September is around the corner and that means we need to start thinking about the lawn….
With the cooler temperatures and typically more rainfall than summer, September is an excellent month for thinking about lawn repair or the installation of a new lawn.
For most lawns, matching grass seed to your current lawn to blend in with the common creeping fescue, bluegrass and pine bladed perennial rye, Fairlawn brand grass seed is a good choice in this area. Fairlawn is sowed at the rate of 5-6 lbs per 1000 ft² for a new lawn or new space or or just 2-3 lbs per 1000 ft² for over-seeding an existing lawn.
But first, a soil test is the utmost priority as it will reveal if lime and/or other nutrients are needed and then they can be incorporated into the ground before seeding. This is highly recommended for seeding a new lawn.
After seeding, an application of starter fertilizer is recommended with at least a 1:1 ratio of nitrogen and potassium, such as 10-10-10. The rate of application using a broadcast spreader is 1 lb. of actual nitrogen per 1000 ft² or 10 lbs. of 10-10-10 per one thousand square feet.
Finally, straw or Encap Starter Mulch can help to retain moisture and keep the seed in place. Encap works well to help the area from drying out prematurely. In fact, Encap mulch is free from weeds and actually sparkles when you need to water. Or, if you prefer straw, one large bale will cover about 500-600 ft².
All that is needed then is water to start the germination process.
As previously stated, older lawns can be over-seeded right after a thorough thatching has been accomplished and then apply the starter fertilizer as previously stated. If the lawn is quite weedy, a good method would be to kill the existing sod out with glypsophate (Roundup) and then do the over-seeding and fertilizing without the straw. Sowing the seed requires a slit seeder that injects the seed into the ground.
For new lawns, a better seed to use would be a tall fescue lawn blend, such as our Carefree Mix, as it requires just 1/2 to 1/3 of the fertilizer, less water as it is deeply rooted and tolerates shade better than some of the other blends. In fact, research at The Ohio State University concluded that tall fescue grows better with no fertilizer than too much. Tall fescue blends have a larger size seed so that the seeding rate in 8 lbs. per 1000 ft².
For existing lawn seeding, research again at The Ohio State University concludes that fall fertilizing is more beneficial than in the spring. In fact, the common four step programs work better with a fifth step added when a wintering fertilizer is applied at the last mowing.
Typically, the last fertilizing is one high in potassium with no phosphorus and some nitrogen. Again, a soil test is best to check which fertilizer might be best.
So there you have it, the ABC’s of fall lawn care!
For more information on seeding, see below: