GET THE SEEDERS OUT
It is time to start seeding those thin and bare spots in your lawns. The rains we received this week were perfect for softening your lawns making it easier to incorporate the seed into the soil.
I recommend most people aerate your lawn every fall at this time. Don't waste your money if you haven't softened your lawn with irrigation or rainfall. To test the soil to make sure it is loose enough to aerate, I recommend taking a screw driver in your hand and pressing it into the lawn. You should be able to press it into the ground at least four inches with minimal effort. If you can't press it into the ground then you need to irrigate more. Once the lawn is prepared for aeration you should rent a core aerator from the local Home Depot or rental store. Aerate the lawn thoroughly, some thin areas you will be seeding should be aerated twice or three times.
Now that you have aerated, you should rent a verti-cutter. This can come with or without a seed box on it. Verti-cut the entire lawn one direction. You should then rake or bag all of the thick grass that the verti-cutter pulled up and remove it from the lawn. Now you should spread the seed over the entire lawn, especially paying attention to the thin areas. You should use approximately 2-3lb. per thousand square feet if you are seeding Tall Fescue or Blue Grass. Once you have spread the seed over the entire lawn you should now verti-cut it a second direction. This will incorporate the seed into the soil.
Now you should apply a starter fertilizer. This will have a higher middle number in the analysis on the bag. This is considered a starter fertilizer due to the higher percentage of phosphorus it contains. This will assist in germination and establishment of the new seedlings. Apply this product at the labeled recommended rate.
Now water the lawn. This should be done at least once per day when it is not raining. I recommend twice per day for ideal germination. Once in the morning and once in the late afternoon/early evening time frame.
After germination, you should wait a few weeks to mow. Once you have started to mow, you should mow weekly at a 3" setting.
Additional fertilizer should be applied two weeks after germination. This time you should use a balanced fertilizer that has a similar first number and last number, the middle number should be zero now. For instance a 20-0-20 could be used at this time. Apply this product at the labeled rate on the bag. This same fertilizer should be used monthly until snow fall.
Following these instructions will give you a nice lawn that you and your neighbors will all appreciate.