Five questions: Lawn TLC
Lawn destroyed by the drought? Don Crim, Master Gardener for the Wyandotte County K-State Research and Extension Office, shared some tips on lawn care in light of the drought.
Q: Is my yard dormant or dead?
A: If you have not watered your lawn and your lawn does not show any green with recent rains and cooler temperatures, it is probably dead. Look for green in the crown of individual turf plants.
Q: What can I do if it is alive but is thin or has brown patches?
A: You want to overseed it by mid-October. First, spray for weeds and close mow the area. Water the lawn if it hasn’t rained recently, then rent a verticutter. Verticut the area to be seeded in two directions and rake up the debris. Then seed with a 90 percent fescue/10 percent bluegrass mixture, three to four pounds for every 1,000 square feet. Fertilize with a low phosphorus (0-3 percent) fertilizer, and water within 24 hours.
Q: How do I care for the lawn after overseeding?
A: Water at least once a day until the seed germinates (five to 10 days for fescue, up to 14 days for bluegrass). Mow grass after it gets to 3 inches, and fertilize again in November.
Q: What if the lawn is completely dead?
A: Renovate it. Take the same steps as overseeding, but you can scalp the lawn before verticutting. Seed at a rate of six to eight pounds per 1,000 square feet. Don’t try to renovate the entire yard in one year.
Q: What do I do if I have zoysia grass?
A: Don’t do anything yet; zoysia should be replanted in the spring.