eat the seeds. I need help with what to do next. The area isn't level, should I add topsoil and even it out and start all over? Since it's a very small area I was thinking of buying Scott's EZ Seed. I used it in other areas of my yard and it worked out great.
 
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Old 08-17-13, 10:06 AM
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What type of grass did you plant? Without knowing what you planted it's hard to say anything specific but generally June is much too late for starting grass from seed. It needs to be well established before the heat of summer sets in.
 
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Old 08-17-13, 10:59 AM
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Why did this area need to be seeded in the first place? It could be there's something wrong - compacted soil, pH, ... so a soil test would be a good thing to consider.

Dane is also correct, up here we should seed in late August or early September, not June.
 
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Old 08-17-13, 11:30 AM
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It must have been dry there or the soil is tight based on the background of the photo (possibly cut too short)

New tender grass is weak and cab be ruined easily by too much sun.

One trick used for problem areas on golf courses it to do a quick core aeration of a problem area and allow the plugs to dry for a while and then broad cast the right seed. Follow with something like a mower with thatching tines to break up the plugs and spread the seed and soil debris over the area. Some of the seed may get into the top of the core holes where there is more protection from the sun. This gives the soil a change to absorb excess water deeper. Water lightly periodically. Our course did this TWICE every fall (once in late August and then again in later September or early October). Sod is usually not an option because many golfers would rather be in the rough than on a false newly sodded area because a divot may be 2' long.

Just putting down seed at the wrong time can be futile because it can be flooded by too much water or dried to death or rotted in between summer weather cycles, but it makes people feel they are doing something "pretty". In some warm moist climates, you never water late in the day because the warm evenings can cause rot or fungus.

You do not fight with Mother Nature and expect to win.

Dick
 
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Old 08-19-13, 09:45 PM
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This area used to be connected, but I recently separated the tree and lamppost by adding a circle around them. The middle area that I added grass seed to used to be 100% mulch. What should my next step be? This area is only about 300 sq ft. Should I add some Scott's EZ Seed in early September and aerate this area prior to that?
 
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Old 08-19-13, 09:54 PM
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Here is the label of the sun and shade mix that I used.
 
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Old 08-20-13, 06:59 AM
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Depending on how long the center area was mulched and what it was mulched with it could have altered the soil's ph. There is no way to know for sure without testing the soil but the ph can have an affect on how the grass grows.

Also, planting in June is rather late especially if you planted later in June which does not give the grass much time to get established before the stress of summer's heat and sun so I almost expect it to not do well no matter how much watering you are doing. I'd sit tight until after summer (maybe mid September) and use a rake to scratch the area, re-seed and fertilize.

That is a shotgun mix of seed. Basically a bit of this and that to cover sunny and shaded areas. It is not unusual to see much of it germinate and then for some to die off. The seed you planted are cool season grasses which will tend to go dormant or at least slow down during the hottest summer months so the lawn appearing to stall or stop growing is normal. A large portion of the seed you planted is perennial ryegrass which is a cool season, fast germinating grass that probably shot up quickly and really slowed in the summer's heat. The red fescue is a more shade type grass that germinates slowly and does not like a lot of water so it's probably browned.
 
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Old 08-20-13, 07:03 AM
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Mid Sept I was thinking of adding some Scotts EZ Seed. This is only a 300 sq ft area. Should I add topsoil first seed and then add 1/4 in topsoil above the EZ Seed? The birds loved the grass seed that I originally put down even though I had straw on top. Should I aerate it first?
 
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Old 08-20-13, 07:26 AM
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I would core aerate since you had mulch sitting on top of this which could have contributed to soil compaction. I use a Garden Weasel to loosen up the plugs, then throw a little starter fertilizer and the seed and then lightly run the Weasel over it again to mix the three together a bit. With EZ Seed, you skip the starter fertilizer and the second pass with the Weasel.

Water lightly two to three times a day to keep the seed moist (not damp) until it germinates.
 
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Old 08-20-13, 07:04 PM
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Thanks. So mid September I should do this? Our temps are very hot still currently.
 
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Old 08-21-13, 05:45 AM
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Yes, mid-September I'd be thinking about it. It's not cast in stone so just keep an eye on weather trends. You want to plant after the the high summer heat is over but early enough for the grass to get established before it goes dormant for winter.
 
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Old 08-21-13, 10:46 AM
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Generally, late August into September is fine - whenever the heat of summer has broken. Definitely too hot this week.
 
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Old 08-21-13, 05:03 PM
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Thanks. I'll be in touch with updates in September.
 
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