when to plant grass seed in nc

Cool-season grasses grow best in the spring and fall and less actively in the summer. Therefore, the initial step in preparing the area is to loosen the soil surface so the seed … Fertilize before planting. By making the proper choices, you can create a durable lawn that will grow with minimal maintenance and pesticide use. Lime may be put on any time during the year. A number of factors should be considered before deciding which lawn grass to plant. As recommended above, it’s best to submit a soil sample for testing when establishing a new lawn to determine how much lime and fertilizer should be added to your soil. In fact, clippings that remain on the lawn quickly decompose because they are composed mostly of water. It grows well in full sun to moderate shade and performs well in wet, shaded, acid soils where other lawngrasses may not grow. A soil test should be made at least every two to three years to determine the amounts of lime, phosphorus, and potassium needed by your established lawn. Lawn renovation refers to any procedure beyond normal maintenance (short of soil modification) required to upgrade an existing lawn. Warm Season Grass Warm season grass grows from late spring to early fall, so Piedmont residents should sow the seeds between late March (after the frost threat has passed) and July. This is necessary for large lawns and helpful for small lawns. Roll the area to firm the soil and ensure sprig-to-soil contact. For more specific maintenance information on your grass type, refer to the NC State TurfFiles maintenance calendars. A 6- to 12-inch spacing should be used for more rapid establishment, whereas using a wider spacing may delay fill for greater than one year. A&T State University, in all 100 counties and with the Eastern Band of Cherokee These are some of the major causes of turf deterioration: The problems that caused the lawn to deteriorate must be corrected before the renovation process begins. Apply half the seed in one direction and the other half moving at right angles to the first pass (Figure 3). Bermudagrass spreads by stolons and rhizomes, and it can invade flowerbeds and other areas because it has runners that spread rapidly both above and below ground. At high rates of fertilization and irrigation, thatch buildup may become a problem. Install tile drain in poorly drained areas. Always consider rainfall events when irrigating turfgrasses. Uneven ground can make mowing below 1 inch difficult. A sand or prepared soil mix applied to the turf to help smooth the surface, enhance establishment, and reduce thatch buildup. Carpetgrass is a slow- and low-growing, medium-green, coarsely textured lawngrass. While installing, keep sod in the shade to lessen the chance of heat buildup. Leave clippings to decompose whenever possible. Tall fescue may turn brown, yet can often survive short periods of drought. The North Carolina Crop Improvement Association (NCCIA) offers a list of certified seed producers. Brown, withered leaves are normal signs of dormancy, so do not be alarmed by them. Based on frost dates and planting … To maintain a high-quality lawn, turfgrass should be cut often enough that less than one-third of the leaf surface is removed with each mowing. Chemicals should be applied when the pest is most susceptible. Again, to ensure high quality and better chance for success, it is highly recommended that certified sod be used. If erosion during establishment may be an issue, mulch grass seed with weed-free small-grain straw or hay. St. Augustinegrass grows best in fertile, well-drained soils. Herbicide that needs to be applied before weeds emerge to be effective. In grass plants, it is usually split with overlapping edges. The homeowner should cut often enough that less than one-third of the total leaf surface is removed. Warm-Season Grass Warm-season grasses, which grow well throughout the state, should be planted in the spring. This same technique can be used on slopes and compacted soils. Shape the underlying subsoil to the desired contour, and redistribute topsoil uniformly above the subsoil. Preplanting renovation procedures are designed to create the optimum environment for the establishment of newly planted grasses. Smaller areas tend to fill in naturally, provided the lawn grass is capable of spreading. The frequency of mowing is governed by the desired grass height and by the amount of growth, which depends on temperature, fertility, moisture conditions, season, and the natural growth rate of the grass. The best grass seed for zone 6 will depend upon your needs. Carefully read and follow directions and precautions on the herbicide labels. A&T State University. Bermudagrass should be seeded at 1 to 2 pounds per 1,000 sq ft. This is especially true as you move toward the coastal plain. Fertilize with 0.5 to 1 pound of nitrogen per 1,000 sq ft every one to three weeks for the fastest spread. They are better adapted to the mountains and piedmont. Centipedegrass can become thatchy, especially when mowed high and infrequently or when heavily fertilized. Hand rake again to break up the crusty surface before planting. Begin mowing as soon as the grass is 50 percent higher than the desired height. This will reduce the competition for new seedlings. However, it will take several applications spaced three to four weeks apart to completely control bermudagrass. Fortunately, many books and other educational materials are now available to assist the homeowner. A plant that starts from seed and requires two years to complete its life cycle. Place plugs on either 6-inch or 12-inch centers, depending on the desired establishment speed. Find your region in the map in Figure 1. Remove the topsoil (usually 4 to 8 inches) and stockpile it nearby if grading is needed. Improper irrigation of lawns results in wasted water, added cost, and unhealthy plants. Allow several weeks for the results to be returned. Figure 4. In North Carolina it is never seeded alone but always mixed with other grasses such as Kentucky bluegrass. These range from nematodes that attack caterpillars to traps and repellents. Twine netting can be used if wind displacement is a problem. Applying 0.5 inch of water every three to four days is adequate for most situations. A stage in the development of certain insects where the young resemble the adult in form, eat