Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →, University of Illinois Extension: Planting a New Lawn, Virginia Cooperative Extension: Establishing Lawns. The most important aspect in choosing when to plant the fescue seed is the temperature of the soil. Sod requires an initial irrigation of the s… Colonial Heights | If it has been two weeks and there are no grass sprouts or very few then reseed and make sure you water thoroughly. Where turfgrass is concerned, it is definitely possible to have too much of a good thing. Sow 3 to 5 lbs of winter rye seed per 1,000 square feet of existing grasses or use 5 to 7 lbs of seed for 1,000 square feet of bare earth. If for any reason Be sure and use the correct rate for seeding Fescue grass. Plant over an empty soil by tilling and fertilizing the soil. How to Plant Grass in November. Deciding when to plant fescue is a consistent decision for most lawns where fall seeding is concerned, but it has to be a case by case decision when thinking about planting fescue in spring. Fill the broadcast spreader with the remaining seed and sand and walk in a north-to-south direction, seeding as you walk. Should I be planting Fescue in Spring?? Dinwiddie | Smooth the surface with a rake making sure to remove vegetative growth. Seeding fescue in spring offers a compromise that cuts this “wait time” in half. All Rights Reserved. Seeding aftercare is important in the fall between watering, delaying any mowing, and monitoring for problems, but each part of this homeowner care is ten times as important with a spring seeding. The good news is if you hurry, seed can still be planted in October with the hope that it will survive the upcoming winter. In some circumstances, you may see them in only a few days. Planting in summer can … It is not as important as you think it is, but everyone’s first thought is what fescue … Before you plant fescue seed, you want to do a bit of preparation to your lawn. Fescue is a cool-season grass. Ft Lee | Business Address:23421 Old Cox Rd Dinwiddie, Virginia 23803, Copyright © 2019 Picture Perfect Lawn Maintenance. Analyze the soil test results to determine which, if any, amendments will be required. If you intend to seed a lawn, you CAN NOT use a pre-emergent before you plant nor can one be applied for several weeks thereafter. This is best done during the fall. Test your soil before sowing the fescue seed. Walk over the planting area in an east-to-west direction, sowing the seed as you walk. When you have procrastinated past the proper planting season for fescue, you can get quicker germination if you prime or pre-germinate the seed before you scatter it over your plot. Although fall is considered the best time to plant fescue seed, planting in spring is also possible. Alternately the second choice is to plant in spring when spring temperatures have reached 60 ° and are rising in the spring. The best way to weigh the option of … If you missed the window for fall seeding of a cool-season lawn, you can still plant a lawn for spring. Based in the American Southwest, Bridget Kelly has been writing about gardening and real estate since 2005. However, ungerminated seed may stay viable through winter and some additional germination may come with spring. Although fall is considered the best time to plant fescue seed, planting in spring is also possible. The older leaves adhere to the plant and spoil the bright coloration. You want to see healthy and thriving fescue grass by bathing suit season. Normally, spring is not considered the ideal time to overseed a cool season bluegrass or fescue lawn because of the shorter establishment period before summer and the increased issues with weeds. As we mentioned, a lot can go wrong in a year for a fescue lawn. Chesterfield | Rye Grasses The rye grasses are also appropriate for October planting in warmer climates. However, when temperatures climb in the summer problems begin to occur. Tall fescue grows rapidly and requires frequent mowing but does not tolerate close mowing. If tall fescue is seeded at less than ideal conditions (too cool or no soil moisture), the seed will stay viable in the spring until the temperatures warm and soil moisture is available. Many times a herbicide can’t tell the difference between a “weed” and your grass. The best time to plant new tall fescue and bluegrass seed is in early to mid September. Even under ideal conditions, you can expect approximately one third of those individual grass plants to die off due to fungus and/or heat stress. Overseeding – Planting Fescue In Spring. If the seeding rate is too low, the stand will be thin and weedy. Til them into the existing soil until the soil in the area is loose and there are no large clods. Fescue is a cool season turf, which means that it does best in mild conditions. These areas can represent a large percentage of the property, or be as small as a baseball or basketball. Common amendments for a fescue lawn include nitrogen, lime and compost. When fescue is put down around September or October, it has all of the fall to germinate and begin developing, all of the winter to extend its roots, and all of the spring to thicken up and mature its blades. Existing fescue lawns can also be reseeded. To seed, or not to seed? Such is the case with pre-emergents and fescue. