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How Seed Can Bring
Your Yard Back to Life

As we step into the last month of summer, a lot of things change. Kids are heading back to school, and soon, swimming pools will be closing down. Summer’s end also means shorter days and cooler weather. It’s also the home stretch for our cool season lawns, like fescues, Kentucky bluegrass, and perennial ryegrass. Summer can be hard on these grasses, with dryness, heat, bugs, and diseases causing bare spots and unwanted weeds to pop up.

Should You Judge the Lawn By Its Color?

We often judge how good a lawn looks by its color, but that can change depending on the environment. It doesn’t always show if the grass will stay healthy in the long run. It’s better to judge by how dense the grass is, meaning how many healthy plants there are. Luckily, we can use seeds to restore the density that might be lost during the tough summer months.

A lot of the annoying weeds in our lawns grow from seeds every year. So why not spread new grass seeds every few years to make our lawns dense again? Unless they’re treated with chemicals, seeds are natural, free from pesticides, and you don’t need fancy equipment to plant them. Other things you might do in the fall, like aerating, verticutting (making small cuts into the soil and grass, which helps to remove any thatch that may have built up on the surface), and fertilizing, can give the new seeds a good place to grow and the nutrients they need. Planting new seeds in open areas or even in parts of your lawn that aren’t doing so well can also introduce newer, better types of grass that can handle stress and pests better. Instead of spending time and money on fighting a persistent disease at this late time in the season, maybe it’s smarter to invest in seeding during the recovery period in September.

Here are a few more tips to help you succeed in seeding your lawn this fall:

  • Pick the Right Seed: Don’t go for annual ryegrass – it won’t stick around because it’s an annual plant. Check the label on the seed bag. For this area, it’s usually best to use turf-type tall fescue, Kentucky bluegrass, or fine fescue. If you’re using tall fescue, look for newer bags that might have helpful fungi that keep the plants healthy.
  • Think About Weed Control: If you need to deal with weeds before planting, read the instructions on the weed killer carefully. Follow the rules about when you can plant after using it, or you might hurt the new plants.
  • Mow Low Before Planting: Before you plant the seeds, mow the lawn really short – about 1.5 to 2 inches. This will help the new grass grow without too much competition. This is the only time it’s good to mow this short. After the new grass grows enough, go back to mowing at 3 to 4 inches.
  • Make Good Seed-Soil Contact: Before you spread the seeds, make small holes in the ground with an aerator or verticutting. This will help the seeds touch the soil better.
  • Spread the Seeds Right: Put the seeds on the ground at the right rate. For example, you might spread 6 to 9 pounds of seed over 1,000 square feet of turf-type tall fescue. Put the seeds in two directions so they’re spread out evenly.
  • Fertilize After Germination: Once the seeds start growing, give them a special starter fertilizer. Use a pound of it for every 1,000 square feet. If you need help deciding how much to use, check out the Purdue Turfgrass Fertilizer Calculator. Water Carefully: In the first few weeks after planting, water the seeds lightly and often. Keep the soil damp but not so wet that it looks flooded.
  • Irrigate Property: Within the first few weeks, make sure to regularly water your lawn. Keep your soil dark, but make sure not to flood it.


Looking to get some help with your Bloomington home? Get in touch with us today and bring some life back into your yard!




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575 W Simpson Chapel Rd,
Bloomington IN, 47404