After verticutting, you are ready to seed. Then comes the hard part of making sure the seedbed is moist at all times. Grass seeding requires dedication to watering as it takes even moisture to get a good stand of grass. Most grass seed will germinate within one to two weeks of seeding, and then the amount of water can be reduced. The ideal time to seed bluegrass and tall fescue lawns in the Kansas City area is early to mid-September. At this time of the year, the soil temperatures are still high, nighttime temperatures start to fall, and more rainfall is usually received.
Fall verticutting/aerating & overseeding appointments book quickly! If you're in need of these services, schedule an apt. before it's too late!
Timely irrigation is also very important. Once the seed is sown the upper surface of the soil should remain damp at all times. This may require daily, light applications. It all depends on the amount of sun and wind. Be prepared to water when needed as lack of water will slow establishment. An application of fertilizer at the time of seeding is also a good idea. This will help nourish not only the new seedlings, but will give the existing turf a much needed boost. Mow the lawn at the normal height, which is between 2 and 3 inches. Avoid the mistake of letting it grow too long as this reduces the seedling's ability to develop a nice crown. Clippings do not need to be caught as long as they do not shade out the new seed. Fallen leaves should be picked up to prevent suffocation.
Do not worry about weeds at this time. No chemical applications can be applied during this process. As a general rule of thumb, no herbicides should be applied until the new grass has been mowed at least twice. Check the product label for specific information.
We will make one pass with the machine. It is recommended to do two passes and then rake up the debris, which we will do at an additional cost.
After a hot, dry summer, most of us have areas in our lawn that did not survive. Dead patches may be present throughout the lawn. Re-seeding may be necessary to bring your lawn back to top-notch standards. Before your verticutting appointment, it is important that you mow the turf lower and make sure there is good soil moisture so the blades can penetrate the soil.
This combination makes almost perfect conditions for quick germination and establishment of turf from seed.
In order to grow any crop successfully, it is necessary to plant good seed, and this is especially true of grasses. Kansas mixes often combine the state´s two top turfs -- tall fescue and Kentucky bluegrass. But, the good ones often contain three or more fescue varieties and two or more bluegrass cultivars - which, in turn, provide a high-quality, uniform lawn with greater strengths in drought, disease, and insect resistance.
Seeding is also more successful with an application of a starter type fertilizer. Instead of the high nitrogen application recommended, use a more balanced fertilizer or one with more phosphorus such s 10-20-10. Research has shown that phosphorus placed at the point of germination speeds up establishment. But remember for most lawns the phosphorus is only needed when seeding. Be careful not to starve your lawn with too little nitrogen. A month after the new grass has germinated apply a high nitrogen fertilizer to push the grass for quicker establishment before the arrival of cooler fall and winter temperatures.
"Clean seed that has zero percent `other crop´ and zero percent weed seeds will always cost more. Highly recommended varieties with a good germination rate will cost more, too but, they´re worth it. You might have trouble believing, for example, how just a tiny percentage of some weed seeds can ruin a yard," said St. John, who´s a turfgrass specialist with K-State Research and Extension.
He strongly suggests homeowners buy lawn seed from a reputable garden center or landscape supply provider, not a big-box store. In his experience, retailers whose year-round business is horticulture are much more likely to know the latest research results on varieties that do well locally. They also tend to be more personally involved in supplying lawn products and advice that help ensure customers´ success.
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