Seeding damaged lawns is necessary if your grass is not coming back after the recent drought. If you are like most of us with un-irrigated lawns, your lawn is probably pretty crispy by now. This summers excessive temperatures and lack of rain has done quite a number on Cedar Rapids, Iowa City and Waterloo lawns. Some grass is still dormant while other grass is gone. If your grass has completely died out, it may be necessary to over-seed your lawn this fall. With the way the heat and the moisture conditions are playing out, there is no end in sight for the near future.
When should begin seeding damaged lawns?
Seeding damaged lawns should be preformed around mid September. The reason being is that by mid September cooler temperatures have moved in to the area and usually consistent moisture returns. Most seed blends with Kentucky bluegrass will require at least a 30 day window with temperatures above 65 degrees F to germinate to their full potential. Most bluegrass seed will take about 2 to 5 weeks to germinate, so you want to leave plenty of time before winter to make sure that the seed germinates. If you are planning on seeding damaged lawns this fall and we are still not receiving adequate moisture, you may have to water your newly seeded lawn several times a weeks. The key to successful seeding is to keep the first inch or two of the soil moist but not soaked.
Core aeration may also be necessary, to ensure that the seed has contact with the soil. If your lawn is patchy, aeration and over-seeding is the best way to help get your lawn back into shape. Aeration should be done prior to seeding so that the seed will fall in the holes created by core aeration. If your grass is dead in sections, it may be necessary to rake out the dead areas or top-dress the areas with compost or soil.