overseeding and fertilizer fall schedule

jacob.morgan78(7 Central Virginia)August 23, 2014

I'm in central Virginia, zone 7. I would really like your opinions on when I should overseed my tall fescue lawn that I just started in early spring. At that time I spread fast acting lime, fertilizer, and seed and haven't done anything since. It came up well but it does need to be overseeded. When should I do this? When should I add some more lime and fertilizer?


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ForsheeMS(Lexington, NC)

Your best time to overseed is the next 3 weeks. I wouldn't put out any lime now. Best bet is to have a soil test done to determine if you need it and if so, how much and which kind. Personally, I wouldn't drop any fertilizer now either. Wait until the new grass is up and it's been mowed a few times, probably late September. Otherwise, you're just going to be feeding any weeds that are already there helping them to compete with the new seedlings. Then towards the middle of November put out a dose of fast release nitrogen to help it get through the winter and green up sooner in the spring.

When you do overseed, water the new seed 3 times per day very lightly. This means about 5 to 10 minutes depending on your sprinklers. If you do this you should start seeing germination in about a week. Continue this watering schedule for 2 to 3 weeks and gradually back off of the frequency and increase the amount of water each time.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2014 at 10:19AM
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Jacob, on such an infant lawn how to plan to prep soil/lawn for over seeding? Being a new lawn don't expect you need to address compaction or thatch? Are you just going to mow, then just use a slit seeder? I have a new lawn myself, 3mths old, KBG/TTTF/Rye blend. I live in upstate NY and I'm looking to overseed as well with KBG. Just not sure best way to prep new turf. Thanks and good luck.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2014 at 2:31PM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

Agree. Don't lime unless you have a good soil test telling you how much to use and which kind to use. Use the wrong lime and you can turn your soil into a mudpack.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2014 at 5:20PM
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jacob.morgan78(7 Central Virginia)

It is common knowledge in our community that everyone needs lime due to our clay soil. I did use it in the beginning and believe it did help because in a section that did not get lime (ran out) the grass did not do as well.

I am not opposed to putting the seed down (and straw in bare spots) now (within a couple weeks) and waiting for the fertilizer until later.

Thanks for all the feedback!


    Bookmark   August 25, 2014 at 9:35AM
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