The BEST TIME FOR SEEDING is September.  This time of year weeds are not germinating, cooler weather is approaching and fall rains are beginning.  The next best time is March or early April, the disadvantage being that weeds, especially crabgrass, are becoming established at this time and compete for space with the new grass seedlings. Grass may be seeded May through August but watering and maintenance are more extensive.


Good SITE PREPARATION is essential, not only for successful seeding and establishment, but for avoiding long term lawn care problems.  If perennial weeds exist, treat the entire area with glyphosate (Fertilome Kilz-all) one or two weeks before seeding is planned.


A SOIL TEST should be done before starting if possible (we can send your sample to a lab for testing-please allow 2-3 weeks for the results to return).  This test will determine what nutrients are required and if lime is needed.


SOIL PREPARATION is a key step in getting your lawn established.  Till the soil to a depth of 4-6 inches.  Grade the lawn to correct low areas that might hold water.  Add lime and Fertilome New Lawn Starter fertilizer at this time.  Apply one pound of fertilizer to 100 square feet.


SEEDING: Measure your lawn area to be sown.  The type of grass you desire will determine the amount needed.  Even distribution of seed is essential for good turf establishment.  This is best accomplished with a mechanical seeder.  Apply half the seed in a north-south direction, and the remainder in an east-west direction.  After sowing the seed, lightly rake the seed into the soil to a depth of no more than one eighth inch.


MULCH the newly seeded area with mulch.  This will hold moisture, and protect the young seedlings, plus prevent erosion  Be sure not to apply the straw too thick!  Rule of thumb is to apply one bale of straw per 500 square feet.  Apply the straw so you can barely see the soil through the straw, but no thicker.


WATER-WATER-WATER!  Improper watering causes more failure of newly seeded lawns than any other single factor.  Soak the lawn thoroughly at first and then water as required. to keep the top layer of soil moist constantly for good germination. Continue until the grass reaches 2 inches high.  At this point, water less often, but water heavier at each watering.  Apply 1 inch of water per watering.  This can be determined by placing a coffee can at three locations under the sprinkler  and then measuring the depth of water in the cans.


MOW the grass when it reaches 3-4 inches high.  Make sure the mower blade is sharp and cut the grass to a height 2½-3 inches.


FERTILIZE again in 30 days after sowing with Fertilome New Lawn Starter.


TO RENOVATE A THIN LAWN mow the exsisting grass a close as possible.  Dethatch the area with a power dethatcher.  Rake up debris.


For information on starting a lawn using sod check out Heartland Turf Farms

Herrin, Illinois


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