A lot of lawns have weathered blistering heat and devastating drought this summer and look worse for the wear. September and October are the key times to sow new grass seed to make repairs.

drought stricken grass
Fall is the best time to repair dead grass areas.
© Fotolia

Bare patches in the lawn or sections of dead grass need to be repaired to avoid opportunistic weeds that will take root in the soil. Weak or dead grass also is an open invitation to insects or disease. Late summer and early fall are the best times to sow grass seed because temperatures usually are more moderate and the soil is more evenly moist.

Here’s how:

  • Remove the dead grass, exposing the soil. Rough up the soil with a garden rake. Poor preparation of the soil will greatly diminish seed germination.
  • The most common mistake people make when they buy grass seed is selecting according to price rather than quality. GreenView Fairway Formula Grass Seed is among the highest rated by the National Turfgrass Evaluation Program, or NTEP. GreenView Fairway Formula Grass Seed has been proven to have improved disease and insect resistance, greater tolerance of drought, heat, traffic and cold and a better recovery from pest or stress damage. As a result, the lawn requires less maintenance because the overall health of the grass is better. Read and follow the label directions.
  • Lightly rake in the grass seed so that it makes good contact with the soil.
  • After sowing seed, apply GreenView Fairway Formula Seeding Success, a specially formulated starter fertilizer that promotes strong root development, and helps maintain moisture in the soil so that seeds germinate in less time. The product holds four times its weight in water, releasing it slowly to keep seedlings hydrated between watering. GreenView Fairway Formula Seeding Success has a lightweight, paper mulch that helps hold germinating seeds in place. The paper gradually disintegrates and does not have to be removed, unlike straw, a commonly used mulch when sowing grass seed.
  • A common mistake is allowing the newly planted area to get dry, which will kill the seedlings. Water newly seeded areas as needed so that the top two inches are kept moist. Once the grass gets about 2 inches tall, you can start to cut back on watering.
  • Mow when the new grass is about 4 inches tall, removing only the top inch. A common mistake in mowing the lawn is cutting it too short. After the grass has been mowed once, apply a GreenView fall fertilizer. Grass should be kept at the 3- to 4-inch height.

For more information about sowing grass seed, click here »