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Fastest way to grow grass

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  • Fastest way to grow grass

    We recently cleared a cement foundation type structure from the middle of one of our pastures...so now we are left with a big bare dirt spot in the center of our pasture.....we drug the area with a chain drag harrow and a York rake...and put down 3 bags of Perfect Pasture seed mix....that was like over 3 weeks ago and we barely have any growth we have watered it the best we can...but at night it still gets pretty cold....anyhow....should we add fertilizer? Or lime? We're keeping the horses off it until we grow some good grass...but just wondering how long it will take?!?

  • #2
    Did you cover it with straw? You really should - helps preserve critical moisture. What did you do after you put down the mix? Any dragging or tamping? The more soil-seed contact, the better/faster the germination

    If it's not getting daily water, either via the sky or the hose, germination is going to be very, very slow, if at all.
    ______________________________
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

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    • #3
      This is what I am doing.

      Got a soil sample done which tells me exactly what I need.
      Went to local feedstore to get the right fertiliser
      Bought Bermuda seed
      Took the box blade with the tines down and scratched the surface to loosen it up
      Waited for it to rain (but it hasn't!)

      Once it rains, we will:
      - spread the bermuda seed and wait for a couple of weeks
      - spread the fertiliser

      For us - we need 233lbs of fertiliser of a 15-30-15 and 5-10lbs of grass seed per acre.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Kate66 View Post
        This is what I am doing.

        Once it rains, we will:
        - spread the bermuda seed and wait for a couple of weeks
        - spread the fertiliser

        For us - we need 233lbs of fertiliser of a 15-30-15 and 5-10lbs of grass seed per acre.
        Why don't you lay them down together? I do because it saves me time and fuel by only making one pass with the tractor. I have had the seed added to my fertilizer mix at the plant, when I pick up the spreader wagon. Did a nice job for me. I also put seed down with my drop seeder by walking the area. Drop seeder is nice to put seed exactly where you want it, but not realistic for a whole field. Both seed and fertilizer need the rain to get to work.

        And I drag smooth side of chain harrow over the planted seed and fertilizer to prevent birds eating the seed. Stuff costs like GOLD DUST!! Sure don't want to feed the birds with it! Small seeded places I cover with junk hay or straw from sweeping the floor of the storage area. Covering does help get the seeds started better.

        I also strongly recommend getting a soil test so you apply ONLY what that dirt needs in fertilizers. Dirt does not "save up" the unneeded minerals, they wash off into the water system, and you wasted your money buying them. Not real good for the downsteam water either! So many people just apply Lime yearly, never test the soil. Have to say my soil is constantly changing with spreading bedding, pasturing horses, cattle, lambs. I get soil tests done every 3 years, and so far, have needed totally different fertilizer mixes after each test. We did lime for 3 years, now soil needs Nitrogen, Potassiam, Phosphorus to feed the grass. Good thing I didn't buy lime for the 4th year! Totally the wrong needed fertilizer, at this time.

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        • #5
          Old hay (or straw) is wonderful, especially for re-seeding smaller areas. Fluff it and put down a fairly thin layer, then water thoroughly (sprinkler-type, not high-pressure). The hay helps to maintain a constant soil moisture and stop the seed from blowing or washing away.
          ---------------------------

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          • #6
            Grass Seed Sprouter:
            over spray new sown seed with:
            5 Tbsp. of instant dry tea
            1/2 cup of baby shampoo
            1 cup of Gator Ade (any flavour)
            1 cup apple juice
            Mix and spray over seeds with any 20 gal hose sprayer
            R.I.P. my sweet boy Tristan
            36 years old, but I was hoping you'd live forever
            5/5/75-7/5/11

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            • #7
              I don't claim to be a grass expert, but if just after the seeds started to germinate they had a dry day or a frosty night they can easily die. If you are seeing no life at all after 3 weeks in spring, it's quite possible those seeds are now useless.

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              • #8
                pave the area, try to make it into a parking lot, grass wiil over take it once it thinks it is not supposed to be there

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by goodhors View Post
                  Why don't you lay them down together? I do because it saves me time and fuel by only making one pass with the tractor. I have had the seed added to my fertilizer mix at the plant, when I pick up the spreader wagon. Did a nice job for me. I also put seed down with my drop seeder by walking the area. Drop seeder is nice to put seed exactly where you want it, but not realistic for a whole field. Both seed and fertilizer need the rain to get to work.

