Last week I offered you key steps to make certain that your overseeded lawn will have the best opportunity to thrive during the winter months. Right now we’re receiving a lot of phone calls asking for overseeded sod. So, I want to offer you a quick update as to what the farm is doing right now to get ready for fall overseed.
Our projected start date to begin seeding is October 1. This date could be pushed back depending on weather conditions. Ideally, we want to begin seeding when temperatures are consistently dropping below 65 degrees at night with daytime temperatures averaging around 80-85 degrees.
In the meantime, we will continue to do general maintenance-mowing and watering. We have stopped fertilizing however, the fields that will be overseeded to stop the aggressive growth of the bermuda grass. We don’t want the bermuda grass to out compete the rye grass after we plant. About September 19, we will raise the height settings on our mowers, causing the stolons to grow more vertically than horizontally, so that when we verticut to open up the canopy of the grass, 1-2 days before planting, we will have an upright stolon with 1-2 leaf blades-perfect for the bermuda grass going into dormancy.
Once October 1 hits, we will then dispatch our Brillion® planter to fields to begin planting the perennial rye grass. This type of planter is a drill planter, commonly associated with planting alfalfa, wheat, oats, soybeans etc., that slices the ground open to 3/4″ creating a nice little seed bed in the soil for the planter to drop seed into. The germination rate that results from using a drill planter as opposed to a broadcaster that slings seed on top of the ground is far higher, resulting in a stronger, more vibrant lawn earlier in the fall. The last thing that you want from your winter lawn is to have brown spots appear (dormant bermuda grass) after the first freeze where the rye grass never really germinated.
The planting usually takes about 2 1/2 weeks to complete due to the amount of acres that need to be planted. We will start seeing germination about a week after the seed has been planted. Two weeks after our planting date, we will apply a starter fertilizer, ammonium phosphate (16-20-0) to get the rye grass to tiller out. Then a week later (3 weeks from our planting date) we will begin our mowing schedule. If we are able to follow this schedule, weather permitting, we will be able to start shipping you over-seeded sod by the first week of November.
Please follow our blog or call the office, 602-271-4266, to get the most updated information on when your overseeded lawn will be ready.