Whether you’re planning on overseeding your existing lawn or are looking to seed from bare soil, there are a few simple rules to follow to ensure a quality outcome that will make you feel like a turf professional!
It is always best to plant turfgrass in the Fall. This gives the new grass plant two growing seasons (the Fall in which it is planted and the following spring) before it must survive the heat and dry weather of the summer. Whether you plant bluegrass or fescue, plant in the Fall between the dates of August 21st and September 21st. for best results. This will give your new grass plant plenty of time to establish before it goes dormant in the Winter, and a nice head start to the spring growing season.
Plan on a minimum of two fertility treatments in the Fall when you plant. Use a triple formulation such as 19-19-19 or 12-12-12 at one pound of Nitrogen per 1000 sq. ft. At this rate, the triple formulation fertilizer will also provide one pound of phosphorus which seeds need to germinate well and one pound on potassium to help develop the roots of your new plants.
Three weeks after you plant new seed and fertilize with a triple formulation fertilizer (do these two steps at the same time), apply a high nitrogen fertilizer such as a 46-0-0 formulation at one pound per 1000 sq. ft. This will help produce top growth and thicken strands of turf in your yard. If the Fall remains mild into mid to late October, apply a third application of a high nitrogen fertilizer. Any unused nutrients will overwinter in the soil and provide a good food source for your grass plant when it wakes up in the Spring.
This is the step that most people have failure with. It is very important to water your new seed daily if there is no rain. The soil must remain damp (not muddy) for the first 30 days. Be ready to commit to moving around the water sprinklers daily if you do not have an automatic irrigation system.
Following these three steps will set you up for much success for your fall grass seeding project. If you have questions, please feel free to reach out to me (Mike Brown) at email@example.com. I will be more than happy to advise you for your fall project.