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English with a concentration in creative writing. Pour half of the fescue seed and half of the sand into the broadcast spreader. At PPLM, we like to get the bad out of the way first. Although fall is considered the best time to plant fescue seed, planting in spring is also possible. Copyright Leaf Group Ltd. // Leaf Group Lifestyle. If too much grass begins growing together and becomes too thick and overpopulated, the turf can smother and choke itself out, resulting in the thin, patchy lawn a homeowner electing to spring seed was hoping to avoid. At the end of the day, the greatest benefits to successfully planting fescue in spring are the improvements to a lawn’s overall health and appearance as well as the faster results in a lawn this option can provide. Blue fescue plants are evergreen but they do lose some of the older blades and grow new fresh deep blue leaves in spring. If you plant grass seed in the wrong season, it will not germinate properly or even survive. Seeding at less optimum time may result in reduced fill which may increase weed germination. After you plant your grass seeds, you should see new sprouts no later than two weeks afterwards. Moseley | This can reduce the need for fertilizer by 20-30%. The third issue with spring seeding is the significant limitations it puts on weed control, which is most heavily applied during the spring. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Because fescue does not repair itself, over-seeding annually in September or October is needed for the turf to recover from summer damage and to look its best. Although spring seeding is very common for garden crops and other plants, spring seeding of grass is very difficult due to conditions that are often beyond our control. Proud to provide services to central & southside Virginia. September – October is the BEST time to plant a fescue lawn but March -April is also a possibility. Design ... You should plant tall fescue seed in the fall, and it may require annual reseeding. When trying to decide whether or not to spring seed, homeowners should talk with their professional turf management company to decide whether or not it’s recommended for their lawn. How should one determine if you should plant grass in the spring? You will need 3 to 5 pounds of fescue seed per 1,000 square feet of planting area, according to the Virginia Cooperative Extension. Overseeding – Planting Fescue In Spring. Under the right conditions, fescue is green year-round, but it can go dormant (brown) during severe heat and drought. However, when fescue is put down in the spring, it only has one season instead of three to develop before it gets rocked by summer. Level the soil with the rake, removing any hills or depressions. Lawns that are seeded in the spring and carefully maintained to maximize on the lawn’s ability to survive the summer see faster improvement and will be thicker and healthier during the season that they’re most enjoyed than lawns that have to wait until fall. This in turn depends on proper seeding. Pour the amendments, at the rate suggested by the soil analysis, over the planting bed. About Fescue Grass Lawns. Do not fertilize during the spring or summer, when weeds grow, but fertilize again in the fall to nourish the grass for the winter. 1 If you plant late, expect lower germination rates and less hardy root establishment. However, you can simply comb them out with your fingers. Spring seeding should be planned if there any obvious areas of exposed soil. Fescue grasses die back in the summer heat, so you will need to plant a warm-season grass in the spring. A pre-emergent chemical will prevent germination of ANY seed – weed or turfgrass. That is the question many homeowners ask when surveying their lawn as the weather first starts to warm into spring. Some winter weeds begin to develop after fall seeding, but these are generally controlled with post-emergent weed control in the spring, at which point pre-emergent weed control is also applied to prevent most summer weeds. Choosing the appropriate grass is the first step, and briefly put, the only two cool-season grasses that have application in the Piedmont and Tidewater regions of the state are tall fescue and the new hybrid bluegrasses. In spring or fall, new fescue seeds can be planted after clearing an area of vegetation or mowing old grass. However, if done properly and with attention to maintenance, spring might be a viable option. In addition to this, adult fescue grass is easily stressed and damaged by high temperatures like those RVA experiences in the summer. A: Although late fall is the optimum time to plant fescue, mid- to late February is a workable alternate. This is why a fescue lawn does best if it receives aeration and seeding in the