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Old 08-19-2003, 02:25 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Location: Northern VA
Another Lawn Question.

I know there are a few threads already on lawns but I have a different dilema.
My house had SOD put in the back yard when it was built (FEB, 01). I neglected to take care of it with watering. So basically there are patches of dead grass through out the lawn. There are also patches of healthy grass throug out the lawn.
Please keep in mind that the lawn looks pretty terrible, but it also looks like it can be saved. I was told planting seeds in September/October and April/May was a good idea instead of the middle of summer like I had planned. But I don't know if I should be planting seeds into the SOD. Is this a bad idea...any suggestions on how to save the lawn will be greatly appreciated.
Thanks.
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Old 08-19-2003, 02:50 PM   #2 (permalink)
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make sure you keep the water going and add some fertiliser already(not too much though, or other stuff will grow as well), it could very well be that the patches start clearing up a bit too.

Also: never ever try any grass seeds in the summer. Stick to late spring or early fall. You want moderated temperature for new growth.
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Old 08-25-2003, 11:29 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Okay - you're another person stuck in the "Transition Zone" between cool-season and warm-season grasses.

The first thing is to figure out what kind of grass you've got in your yard - that will determine the best time to seed. I'm betting you've got cool-season where you're at, though. In any case - you want it to match, so you've got to find out what kind of grass you've got. If you don't know, dig up a patch and take it to a nursery.

Basically, if it's a cool-season grass (fescue, rye, or bluegrass), September would be the best time to seed - or around the time the low temperature of the night is below 60 degrees for two weeks straight - that might happen a lot earlier in northern Virginia.

In case you've got warm-season grass (bermuda probably - I doubt you'd have St. Augustine that far north), then you'll want to plant in March or April, or whenever the nightly low is <i>above</i> 60 degrees for 2 weeks. If your grass turns yellow in the winter - it's bermuda, amd that's natural.

Before you plant anything, though - do yourself a favor and install an irrigation system for your lawn and flower beds - you'll thank yourself countless times in the future - while everyone else is outside dragging their hoses all over their yards, you'll just flip a switch and watch the water do its magic.

Anyway, once you put the seed down, make sure the soil stays damp for 7 - 10 days (your sprinkler system will already prove itself in this phase) in order for the seeds to germinate and start growing. putting hay or pine needles over it will help. Once your bare spots are filled in, add some low-nitrogen; high phosphorus fertilizer - that will help the grass grow roots. Or just look for "starter" fertilizer. Most seed nowadays comes coated in fertilizer.

Good luck.
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