With turf seeding period coming up, the following are some general guidelines to follow.
Late summer or early fall is the ideal time to seed turf grasses. The following are some points to consider for these seedings. Before seeding, address any problems that would affect turf growth (weeds, fertility, compaction). Purchase high quality seed with a recent germination test. Use improved turf varieties, with good disease resistance, adapted to our transition area (turf-type tall fescue for most general applications). Go to http://pubs.ext.vt.edu/2907/2907-1397/2907-1397.html for recommended varieties from the MD-VA turfgrass working group. Single varieties or mixtures of several varieties of the same species with similar appearance and growth habit are recommended for uniform sites. Mixtures of 2 or more species (such as turf-type tall fescue with creeping red fescue) are often used where multiple environments exist in the same property such as mixture of partially shaded and open areas. However, in a multi-species mixture, the best adapted species will be dominant. Seed into moist soil conditions or provide irrigation to achieve good germination. Soil-seed contact is critical for germination – use a packer type seeder for new seedings or complete renovations; use a slit seeder for partial renovations into existing turf. The ideal seeding period in Delaware is from the last week in August through the month of September. Grass seedling survival is greatly improved if there is 4- 6 weeks of growth before a hard frost.
Gordon Johnson, Extension Horticulture Agent, UD, Kent County