fall. This is usually in late February/early March. When it's October, people often wonder if it is too late to plant new seed. These issues include the threat of summer, the need for homeowner involvement, and conflict with spring weed control. There are some key things to keep in mind when planting grass seed in the winter months. Hopewell | Mow newly seeded fescue back to 3” when it reaches 4.5” in height. You will need 3 to 5 … For colder climates, you can plant grass seed in the winter for overseeding purposes. Check with your county cooperative extension office for soil-testing facilities or purchase testing kits at a gardening center or nursery. It is subject to brown (large) patch, especially in prolonged periods of warm, wet conditions. Problems like extreme weather, fungus, and construction can either compromise the success of a fall seeding or create so many issues in a lawn that just one fall seeding can’t completely recover the integrity of the turf. Analyze the soil test results to determine which, if any, amendments will be required. Use high-nitrogen, low-phosphorus fertilizer like 18-0-4 that includes a pre-emergence weed control (unless you plan on reseeding in the spring). When To Plant Fescue Grass. Once your seeds are sowed, rake or drag the seeded area, so that as many of the seeds as possible are lightly covered (1/4 inch is ideal covering). Fall is the best time to plant fescue and other cool season grass. Planting in the Fall presents the least risk of planting failure for cool season grass. As a result, many homeowners are discouraged by thin or bare areas in their lawn coming out of winter when faced with having to wait until fall to seed again. Chester | It tolerates heat and drought. Planting fescue in spring is not as ideal as planting it in the fall, but it does have some merits for a fescue lawn that has struggled since its fall seeding. So, when you plant seeds be sure to … You can also plant fescue grass in early spring. After all, getting your fescue seed planted is only part of the battle. Allow clippings to fall into the turf where they will decay and release nutrients. Ideally, the soil temperature should be between 50 and 65 degrees F. This will normally occur when the air temperature reaches 60 degrees F, according to turf growers at Fescue.com. Our Work is 100% GuaranteedWe want you to be over the top ecstatic with our PPLM Lawn Care, Landscape Maintenance, and Fertilizer services---So thrilled that you will refer us to your family, friends and neighbors. Master gardeners at the Gloucester County, Virgina, extension suggest that residential plantings of fescue do not require a straw mulch. There is no bigger influence on this than seasonal weather. Late Winter: Fertilize fescue lawns in late winter when soil temperatures rise to a consistent 50° in order to stimulate deep root growth. But with the need for both moisture and moderate temperatures, it is better to seed a little early in anticipation of spring rainfall. Her articles have appeared at Trulia.com, SFGate.com, GardenGuides.com, RE/MAX.com, MarketLeader.com, RealEstate.com, USAToday.com and in "Chicago Agent" magazine, to name a few. The best way to weigh the option of planting fescue in spring is with a pros and cons list. In order to prevent significant loss of the baby grass once summer arrives, homeowners that have invested in planting fescue in spring have to stay on top of a strict watering regimen from the start. Ideally, the soil temperature should be between 50 and 65 degrees F. This will normally occur when the air temperature reaches 60 degrees F, according to turf growers at Fescue.com. I have tips on planting a new lawn or an existing lawn, whether with seed or sod. Fescue is a cool-season grass; that means it grows best in the spring and fall when temperatures are cooler, and it struggles during the heat of summer. Midlothian | As a result, spring seeding has a much higher risk of loss in the summer than a fall seeding does. Keep in mind, however, that a fescue lawn that is already uniform and healthy can actually be harmed by spring seeding. Tall fescue is a moderate- to coarse-bladed grass that can be grown in the shade and in many soil types. Q: I know October is the best time for overseeding a fescue lawn but can it be done in the spring? Fertilize the soil before planting the seed, then again in late winter. Petersburg. Proud to provide services to central & southside Virginia: Fescue is a cool growing season grass that declines in growth during summer. This break in weed control is accommodated by falling temperatures that result in much fewer incidences of crabgrass and other weeds anyway. Some products are available that serve as pre-emergent and post-emergent weed control without being a risk to the germination or development of fescue seed, but these are usually quite expensive and would be an additional cost with a turf management company. The most important aspect in choosing when to plant the fescue seed is the temperature of the soil. Prince George | The best