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Planting Your Lawn

Overseeding Southern Lawns for Winter Color

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Why Overseed? Warm-season grasses have a major drawback for homeowners—their color disappears when winter arrives! To have green grass in winter, some southerners overseed their lawns using cool-season grasses, such as fine fescue, bluegrass, or ryegrass. How Does It Work? These annual cool-season grasses find a hospitable habitat among the dormant southern grasses and then die off with the return of warm weather in the spring. What Are the Benefits?…

Figuring fertilizer ratios - measuring lawn

Ratios for Smarter Fertilizing

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Fertilizer ratios and grades tell consumers how many pounds of nutrients are contained in 100 pounds of fertilizer and indicate the relative amounts of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K). To figure out home much fertilizer (or any other soil amendments) to buy, divide your lawn into simple geometric shapes, and then calculate the areas of the shapes using simple formulas. Formulas for Calculating Areas Rectangle or Square: Side…

Seed Storage

Seed Storage

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While unused grass seed may remain viable for years, its rate of germination will decrease over time.  Be sure to keep seed stored in a cool, dry environment.  To maintain optimal viability, the rule of thumb for storage is that the temperature and the relative humidity added together should be less than 100.  Store in 5-gallon pails with tight-fitting lids. Do not store seed in plastic bags since they will…

Protect with straw

Protect a New Lawn With Straw

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Using Straw If the weather in your area is dry or warm, you may consider protecting your new lawn with straw. Spreading a layer of straw mulch over seeded areas will slow evaporation, provide some shade, and disperse raindrops that might otherwise dislodge young seedlings. When selecting the straw for the job, choose a clean mulching straw that is free of seed, such as wheat straw. Evenly apply about 50…

How Much Seed Do I Need?

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Note: Spread settings vary with the type and model of spreader.  Consult your owner’s manual for exact settings.  Apply 50% more seed if you are attempting to sow a new lawn in the spring. Seed Type Pounds per 1,000 square feet Kentucky bluegrass 2 to 3 Tall fescue 5 to 7 Perennial ryegrass 4 to 6 Fine fescue 4

Endophytes: Natural Pest Repellents

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What Are Endophytes? Endophytes are small fungi that live in some grasses making the grasses harmful or deadly to a variety of grass-eating insects.  After observing cattle get sick after eating certain grasses, scientists in New Zealand discovered endophytes, opening a new frontier in grass research. Are Endophytes Harmful for My Family or Lawn? Endophytes live primarily in the lower stem and crown of grass plants, and deter surface pests such as sod webworms,…