Think About Your Lawn This Fall

Fall Is  A Great time For Over Seeding

If your lawn took a little bit of a beating this summer, as did mine, this is a great time to over seed it. Generally we all think of spring as seed time, but when it comes to lawns, fall is pretty ideal as well. First, weed your lawn and get out all those undesirable daisies, sedge grasses, crab grasses and anything else that does not belong there. Next figure out if you need sun or shade, or a sun shade mix.  Application rates for over seeding are about half of what is recommended for a new lawn.

Get yourself a seed spreader. If you don’t want to spring for a push spreader, a little hand spreader is just fine for this job. Over seed the whole lawn laying seed a little thicker in blank spots. Next put a thin layer of composted topsoil. Many folks like to use peat moss for this, but always remember that peat moss will make the soil more acidic. If your soil needs to be more acidic this is not a bad thing, but most of our lawns tend to be a little on the acid sign as it is. Overly acidic soil will inhibit the seeds form sprouting and encourage certain weeds. For example, if you tend to get a lot of dandelions, your soil is most likely on the acid side already; however, if you get plantain weed (big round low leaves) then your soil is alkaline and can stand a little peat moss.

Next most important step is making sure you water the freshly seeded lawn at least once a day. Seeds need damp soil to germinate. If it’s unseasonably warm like it was last week, you might want to water twice a week. Don’t cut the lawn for a good three weeks and avoid foot traffic. This will allow the seedlings, which are very tender, time to root and grow strong.

Consider looking for specialty seeds. There are new varieties of bluegrass and fescues that are very drought tolerant and generally use less water than the standard grasses we find at the big box stores. These are available on line for the most part; I haven’t seen them in stores yet. If you keep over seeding with these new tougher grasses, over the next year or two, they will eventually out compete the weaker grasses you have already established.

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