As the summer temperatures start to decline
here in the transition zone it’s a great time to evaluate the quality of your lawn. That’s right, Tony. Even if you have a tall Fescue or a Kentucky
bluegrass lawn, a lot of times, by the end of summer, they’re looking stressed, they’re
looking thin, it’s a great time to look at renovation. Renovation is the process of seeding into
an existing turfgrass stand in order to improve the quality prior to the winter months to
come. How do you know if a renovation’s right for
you? If your turf grass stand is 50% or greater
weeds or dead turf, it’s probably time just to kill it all out and start with a new establishment. However, if you have 50% or greater that is
in good condition it’s probably okay to go ahead and go with the renovation process. Fall is a perfect time to do renovation because
the cool season grasses like the cooler temperatures. The warm season summer annuals slow down and
there’s a chance for natural precipitation. You just want to make sure and get that grass
established prior to the first frost date for your area. Before we get started though Tony, I think
it’s important to do a site inspection. A site inspection you look at drainage, you
look at irrigation, you look at shade issues and I would suggest doing a soil test. A soil test would be a great idea. A soil test would provide us any information
on any underlying issues prior to us undergoing the renovation process and would also provide
us a future roadmap for making nutrient recommendations and guidelines. After you’ve completed your site inspection,
your soil test, and addressed any issues, the next step is mowing. You want to mow down to a point where the
seed can get into the soil and sunlight can get in the soil. The most important part with all that is not
to go so low that you actually scalp the grass and cut off the growing point which is right
above the soil. After the mowing is done, you’ll then want
to run a verticutter over the area which will provide vertical seams in the soil and allow
for good seed to soil contact which help with a successful germination. If you have a lot of compaction in your area
or if you’re managing a high fact producing grass like Kentucky bluegrass, it also is
a good idea to run a core aerifier over the area prior to this process. Now that we’ve completed the mowing and the
verticutting it’s time to address seed and fertilizer. Today we’re going to use an 18-24-12 high
phosphorous fertilizer. Phosphorus is critical for seed germination
and rooting. You want to put down about a pound of actual
phosphorus per thousand square feet and you want to make sure you’re using a calibrated
spreader. Once you’ve selected your fertilizer source,
you’re now ready to move on in selecting your seed. The amount of seed that you’re going to need
for your job is going to be predetermined by the species that you’re trying to grow
in your area. For our job today, we’re going to be using
tall fescue which is a great home lawn, cool season grass for the transition zone due to
it’s durability and it’s ability to withstand summer stress. Once you’ve selected your seed, you’re ready
to put it out and again use a calibrated accurate spreader and try to go in multiple directions
to ensure good coverage. Following the application of your seed, it’s
a good idea to go through the whole area with a leaf rake to ensure that you have good seed
to soil contact. Tony, is there any need for a topper or a
mulch? Yeah, Larry a topper or mulch can be a very
useful product to put down during the seeding process. Use a product like Profile’s CoverGrow mulch,
it really helps to make sure that you have adequate irrigation cycles. Speaking of irrigation cycles it’s important
that you adjust your clock for the next couple of weeks to make sure that you keep it moist
during the germination period. You do not want that seed bed to dry out so
what you’ll need are very short cycles but very repeated cycles like 5-7 cycles per day
just to keep it moist and not let it dry out. That makes sense. All the products that we’ve highlighted today
can be found at your local Ewing branch or if you’d like to find out more about the renovation
process, sign up for one of our Ewing education classes. You can do that online at ewingirrigation.com.