Primary Seeding & Slice OverSeeding, ValleyScapes Style

          Comprehensive Soil Preparation | Verticutting | De-thatching | Proper Seed Depth & Distribution | Seed Care

          primary seeded lawn manhattan kansas   new fescue grass in manhattan KS

          A month before the two above pictures were taken, this Manhattan, KS, yard was bare dirt. You can see how it is
          very possible to get a great lawn from seeding. For the project, ValleyScapes installed and graded new topsoil to
          make the slope more gentle. After yard grading, ValleyScapes made sure the soil was adequately tilled & pulverized
          before installing new fescue seed with a drop seeder. Because of water runoff, straw was spread and crimped into
          the topsoil after seeding was complete.

          In order to achieve the above result, the homeowner kept the seedlings moist during their germination period
          (10-14 days) via sprinklers. The straw helped keep moisture insluated on the seedlings and prevented water
          from eroding seed out of the dirt. 

          Primary Seeding 
          When a yard is bare dirt and needs to be seeded for the first time, we call this Primary Seeding, which is often the 
          case for a newly constructed home. Another instance of primary seeding is when a lawn has become so thin or so
          run over with weeds, that everything is removed. In many of these cases, a sod cutter will be used to cut out the 
          existing vegetation, the soil will be tilled and pulverized, and new seed will be dropped into the soil. In any instance 
          of primary seeding, the seed is equitably distributed into the newly cultivated soil. Too much seed can be bad for a 
          new lawn, and too little seed will make for a very patchy lawn. In many cases of primary yard seeding, straw is used.

          Why Straw?
          ValleyScapes suggests installing a layer of straw when primary seeding. The straw will help new seedlings from
          washing out and will also help keep moisture on the seed while it's germinating. If seed dries out while germinating,
          it dies. Straw is not necessary when overseeding an existing lawn, because there's already existing grass blades
          to help keep moisture on the new seed as well as prevent seed washout. 

          verticut overseeder in topeka ks    topeka kansas slice seeder tool

          OverSeeding, Slice Seeding, Verticut, Re Seeding
          The machine you see in the two above pictures is an overseeder attachment for a tractor. When overseeding a
          lawn with existing grass, ValleyScapes will either use this machine or a walk-behind unit for smaller yards. 

          Overseeding or re seeding refers to the idea of installing new seed into an existing lawn. Slice seeding or Verticut
          refers to the method employed to achieve that overseed. The machine you see above is a Verticut or Slice Seeder. 

          How Does Slice Seeding or Verticut Work? 
          As you can see in the above-right picture, there are knives on a shaft. These knives slice or cut lines into the soil 
          of an existing lawn. The knives are mildly dethatching the buildup of debris under the lower canopy of grass. 
          After the lines are cut, seed is dropped through the tubes you see in the above-left picture. The seeds are dropped
          right into the line that was just cut by the blades. After the seed is dropped, rollers (above left) push the new seed
          into the dirt. The end result is efficiently distributed seed that has the best seed-to-soil contact possible (seed needs
          to be in touch with soil in order to germinate and start growing roots).  

          Verticut seeding is superior to seeding by hand because the seed is embedded into the soil better, the lawn is  
          dethatched, which lets more water and nutrients into the soil, and the perfect amount of seed is distributed.
          Spreading too much seed per square foot can cause too much grass seed to germinate, out compete one
          another for nutrients, and die. 

          roto till yard topeka ks     seed lawn topeka ks

          Caring for a Newly Seeded or OverSeeded Yard
          Yes, you can go from bare dirt to a new green lawn with seeding, but it requires some easy post-seeding care. 
          Yes, ValleyScapes can overseed your yard and get those patchy or dead fescue areas filled in with new grass.

          Whether primary seed or overseed, the new seedlings need to stay moist during their germination period,
          which is typically 10-14 days. We don't suggest a fixed time of watering other than whatever it takes to keep
          the seed moist. The reason for this is that wind, heat and soil composition all influence how much moisture
          the ground will hold and for how long. Due to this, there's an extraordinary amount of factors that will change 
          the water frequency for a given yard. 

          Keep in mind that it is possible to overwater new seed. Overwatering causes the seed to dislodge from the topsoil, 
          drown and die. A sign of this will be if you start seeing puddles of water in your yard. 

          After a few weeks of watering and when your grass starts looking as the the above-right picture, it's time to taper
          off the watering. At this point, there are very small roots established, so you want to stress the new grass just 
          enough so that the roots are forced to grow deeper into the soil looking for water. Stressing the grass means 
          cutting off its water supply temporarily. If you stop watering completely, the grass will die. Remember that new 
          seed takes a good year to establish a strong, mature root system that will survive drought conditions. Until that
          point is reached, you need to keep an eye on it (note the difference in the above-right photo between one-month-old
          seed and mature grass in the far left). 

          After your new grass gets 4" tall, mow it. Use a push mower, bag the clippings, cut off no more than one-third of the
          total growth and give the lawn a deep watering right after mowing. Observe these practices for the first several 
          months as your new lawn is establishing. 

          Use a push mower instead of a rider, because you don't want the weight of a rider mower disrupting the new baby
          roots. Bag the clippings, because you want as much sunlight and water to penetrate the soil/ grass as possible
          during the establishment phase. Cut off no more than one-third of the total growth, because you want to keep the
          grass healthy and long. Cutting the grass too short, especially during the establishment phase where there are
          no significant roots yet, can easily kill the grass. Deeply water the grass right after mowing because the first
          few cuttings will stress the new grass, which has never been cut before. Not watering after mowing can kill
          some of the new grass.

          We suggest putting down another application of starter fertilizer four weeks after the initial seeding.  


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