Deciding to overseed your existing lawn or scrap the entire thing and start from scratch can be a difficult decision. Usually, if less than 50% of the lawn is grass, then you want to start from scratch. Late summer and fall are great times to plant a new lawn. Usually, the temperatures are perfect, and you don’t have to compete with weeds and crabgrass like you do in the spring or summer.
1. Eliminate existing weeds and grass. The most effective way to eliminate existing weeds and grass is a non-selective herbicide like Hi-yield Killzall. Spray the entire lawn, after one week if you still have weeds or grass that are green, spray it again. Bermuda grass may take up to three applications before it is completely eliminated.
2. Get rid of dead grass and weeds. Mow and bag the dead grass as short as possible while collecting the clippings.
3. Pick the right grass seed. This is one of the most important steps. Choosing the wrong seed can ruin your new lawn. Gard’n-wise Premium Fescue blend is the best and cleanest seed available for our area.
4. Prepare the soil. If your soil is compacted you may need to till to loosen the soil. It isn’t always necessary to till, usually, a verticutter is sufficient to prepare the soil. A verticutter makes small slits in the ground that creates the proper seedbed. First, verticut the lawn one direction then go back over the lawn and verticut again at 45 to 90 degrees making a criss-cross pattern.
5. Spread the seed and fertilizer. Using a rotary type spreader broadcast your seed at 8-10 pounds per 1000 square feet. Next broadcast Ferti•lome New Lawn Starter, the phosphorus in this fertilizer is just what the young seedlings are looking for when they germinate. New Lawn Starter helps get the roots deep down before the winter and helps increase survival.
6. Water, water, water. New seed and young seedlings will quickly die if allowed to dry out. Keep the seedbed moist at all times until the seeds emerge. Water only enough to moisten the surface. Do not over water causing runoff. Gradually reduce water after the seeds sprout to encourage deeper rooting.
7. Fertilize. Thirty days after the grass has germinated apply Ferti•lome Winterizer. At this time the young grass needs nitrogen to help it mature. A follow-up application thirty days after the first would also be beneficial.
8. Enjoy your new lawn!