Well I’m back…my apologies for a long delay for new posts! I’ve been very busy in the yard and gardens…but enough excuses! Today I’m bringing you two good videos and an article from K-State dealing with some folks biggest planting…the lawn. Learn about overseeding and quality seed, both keys to a healthy crop of turfgrass. Follow the links and enjoy the article.
Overseeding a Lawn
Tall fescue lawns that have become thin over the summer can be thickened up by overseeding during September. Start by mowing the grass short (1 to 1.5 inches) and removing the clippings. This will make it easier to achieve good seed-soil contact and increase the amount of light that will reach the young seedlings.
Good seed-soil contact is vital if the overseeding is to be successful. Excess thatch can
prevent seed from reaching the soil and germinating. Normally we want 1/4 inch of thatch or less when overseeding. If the thatch layer is 3/4 inch or more, it is usually easiest to use a sod cutter to remove it and start over with a new lawn. A power rake can be used to reduce a thatch layer that is less than 3/4 inch but more than a quarter inch.
Once thatch is under control, the soil should be prepared for the seed. This can be done in various ways. A verticut machine has solid vertical blades that can be set to cut furrows in the soil. It is best to go two different directions with the machine. A slit seeder is a verticut machine with a seed hopper added so the soil prep and seeding operation are combined. A third option is to use a core aerator.
The core aerator will punch holes in the soil and deposit the soil cores on the surface of the ground. Each hole produces an excellent environment for seed germination and growth. Make three to four passes with the core aerator to insure enough holes for the seed. Using a core aerator has the additional benefit of reducing the amount of watering needed to get the seed germinated and growing. Aeration also increases the water infiltration rate, decreases compaction, and increases the amount of oxygen in the soil. Fertilizer should then be applied at the rate suggested by a soil test, or a starter fertilizer should be used at the rate suggested on the bag.
Seeding is the next step and is usually done with half the amount of seed used when working with bare ground. For tall fescue, the normal rate is 6 to 8 pounds per 1,000 square feet, and so the overseeding rate is 3 to 4 pounds per 1,000 square feet.
The seed should be broadcast or applied using a drop spreader over the prepared area. Water everything in and then keep the seedbed constantly moist to ensure rapid germination. Frequent, light waterings should give way to deeper and more infrequent irrigation as seedlings become established. Fertilize again 4 to 6 weeks after seeding to keep plants growing well and to build up food reserves. Use a high-nitrogen fertilizer.
links to the videos;