(By Jared Hoyle; KSU Turfgrass Research and Extension)
All summer we have been trying to keep our cool-season turfgrass alive. Now is the time if we had some die because of heat or drought to build a healthy turfgrass for the winter and next years hot summer. There are many things to talk about so we will list them below.
First all – FERTILITY. I talked about this awhile ago in a previous blog post so I will just list that link and you can go back and ready it.
Next – SEEDING. This is from Ward Upham’s (KSU Research and Extension) last news letter but wanted to make sure it was put in the fall lawn care blog. He really explains the seeding process and information pertaining to seeding in this article.
“September is the best month to reseed cool-season lawns such as tall fescue and Kentucky bluegrass. However, you can get by with an early to mid-October planting for tall fescue. October 15 is generally considered the last day for safely planting or overseeding a tall fescue lawn in the fall. If you do attempt a late seeding, take special care not to allow plants to dry out. Anything that slows growth will make it less likely that plants will mature enough to survive the winter.
Seedings done after the cut-off date can be successful, but the success rate goes down the later the planting date. Late plantings that fail are usually not killed by cold temperatures but rather desiccation. The freezing and thawing of soils heave poorly rooted grass plants out of the ground, which then dry and die. Keeping plants watered will help maximize root growth before freezing weather arrives. (Ward Upham)”
So what I am getting out of Ward’s article is that you are going to have a better success for seeding if you do it now and not wait until later.
There is lots more information in the Tall Fescue publication from the KSRE bookstore.
Also, if you want to know what varieties work well in Kansas. Check out the Tall Fescue Varieties for Kansas Publication. (New NTEP data has not be used to update the varieties. – Coming soon!)
This will get everyone started. There is lots more information out there about cool season turfgrass management at the KSU Turfgrass Website. Check it out at http://www.k-state.edu/turf/