                  And I drag smooth side of chain harrow over the planted seed and fertilizer to prevent birds eating the seed. Stuff costs like GOLD DUST!! Sure don't want to feed the birds with it! Small seeded places I cover with junk hay or straw from sweeping the floor of the storage area. Covering does help get the seeds started better.

                  I also strongly recommend getting a soil test so you apply ONLY what that dirt needs in fertilizers. Dirt does not "save up" the unneeded minerals, they wash off into the water system, and you wasted your money buying them. Not real good for the downsteam water either! So many people just apply Lime yearly, never test the soil. Have to say my soil is constantly changing with spreading bedding, pasturing horses, cattle, lambs. I get soil tests done every 3 years, and so far, have needed totally different fertilizer mixes after each test. We did lime for 3 years, now soil needs Nitrogen, Potassiam, Phosphorus to feed the grass. Good thing I didn't buy lime for the 4th year! Totally the wrong needed fertilizer, at this time.
                  So, this is an interesting question. I had originally planned to put down the fertiliser and then the seed - seemed logical - get the ground ready then put down the seed. The someone told me what you said - put them out together. However, the land and range specialist and the local agri division said that actually you should put the seed down 1st, let it germinate and when you get 3-4 blades per seed up, then fertilise. It's something to do with 1) the nitrogen kills a lot of the sensitive grass seeds and 2) the fertiliser gives the weeds a quick charge and lets them grow quicker before the grass takes hold, suffocating the grass seed.

                  So now, what I have been told to do is put out the seed, wait a couple of weeks and then fertilise.

                  On covering over the seed we plan to pull a 2x6 behind the tractor to smooth it out - that's a very good point. That seed was $300 for a 50lbs bag!

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by clanter View Post
                    pave the area, try to make it into a parking lot, grass wiil over take it once it thinks it is not supposed to be there
                    I was going to say almost the same thing! Put down gravel, like for a driveway, and grass will be there almost immediately!

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                    • #11
                      what's your weather been like? grass grows best when it's cool and wet. If you're like many places in the US these days, it's been hot and bone-dry.
                      You can buy special "fast germination" seed for fixing urgent problems- I'd suggest you re-seed with a mix of that seed and whatever seed you actually want to keep around, cover the seed with composted manure, and then cover it all well with straw, and soak it am and pm. Once it sprouts if you mow it often and keep it nice and short it will devote energy to root growth rather than blade growth.

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                      • #12
                        The covering of the seeds is nice if you have small areas. But to try covering acreage, is unrealistic using bad or old, spoiled hay, compost or sweepings from the hay storage. Maybe you have a MUCH larger storage area, compost bin pile than I do for that kind of quantity.

                        I did once try spreading baled straw on newly seeded ground with running the bales thru the manure spreader. Did an alright job, but I used a LOT of straw for even a small space. Doing several acres would cost quite a bit buying straw bales.

                        That is why I use the chain harrow to drag after seeding. It does disturb the dirt enough to cover most of the seeds, only costs fuel for pulling harrow around.

                        For those buying seed, buy local seeds designed for your locale. READ the labels, to get PERENNIAL grasses, not annual grasses. If you will be breeding and producing foals, avoid the fescues so many mixes have to prevent future foaling problems. Learn about grasses, what each kind likes in weather, sunshine, temps, to avoid getting grasses that don't work in your area.

                        I got some Buffalo grass for my yard once, had read how wonderful it was, made a turf, seldom needed mowing. Seed was good, but my location in Michigan was bad. Buffalo grass needs BRIGHT LIGHT, for hours on end, HIGH lumens, which we just don't get in Michigan, like they do in the Western States. Wasted my money, but LEARNED from it.

                        Getting mixed grasses, means something will try to grow for you all season long. My bluegrass likes cool, so is terrific in spring and summer, not much in July. Hot July has other heat-loving grasses, clovers growing for the horses to munch on. AND these kinds of plants come back year after year, which ANNUALS do not. You get one season from annual grasses and they are done.

                        My seed doesn't cost $300 a bag, but even at $2-$4 a pound, I consider it pricy. We use a couple bags each year to fix holes made in winter, the favorite grazing spots that need more growth going. I haven't purchased this years seed, hope I am not in for sticker shock!!

                        Kate66, I have not had weed problems, with putting the fertilizer and seed down together. Might be because I keep the fields and paddocks mowed regularly. Grass is allowed to stay taller, mowed down to about 5inches, never shorter. So the weeds don't get a chance to grow very much, before the grasses get taller and crowd them out. I don't have much in weed problems with the mowing. But your area, your weeds, might be enough different that this idea is not useful to you. Thanks for explaining, it was interesting to learn.

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