FALL LAWN SEEDING – By: Gary Garner Sr.
I have always been a strong advocate of early lawn seeding in the fall. If the weather has begun to cool and we receive a reasonable amount of rain I like to start fall seeding soon after mid-August. This year would be an exception to that idea. As hot and dry as August and up to now, mid-September, has been I think anyone who has delayed seeded did the wise thing.
Our local weather forecast looks favorable for planting grass. With an inch or so of rain to cool and soften the soil you still have plenty of time to seed and expect to get a good stand of grass. Many years you can seed up to mid-November and be ok.
If you decide to seed pay attention to the area you are seeding and select the proper seed for that area. If the area is sunny, you obviously want a seed mix that performs well in the sun. If the area is shady, you want seed bred for shade. If you are not sure there are sun shade mixes available.
If at all possible, plant before leaves start to fall and accumulate on the lawn. Once the grass is planted if leaves fall rake lightly to keep the leaves off the new grass. If the leaves are left on the lawn, you will not get a good stand of new grass.
Once you seed you need at least an inch of water weekly on the seeded areas either by rainfall or by irrigation. I see a lot of money spent on dead grass and shrubs because watering was either too much trouble or too expensive. Grass will not grow without water.
My assumption here is that when you seeded you applied a modest application of fertilizer. I would advise an additional application of fertilizer about six weeks after seeding. You want to get as strong of a root system as possible before hard winter.
Last, as soon as the grass gets approximately four inches tall mow the lawn. Hopefully your blade is good and sharp. If you let the new grass, get six to eight inches tall before you mow you will pull up some and bruise and damage the new grass. If you are overseeding an existing lawn maintain your regular mowing schedule.
Last, if you have questions, is now the time to seed, what seed or fertilizer do I need, do I need lime, etc. ask the people at Gary’s Garden Center. They can and will give you the straight scoop.