Re-seeding a Tall Fescue Lawn
By: Lauren Hill, NC Cooperative Horticulture Agent Cabarrus County
Fall is the ideal time to plan to re-seed your existing tall fescue lawn. The soil temperatures are still warm for the seed to easily germinate and thrive in the cool season to come. The middle to end of September is the best time to re-seed your tall fescue lawn. During this time the air and soil temperatures are optimum for tall fescue germination. The air temperature is 70 to 80°F and soil temperatures greater than 60°F. It is better for the air and soil temperatures to be warmer than cooler for the best germination rates. Seeding tall fescue in less than ideal conditions can result in poor germination rates and a thin turf.
It is important to soil test your tall fescue lawn to determine lime and fertilizing needs. The ideal soil pH for a tall fescue lawn is 5.8- 6.5. This can be achieved through soil testing and amending with lime and the proper fertilizers. Purchasing quality and fresh seed ensures success in re-seeding. Check the label for sell by date, germination rate, percent of weed seed, and look for names of grass cultivars in the mix.
Before seeding, aerating your soil is highly recommended to ensure the seed comes into direct contact with the soil and reduces any soil compaction. After seeding, the area will need to be watered to keep the top 1.5 inch of soil moist at all times. Depending on the weather and soil, light watering for the next 7 to 21 days after seeding may be required. Wait until new grass reaches 4.5 inches before mowing at a 3 inch height.
For more detailed information and questions please contact Lauren Hill 704-920-3310 or firstname.lastname@example.org