Why plant grass in the fall?
Also avoid planting grass seed during very wet weather. Heavy rains can make the soil too wet, resulting in a fungal disease that can kill the seedlings. This is especially true during the spring.
I. Figure out what type of grass will grow best in your region
- Kentucky bluegrass, a fine, dark green grass that grows well in the shade. Many gardeners prefer this type of grass because it spreads and fills in nicely and has a rich green color.
- Tall fescue, a coarse, low-maintenance grass that is very durable and can take the heat more so than other cool-season varieties.
- Perennial ryegrass, a fast-growing, medium-textured grass that grows great in full-sun and not so well in shade. Requires little watering or fertilizer.
Did you know? To maintain a lush, green lawn throughout the year, choose a seed mixture of several varieties of grasses including all the above to ensure that if one type develops a disease and turns brown; a large proportion of your grass will remain unaffected and keep its healthy green color.
- Bermuda grass, a fine-textured grass that loves full-sun and dislikes shade that is both dense and hard-wearing.
- Buffalo grass, fine-textured grass with curled, grey-green blades. Requires little mowing and no fertilization. Heat and drought-resistant.
- Zoysia grass, a medium-textured grass with stiff, narrow blades that is hardier than most warm-season grasses during winter. Drought-resistant and shade-tolerant.
- St. Augustine grass, coarse grass that won't survive super cold winters but tolerates partial shade.
- Bahia grass, a low-growing, coarse-textured grass that is not as attractive as some of the other warm-season grasses but requires little maintenance and grows nicely in partial shade.
II. Remove rocks, sticks and other debris then mow
Insider tip: Mow existing grass to a shorter height than usual prior to planting seed. Rake up the clippings and compost.
III. Till that top layer of soil
IV. Level the ground
V. Scatter the seed
Regardless do not:
- Overseed your lawn. Just like when I cram too many seedlings in my plastic containers in the spring and end up with leggy, spiny and weak plants, you'll end up with the same with your lawn. Overseeded areas will grown thin, lanky and unhealthy grass because the seedlings are fighting so hard for nutrients.
VI. Protect the seeds with topsoil
- You may also want to consider using straw or other organic material to lightly cover the seed and protect it from pecking birds, squirrels and deer. It will also help keep it moist.
VII. Water the seeds
Check regularly and water if soil is dry. Do this for four to six weeks until roots grow and then water less often but more deeply. Try setting the sprinkler on a mist settings. Never use a jet or other powerful stream of water or you will wash away seed. Water twice a day, once in the morning and then again at night with this light spray. Continue until the grass sprouts to a few inches.
- Each watering should penetrate the soil to a depth of several inches to promote good root growth!!
VIII. Keep people and pets off the lawn
I thought it was slightly passive aggressive, but Tom insisted on putting up yellow tape attached to poles to keep kids and pets off. But I drew that line at caution tape and asked him to at least stick with plain yellow. I think everyone got the drift that the man is trying to grow grass.
IX. Fertilize that seed
Fertilizing now will not only encourage growth and a greener winter lawn, but will promote a stronger growth come spring. The best time to fertilize warm-season grass is from late spring to early fall. You may also have to keep a sharp eye on soil pH and adjust when necessary. Plants can't use fertilizer when they're growing in soils that are too acidic or too alkaline. Correct alkaline soils by spreading sulphur; modify acidic soils by spreading dolomite lime.
Did you know? The best time to fertilize your lawn is after a period of heavy downpour, when the lawn is evenly saturated with water.
- Most lawns need between 2 and 6 pounds of actual nitrogen per year for good growth!
- Use high-potassium fertilizer to prepare lawn for winter.
X. Keep the lawn watered
One last tip...
Do you need to fix or plant your lawn?