Fall turf grass seeding is an important part of helping fill in bare spots in your lawn.  If you experienced an extreme drought this summer, your lawn probably needs some seeding work.  Fall turf grass seeding usually is the most productive because the temperatures are cooler.  In the fall there is usually more precipitation than in the summer.  The ground tends to hold on to moisture longer in the fall because of the cooler temperatures.

Fall Turf Grass Seeding

Fall turf grass seeding blends.

If you are planning on doing some fall turf grass seeding, keep in mind that some varieties of seed take longer to germinate than others.  If you are using a straight bluegrass mix, you are looking at about a 30 day window before germination.  If do fall turf grass seeding using bluegrass seed, make sure that you have it down early enough to germinate.  Ideally mid September is the best time to seed in Iowa.  The day time temperature is usually in the 60’s or 70’s.  Mid October can be unpredictable, so it is better not to wait until then.  If you are seeding later in the fall, you might have to use a seed blend with rye or fescue.  Rye and fescue seed varieties will germinate in about 10 days instead of 30 days like bluegrass.

There are several ways to seed your lawn.

Core aeration and over seeding  This process removes plugs of soil from your lawn.  If you over seed after aeration, the seed will fall into the holes that were plugged.  The dirt will eventually fill in over the seed.

Slit seeding- Slit seeding is preformed with a slit seeder machine.  The machine has metal tines that spin and plant the seed in the soil.  Slit seeding helps ensure that the seed makes contact with the soil.

Hand raking- Hand raking is usually best for small areas.  Start by raking the dead grass material out of the lawn.  Once you have exposed the soil, break up the first inch or so with a shovel or rake.  Install some seed into the soil and work it in with a rake.