Now that spring has finally sprung, it's time to get outside and get some work done and one of the first places you'll want to start is the lawn. Our KSFY lawn and garden expert, Doug Schroeder from Lewis, says it's time to patch up some things that winter might have damaged and get your yard going for the entire season.
Doug says that in our part of the country, we have cool season grasses. These grasses grow their best and fastest in temperatures that range from about 60 to 80 degrees. Of course, they will do just fine when temperatures go above or below that range, but they grow their best within that temperature range.
Most lawns in this region are divided into three categories:
Fescue. Fescue grass is drought tolerant and grows well in the shade.
Perennial rye. Perennial rye grass is great in high-traffic areas and will also take some shade, but not as much as fescue.
Kentucky blue. Kentucky blue grass is the ultimate grass. That's the type of grass that almost everyone aspires to have in their front yard. Unfortunately, it is also the most difficult grass to grow and maintain as it requires a lot of water and a lot of fertilizer.
If you do plant grass, Doug highly recommends using a starter fertilizer. A starter fertilizer has special nutrients for young, seedling grasses and will give your grass the extra boost it needs to become well established and healthy.
Doug says that with cool season grasses, you should either plant seed in the spring or in the fall. There are three types of seeding you can do this time of year.
Spot seeding. Spot seeding is repairing spots that you have in your yard. There are a number of products made made just for seeding and repairing spots. These products contain fertilizer, mulch and seed all in one. If you put that down and keep it moist, you will have grass.
Overseeding. When you overseed, rake up the debris and excess grass in your yard. This will break up the ground a bit and give the grass a nice bed to seed into. When you're done raking, run the mower over it and pick up the debris so your seed has a nice clean plate to get started on. You can use a broadcast spreader to spread the seed and then follow up with a starter fertilizer.
Seeding a new lawn. When starting a new lawn, be sure that your yard is tilled to around 2 to 4 inches deep. Spread your seed with the broadcast spreader and then rake it in. After you spread the seed, follow up with a starter fertilizer.
Doug says the key to getting any grass to grow is water. Keep your newly planted grass wet. Grass needs moisture to grow.