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Welcome to the STIHL USA Blog

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Fall Lawn Tips - Rescue Your Fescue

Tips to keep your fescue lawn healthy and looking great

By: Jeffrey Cartwright, Owner, Cartwright Landscaping

Because of its non-invasive nature and relative low maintenance, fescue is a popular choice of grass for lawns all across the country. However, after a long and hot summer, your fescue lawn can begin to look worn down and sparse. Luckily, the warm days and cool nights of the fall provide us with perfect weather conditions to rejuvenate our fescue lawns. Fescue requires annual reseeding since it doesn't regerminate on its own.

By following these steps, you can optimize seed germination and grass growth, providing you with a healthy and lush fescue lawn.

Prep your yard for aeration

Cut it - Four days before aeration, cut your lawn short - no more than 1.5 inches high. This will ensure the tines on the aerator penetrate the soil rather than fighting their way through thick, long grass. This will also help the fertilizer and lime make their way into the soil, providing nutrients to the existing grass as well as to new grass roots.
Mark it - Using marker flags from your local hardware store, mark all irrigation heads, valve boxes, shallow irrigation pipes or shallow wiring and any other items that could be damaged by aeration.

Water it - For several days prior to aeration, water your lawn (but don't flood it) until you can easily push your index finger roughly one inch into the ground. If the ground is hard, the aerator won't be able to penetrate the soil and the seed will not have the holes in the ground and loose soil it needs to germinate, root and establish.

Get the supplies you need to do the job right

Get it - A great option for your aeration task is the versatile STIHL YARD BOSS®. With

seven optional attachments, the STIHL YARD BOSS® can cultivate, edge, sweep, dethatch and yes, even aerate, making it a great tool for your yearly reseeding tasks, as well as many other jobs around the yard and garden. Your local rental store will also have aerators available for rent. If this is your first time using an aerator, make sure you receive the proper instructions before beginning the job.
Buy it - The better quality the seed, the better the lawn. The staff at your local sod farm or lawn care store can help you pick out a blend that is best suited for your particular climate. I recommend using only Oregon blue-tagged certified seed.
Aerate it - For best results, make multiple passes with the aerator to avoid inconsistent grass growth with noticeable stand alone patches of grass. If your lawn is in good shape, two passes is sufficient. If your lawn has large bare areas, make three to four passes. The more soil plugs and holes you have in your lawn, the better.
Fertilize it - Buy pelletized limestone and starter fertilizer from your local lawn and garden store and be sure to read the instructions before spreading. A little goes a long way, so spread only a minimal amount of lime and fertilizer to increase seed germination.
Spread it - In the main lawn area, using a broadcast spreader (which spreads seed approximately ten feet to the left and right) makes the seeding process more efficient. Use a drop spreader (which drops seed straight down onto the ground) around planting beds, along gravel driveways and non-mortared walkways to prevent grass from growing in these areas.
(To see the full article, including caring for your new lawn, go to our article on Fall Lawn Care Tips.)
About Cartwright Landscaping:
Cartwright Landscaping, located in Richmond, VA, is a full service, landscape design and installation company equipped to handle all landscaping projects. Cartwright Landscaping is a proud member of both the Central Virginia Nursery & Landscaping Association and Virginia Nursery & Landscaping Association. http://www.cartwrightlandscaping.com/