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Luck e 1

So after i aerate my lawn...

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how do I apply the grass seed evenly? I assume in the same spreader I spread fertilizer with...but just checking.

How do I ensure the seed gets into contact with the dirt or ground so that it will germinate?

I bought some extra dirt I thought I could spread a little to give the lawn a little extra soil (pretty sandy).

Then I assume I just make sure to water it well.

Do I sound like i am on the right track?

Thanks guys.

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Luck e 1,

You are on the right track. make sure the lawn gets watered once a day for about an hour for about a week. Don't over water.

You can spread a little dirt over the seed but don't bury it too much. The trick is to keep the seed moist but not soaked and you should have a thicker lawn in no time. If you want to spread some starter fertilizer over the seed that would speed things up a bit as well.

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After you spread your seed, you could drag something like a small section of chain link fence to knock some seed into the holes. If you have nothing available like that, even lightly raking will work.

You could even check at a rental place for a slit seeder to put the seed down. But if its just a small area, i would broadcast with a fertilizer spreader.

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when we are overseeding and reestablishing an area on the golf course we use 2 pounds of seed per 1000 SF. We do chop up the plugs, over seed, fert with starter and then drag it in. But, we go both ways with the drag much like a tic-tac-toe pattern. This does help in a more even distribution of the seed. Soil/seed contact is probably the main reason for failure in establishing growth followed by imprudent water management. Keep it damp.

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Did the aeration...not that difficult. Spread the seed and then used a rake to rake the seed and plugs around and hopefully get seeds into dirt contact (don't have a machine to pull anything behind). Now I am going to do a start fert and then water. Hope it works.

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Read the directions on the fertilizer! I never liked doing any fertilizer and seed the same day. Either a week after or a week before with the fertilizer (mostly a week prior). Germination can be effected or the percentage of the seed that germinate can drop (IMO).

I do not like to drag anything or even rake seed. It seems to produce corn rows. For over seeding grassy areas, I just like to adjust spreader for what I am seeding and walk. If (and when I did) start a new bare dirt area with seed, I just spread by hand. It may take awhile, but I feel you get the best coverage this way, but a spreader work just fine.

When I aerate my lawn in the fall, I pull the aerator, go back over and suck/chop up the brunt of the plugs while cutting the grass and then spread seed with spreader if I am going to or just fertilize. If I spread seed at this time, I wait a week+ and then do my fertilizer. Water at normal intervals I have set. Wait about two-three more weeks and do another fertilizer application for winter. I have had great luck with putting down crab grass prevent-er fertilizer on my last application. I am not sure if it is the herbicides for preventing the crab grass (maybe go away during the winter months) or just the added fertilizer growing spurt prior to ground freeze or maybe some fertilizer being on the ground when spring thaw occurs, but a double application in the month before I blow out my sprinklers has saved me a ton of patch work and fixing in the spring. Much so that I dropped my spring time application this year (dryness issues also added) and have had great success, even after I let my lawn go dormant last spring.

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so what is a reasonable estimate for lawn maintenance in terms of fertilizer and weed prevention on a annual basis? say for a 1 acre lawn..just trying to determine if i should contract it out...seems the fertilizer and weed killer are pretty expensive now although i do like to do it myself..

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chan -

the professionals here aren't allowed to discuss specifics with pricing and such, just give out helpful ideas and try to steer everyone in the right direction

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fertilizers vary in price but,(nor are they created equal) they are all alittle spendy. We use Scotts and Anderson. To give a homeowener a better idea of what is the best for the area is to have a soil test done to determine the need for your NPK. But, then again, you can't buy fert in Minn that contains "P", as I understand. A soil test will also give you an idea if there is a periodical need for a trace "minors" application. So, it would be a wild guess on how much a guy is going to invest in maintaining a residence lawn. I'd say you can spend about as much as you want. Think I'd buy a new gun first.

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IMO the issue is more towards putting the correct things down at the correct times. I always see the green sprayers out about 2 days after the snow melts putting down lord knows what on lawns. I have to think that they build in a labor cost of what, $30-45 an hour by the time all is said and done. Unless you make more than that or don't have an hour or two to do it yourself there's no way that the cost of doing it yourself isn't going to come out ahead. There's a learning curve and making mistakes can be expensive but if you pay attention to this forum you'll get all the advice you need to do it right.

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