Often it happens that the turf in your yard has been damaged and needs to be repaired. There are several different methods to accomplish this that will depend on the specific conditions in the yard. Anytime seeding is done, the most important item is having good, quality fresh seed.
When planting, we always use a seed mixture that will have more than one grass type with different varieties from each of the types. The mixture would have only perennial varieties in it that come back year after year as opposed to the cheaper annual varieties that die with the winter’s cold. If only one type of grass was planted, it is possible that a disease might erupt that is specific to that type and would wipe out the entire lawn. The seed manufacturers are constantly improving their products. Some of the newer products are endophyte enhanced, so that insects will die from feeding on them. In addition, they try to make the varieties resistant to some of the damaging turf funguses.
The usual reason that a seeding fails is that is not watered properly. A new seed bed needs to be kept constantly moist during the germination process which can take three or four weeks. If the soil is allowed to dry out completely even once during that time some of the seed will be lost. Light frequent watering is the key to successful germination. A typical seed mixture may have these types in it.
- Kentucky Bluegrass
- one of the most popular of lawn grasses and what most sod is composed of. The grass increases by underground runners as opposed to most other clump-forming grasses that can help to fill in bare areas quicker.
- Rye Grass
- The rye grass will germinate much quicker than the bluegrasses and will give good coverage to the lawn, keeping out weeds until the other grasses germinate.
- There are Red fescues, Chewings fescues, and Fine fescues that all may appear a mixture. They have good shade tolerance.
- A renovation is indicated when there are less than 50 % good grasses left in a lawn. In this case the lawn is “stripped”. Any existing vegetation is removed from the area and disposed of. At that point depending on conditions new loam may be spread before seeding or if the area has good soil and a flat surface it may be simply overseeded.
- This is process that uses a machine to mechanically inject seed into the ground. It can also be called “slit seeding”, “aero seeding” or “slice seeding.” During this process the machine cuts a groove into the soil and automatically drops seed into this shallow trench. In this way, there is good soil seed contact which is essential to proper germination. One of the advantages with this method is that it can be used on existing turf which is thin to help thicken it without damaging the existing grasses.
- Loam Spreading
- This is used whenever the existing site conditions are deficient. If the ground is uneven, the grass too clumpy, or the existing soil too sandy, then adding a layer of loam to the surface is the proper treatment. The loam is always screened, so it is free of rocks and roots.
- Top Dressing
- This method is used when there are smaller areas that need to filled in. The screened loam is applied directly to the lawn surface in the bare areas and then seed is raked into the surface of the loam.
- This is laying out pre-grown turf in sections across bare soil. It has the advantage of needing less water to start it and less intensive time requirements needed in getting it established. There is, of course, added cost, since it has been grown at the sod farm in advance.