Rejuvenate Your Lawn for Fall
Sep 29,2006 00:00 by (ARA)

After a heat-- and drought-ridden summer in most areas of the country, it’s not unusual to see plenty of bare and brown spots in the lawn. With fall upon us, now is the ideal time of year to rid lawns of those bare spots by reseeding or planting new grass seed to ensure a full and lush lawn for next year.

The first step to reseeding a lawn is to loosen the soil, removing any dead grass and all weeds. A thatch rake is ideal for this process. Now you’re ready for seed. Choose a seed that is similar to the grass already established in your lawn. This will prevent your reseeded lawn from differing in color, height and grass blade thickness as compared to the original turf.

One problem many homeowners have when reseeding is uneven distribution of seed. According to Vigoro, a leading lawn and garden product manufacturer, when seeding small or medium-sized areas, approximately 72 percent of homeowners spread their seed by hand, which can result in uneven distribution.

Manufacturers are taking this into consideration and developing products to ensure homeowners can easily and accurately spread seed. One manufacturer has recently developed a smart seeder with the seed and spreader in one handheld device that offers dual delivery options for spreading in large areas and a shaker cap for controlled distribution.

Following are a few additional tips that Vigoro recommends when reseeding your lawn:

* Mow your lawn as short as possible.

* Rake thoroughly to loosen and expose the soil, removing all debris and dead grass.

* Sow seed on a windless day at the recommended rate and gently rake seed into the top 1/8 inch of soil. Good seed-to-soil contact is critical for maximum seed germination.

* Cover seeded areas with a seed protector such as straw, peat moss or specialty seeding mulch. Consider trying Vigoro’s new Seed Starter Mulch, which improves seed establishment by holding seed, moisture and nutrients in place. It also contains a starter fertilizer.

* Water frequently (two to three times per day) using a fine spray to keep soil moist until seeds are established, then resume normal watering procedures.

* Protect the seeded area and keep traffic to a minimum until seed has established.

* Rather than raking fall leaves and possibly damaging new grass blades, use a mulch mower.

For more tips on reseeding lawns, or to find out information on Vigoro’s new Seed Starter Mulch, please visit vigoro.com.