by Pamm Cooper, Turf Educator
1. Prepare ground – loosen soil to provide good seedbed.
2. Seed must be incorporated into the soil to a depth of 1/8 to ¼”.
3. Seeds planted too deep may not emerge.
4. Lightly roll or press soil surface after sowing to ensure good soil contact with the seed.
5. Once the seed is sown, it must remain moistened to initiate germination and to maintain adequate water for the new roots.
6. Mulching will help keep the grass seed moist – use straw or the new pelletized paper mulch, or other weed-free mulches. Avoid hay as mulch because it contains many weed and undesirable grass seeds. Apply mulch at a rate so that some soil is visible.
7. Mow seedlings frequently when they reach 3 to 3 ½” high, using sharp blades – avoid sharp turns. Mowing frequently as the grass establishes will promote denser turf.
8. To prevent crabgrass competition, siduron (Tupersanâ) can be applied at the time of seeding. Any other crabgrass killer (including corn gluten) will kill the new turf seedlings. You MUST follow the label directions for all pesticides!
9. Fescues and other cool-season lawn grasses do best seeded in late summer rather than in spring. Soil temperatures are warmer in the late summer and this promotes fast germination and seedling emergence. After the first week of October is usually too late for seeding in northern Connecticut; after the middle of October is usually too late for seeding in southern and coastal Connecticut.
10. In the spring, if the soil is too cold – below 50 degrees – germination is slowed or may not take place.