Help with Fescue Overseeding Please!

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by boxoffire, Mar 2, 2005.

  1. boxoffire

    boxoffire LawnSite Member
    Messages: 169

    Fairly new guy here wanting to learn a bit about lawn maintenance from you pros. I have a man who has asked me about overseeding his 1 year old lawn with a fescue type seed to help fill in spots where the soil is exposed. Grass covers his lawn for the most part, but if you pull back some of the clumps of fescue blades, exposed soil is present and he wants it to fill in. I know fall is best time from what I read, but early spring may help too. Here is what I have read about doing this. Please, any suggestions or advice on these steps is appreciated.

    Step 1: Mow the lawn short and either bag grass or rake up later. (I'd prefer to bag it)

    Step 2: Aerate it with spike aerator if possible. (I know I've heard these type aerators are useless and don't truely "aerate" the lawn, but maybe this type was suggested for just breaking up the soil????) Going to buy me a pull behind plug aerator soon for most lawns anyway, so maybe this type will do??

    Step 3: Broadcast the seed.

    Step 4: Aerate lawn one more pass. (Says this last step helps provide soil coverage of your seeds)

    Finally you may roll the area sowed with hand roller (don't have one) so the seed will become firmly packed with the soil. Says, Fescue seeds need firm soil contact for best germination. They also need a thin soil covering to germinate (1/4 inch ideal). They are not likely to germinate when thrown out on top of the ground, unless a mulch covering or top soil is applied.

    Step 5: Fertilize when appropriate, usually about a month after seeds have germinated.

    Does this all sound like a plan for this guys year old lawn with some areas of bare soil between the fescue clumps? His lawn is young you can tell, and I don't want to screw it up any more than it is.

    What's the best way to distribute the 1/4 inch of top soil in final step? With the broadcaster or another means?

  2. MMLawn

    MMLawn LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,569

    As you are in NC ALL of that really should have been done this Fall not in the Spring as Fescue is a Cool Season grass. You can of course still do it if you/he wishes and get ok results but as we will be going into the warmer and warm months by the time it germinates and really starts to grow (as it is probably still a little cool at night to even put it down right down) it will be late April or early May so within anoth month it will be real hot and for it to really make it he will need to water daily unless you are in the far north western part of NC.
  3. boxoffire

    boxoffire LawnSite Member
    Messages: 169

    Thanks Mike, I'll let him know that and see what he wants to do. His money.
  4. Turf Manager

    Turf Manager LawnSite Member
    Messages: 41

    If I were you, mow the lawn and use a slit seeder crossing at 90 decree angle. Unless you pull plugs that slicer will not do much for seeding a lawn. Be sure to use starter fert. when you seed.

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