slow grow fescue lawn, how to care for it #772626 - Ask Extension

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slow grow fescue lawn, how to care for it #772626

Asked September 21, 2021, 8:56 PM EDT

A year ago in August we seeded our lawn with a mixture of 30% sheep fescue, 30% hard fescue, 20% chewings fescue and 20% creeping red fescue. We had an acceptable growth this spring, though of course there were spots it didn't take, especially the hillside exposed to western sun. We kept it alive through this summer draught. 1. Can we expect seed we broadcast over existing grass and what is left of the straw mat put down August 2020? do we need to rent a slit seeder to be assured of better germination? 2. Should we put down any fertilizer? 3. We intend to keep it low maintenance, should we mow periodically during summer? Should we mow at end of summer to reduce the thatch from accumulating? 4. The seed left for us by landscaper was tested 2/19 and is supposed to be sold by 5/20. Is this seed too old? It has been kept dry and at a fairly constant temperature of 60 to 75 degrees.

Wright County Minnesota

Expert Response

Mow the existing grass at 1.5 -2 inches before over seeding. This will allow the soil to have better contact with the soil, daylight and water.
The grass seed must have  good contact with the soil in order for the seed to germinate. It will not germinate on top of straw. Vigorous hand raking is effective for loosening soil in small patches of grass with little vegetation remaining. Divide the seed lot into halves or quarters and seed in two or four directions. Hand seeding can be used for patches or small areas (less than 8 feet across). Mix 1 part seed with 4 parts of a natural organic fertilizer; this is called "bulking up" and makes small amounts of seed easier to distribute uniformly. Roll lightly to provide good seed to soil contact.  Water lightly and often enough to keep the soil surface slightly damp until the seed germinates. For best results when reseeding a lawn, it is always best to use new, high quality grass seed.
Pat Mack Replied September 21, 2021, 9:41 PM EDT

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