If Seed must be Sown…
Lawns should be seeded in the fall. If seeding is necessary in spring, sow between March 15 – April 15.
Trying to Prevent Weeds and Sow Grass at the same time
If using a crabgrass preventer, grass seed must be sown around March 15th, watering sufficiently to encourage germination and growth.
Only apply the preventer (or any other chemicals) after new grass is tall enough to be mowed at least once, but before May 1st.
Apply a starter fertilizer high in phosphorus, along with the grass seed. The fertilizer/seed contact will not cause any problems. Other fertilizer will not need to be applied until fall.
Selecting The Right Grass Seed
We stock mainly sun-loving turf-type tall fescue blends, as well as the best shade mix on the market.
If grass does not grow well in the shade, especially after 2 or 3 sincere attempts, then the area is too shady for any grass to grow. It is time to look at other alternatives, such as ground covers, other plant materials, or mulches. Stop in at Longfellow’s for a copy of our brochure on Solutions for Shady Lawns.
Overseeding Bare Ground
Fescue 3-4 lb 8-10 lb
Bluegrass 1-2 lb 2-4 lb
Shade Mix 1-2 lb 2-4 lb
Ryegrass 2-3 lb 4-6 lb
(based on 1000 sq ft)
Steps for Total Renovation or Seeding on Bare Ground
- Kill existing grass and weeds
- Till to loosen soil
- Add organic matter (this is the best time to really improve soil)
- Sow seed and spread fertilizer
- Cover seed with straw to retain moisture while germinating
- Water area thoroughly
Once grass seed is moistened, it needs to be watered thoroughly at least daily until seed germinates. Slowly reduce watering as grass starts growing and eventually reduce to just once a week.
To Lime or not to Lime
The only time to lime is when a soil test instructs the homeowner to do so about 6.5. Most Missouri soils are lime-based, so it is not necessary to apply more lime. The soil pH should be 6.5.