time to apply fescue grass in spring is immediately after the ground has thawed and as soon as you’re able to till and work the soil adequately. If a lawn is still experiencing significant thin or bare areas as a result of harsh weather, damage, or subpar fall seeding results, spring seeding may be a viable option if the proper precautions are taken. How often you need to mow will depend on how quickly the turf grows, which will vary with temperature, fertility, and moisture levels. However, if you are faced with either a sparse turf or the need to plant a new lawn this spring, you have no other choice but to do the best you can. This is over six months of crucial development as it prepares to withstand the stress of summer’s heat. you are not 100% satisfied with our service, please contact us immediately, and we will make it right---no questions asked! These include cool season grasses, such as ryegrass, fescue and Kentucky bluegrass, which will germinate and then flourish in spring when snow has melted. Seeding is a large investment for most homeowners, so it is valuable to weigh the pros and cons to make sure the chances of successful germination and development are high while the concern with missing out on spring weed control is low. In transition zone states, such as North Carolina or Arkansas, September is typically the best month for planting tall fescue seed. Even established fescue that was seeded last fall will falter in the 100⁰+ temperatures and drought during the summer. When seed is put down in the spring, a standard weed control program has to skip the pre-emergent weed control and restrict the post-emergent weed control. If it is too high, establishment costs will be prohibitive. Level the soil with the rake, removing any hills or depressions. Most grasses grow readily from seed and do well with fall planting. Use a tiller to work and loosen the ground prior to planting. Roll the planting area with the hand roller until the soil is compacted. The key is getting good seed-to-soil contact. Warm-Season Grass Warm-season grasses, which grow well throughout the state, should be planted in the spring. Unless you keep it thoroughly irrigated, you will lose some of your fescue to our hot summers, every year – which is why you should overseed it every fall. Priming can be accomplished by soaking the seed in warm water for 24 hours then partially drying it on a layer of newspapers in your garage. Planting fescue in spring is not as ideal as planting it in the fall, but it does have some merits for a fescue lawn that has struggled since its fall seeding. Fall is the optimal time to plant fescue grasses. Plant your cool season grass seed when the fall temperatures reach 75° and are dropping as winter approaches. So, you will lose about half of what you seeded, maybe more. To start, the most obvious consideration in deciding when to plant fescue is the chance of success for the seed’s germination and development. Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map! … Give it new growth by aerating the soil and and mixing in fresh seed. During spring, temperature and rainfall is perfect for grass seed germination and growth. As a result, a fescue lawn that had seed put down in the spring is very likely to see more weed activity for that year than a lawn that received its normal amount of weed control. I also cover what kind of fescue is best. Because fescue isn’t able to spread laterally the way warm season grasses can, the grass you have is the grass you have until you seed again. You can use a commercial turf grass planter, slit seeder, or sow the seeds by hand, or just as easy and much preferred, buy a lawn grass seeder. Unfortunately, there are several cons to planting fescue in spring that can seriously impact not only whether or not the service is appealing to a homeowner, but also the actual germination success of the tall fescue grass seed. Fescue is a hardy grass that grows in cool weather and browns during the summer. I have found that the most important factor when planting grass seed is water. When fescue seed is put down in the fall, maintenance herbicide applications are halted to prevent the risk of harm to the seed or baby grass. If a lawn is still experiencing significant thin or bare areas as a result of harsh weather, damage, or subpar fall seeding results, spring seeding may be a viable option if the proper precautions are taken. As a result, tall fescue grass seed does not germinate properly unless soil and air temperatures average around 60 to 75 degrees. Planting Fescue in Spring…..Is It Right For My Lawn? Water the planting area with the fine mist setting on your hose or sprinkler and water daily until the seeds germinate. Choose a planting time between mid-February and April to plant fescue grass seed. This brings us to the second downside to spring seeding, which is the need for homeowner involvement. 75° and are rising in the spring you plan on reseeding in the fall temperatures reach 75° and dropping! 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