Asked October 14, 2015, 4:46 PM EDT
Washington County Oregon
Thank you for your question.
While Autumn might not be the optimum time to start a lawn, there are things you can do to increase your odds of getting a more productive seeding. So, let’s get started!
If you must plant late, increase seeding rates. Add 2 lbs. of seed per 1,000 sq. ft. for each week past mid-September.
Use dark-colored mulch to aid in heat and moisture retention.
Increase the percentage of perennial ryegrass in the mix.
Fertilize at the time of planting and again 4 to 6 weeks later.
Hope for a warm fall! The good news is, we are likely to have one this year. Whew!
There are additional factors to consider when starting a lawn, such as:
Shade vs. sun
Heavy wear vs. light wear
Soil pH and composition
To get the best outcome for your efforts, I suggest you take a look at a thorough publication on restoring and establishing lawns in Oregon called Practical Lawn Establishment and Renovation. You can download it free of charge here: https://catalog.extension.oregonstate.edu/sites/catalog.extension.oregonstate.edu/files/project/pdf/ec1550.pdf
Also, since water may continue to be an increasing cost while gardening, I suggest a publication that discusses how to save water on your lawn called Practical Lawn Care for Western Oregon. You can download it free of charge here: https://catalog.extension.oregonstate.edu/files/project/pdf/ec1521.pdf
Lawns can be a great way to anchor a good landscaping plan, and a great lawn is a matter of strategy and care. I do hope this information helps.
Thank you again for using Ask an Expert.