FALL COOL SEASON LAWN ESTABLISHMENT
by Russell Kelley
Late summer to mid-fall is the best time to establish cool season turf grass. Warm days and cool nights provide ideal conditions for seed germination and establishment of tall fescue, fine fescues, and perennial ryegrass.
The first step towards correcting an existing problem lawn or establishing new turf is to test your soil. This is perhaps one of the most important steps in the process.
Choose a recommended blend of cultivars that are a specific mix for our particular area and growing zone.
For new establishment, tilling to a depth of 4 or more inches would be desirable. Also don’t skimp on the seeding rate (5 to 10 pounds per 1000 square feet). After seeding, irrigate lightly and frequently until seed germination is complete. Avoid excessive amounts of water because this could either wash away or drown the seed.
When seeding in the fall and not skimping on the seeding rate or failing to water the lawn, you can avoid most weed pitfalls by promoting a rapid establishment of thick turf choking out most weeds.
Make sure to fertilize the growing turf on regular intervals by remembering the acronym “SON” (months of September, October, and November). You are on your way to having the lawn you have always wanted.