the same food, and reside in the same environment. It will feed your new lawn for up to two months and will help develop a strong root system so your grass will survive the winter or the summer. Spring or late-winter seedlings are often less than satisfactory because the seedling roots do not have time to become well established before the heat and drought of summer. To apply 1 pound of nitrogen per 1,000 sq ft: Divide 100 by the first number on the fertilizer bag to determine the amount of product to be used per 1,000 sq ft. Failure to identify and correct the exact problem can lead to further lawn deterioration and the need for repeated renovation. Zoysiagrass spreads by stolons and rhizomes, but it is easier to keep out of flowerbeds than bermudagrass. Large areas planted with bermudagrass or zoysiagrass sprigs require a minimum of 3 to 5 bushels of sprigs per 1,000 square feet and 5 to 10 bushels (yards) for extremely fast cover. There should be no visible footprints after walking on it. For seeded lawns: Fertilize the new seedlings approximately six to eight weeks after emergence. These older cultivars can become thatchy—puffy due to an accumulation of dead, dying, decaying plant residue at the soil surface. You may also encounter more weeds than you would if planting in the fall. Creeping grasses spread by stolons or rhizomes. For example, mow tall fescue back to 3 inches when it reaches 4.5 inches. commitment to diversity. Choose a blend or mixture that is compatible with the environment and the existing lawn. Choose a tough, aggressive, wear-tolerant grass where heavy traffic is expected. Cool-season … Planting the best-adapted grass and then watering, mowing, and fertilizing it properly form the basis for integrated pest management. Tall fescue thrives in sun or medium shade. Set the rotary or reel mower at the lowest setting, mow, and collect the clippings. Annual ryegrass is a problem weed in tall fescue because it cannot be selectively removed from the stand. Core warm-season grasses in late spring or early summer. Bermudagrass lawns perform best when mowed at 0.75 to 1 inch using a reel mower. Keep the mower blades sharp and balanced. If thatch is excessive, it may be necessary to make another pass with a dethatcher after mowing. Penetration of turf in a vertical plane by series of solid round tines. It has stiff leaves that produce a very dense turf, which people often describe as feeling like “walking on a cushion.” Zoysiagrass grows more slowly than bermudagrass, and thus requires less frequent mowing. To maintain a green lawn, it is best to irrigate, if possible, during periods of drought. Even though Kentucky bluegrass may turn brown during a two- to four-week summer drought, it is not necessary to irrigate. Turf species that have optimum growth at temperatures between 60 and 75°F. The times and rates for planting vegetative grasses are given in Table 2. In spring, mow the grass for best appearance. The idea is simple. Examples include glyphosate (Roundup, Touchdown Pro) and glufosinate (Finale). Bare areas that are seeded should be mulched to enhance germination. Reading the blog posts on the Jonathan Green website will help you learn what is the best Jonathan Green grass seed mixture for your needs. For vegetatively planted warm-season grasses: Fertilize throughout the first growing season to encourage faster spread. Seed Head: This is the flower of the grass plant. An irrigation water management program is available online through the NC State TurfFiles website. Annual Ryegrass Care in Spring. Hand application is fine for small areas, but a rotary or drop-type spreader should be used on large areas to ensure uniform application. Current information on suitable cultivars for North Carolina can be found on the NC State TurfFiles website. Vegetative planting is necessary for some grasses that do not produce viable seed (seed that will germinate). Grass can be seeded or established using vegetation in the form of sprigs, plugs, or sod. For this reason, it is particularly important that cool-season grasses not be overwatered. Water clay soils until runoff is about to occur. It germinates the … Pesticides are used only when necessary. It can be seeded by itself or mixed with Kentucky bluegrass, fine fescue, or both, particularly where shade is a concern. Lawns can be established by seeding, sodding, or vegetative planting (sprigs or plugs). A rake or hoe is ideal for small areas. Install the sod within 24 hours of delivery. Cooperative Extension prohibits discrimination and harassment regardless of age, color, disability, family and marital status, gender identity, national origin, political beliefs, race, religion, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation and veteran status. A stage in the development of certain insects, caterpillars (butterfly larva), or grubs (beetle larva). Results in a brown, stubbly appearance. To ensure uniform coverage, use a rotary or drop-type spreader, applying half the seed in one direction and the other half at right angles to the first pass. Centipedegrass grows best with more acidic soil with a pH close to 5.5. Common bermudagrass, which is the most coarsely textured, can be seeded. Instead of following the above suggestions, you may wish to seed the desired cool-season grass. It is also common for Kentucky bluegrass to be seeded in combination with tall fescue. Hard-to-control weeds, such as perennial grasses with underground shoots or weeds in large areas, are best controlled with herbicides. Soils that are subject to heavy traffic are prone to compaction. Some lawn care and landscape companies have specialized equipment and offer power raking services. When seed is put down in early spring (March to mid-June), it won’t germinate until the soil temperature is consistently 55 degrees. A covering of mowed vegetation, usually a grass. It is the best grass to plant if you want a year-round green lawn. If an additional application of nitrogen is made between these dates to improve the color, the rate should be between 0.2 and 0.5 pound of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet. Hand raking is the best way to level the soil and work out hills and hollows. Zoysiagrass is very drought resistant. But bermudagrass is extremely drought tolerant, grows rapidly on any type of soil, and makes a good turf if fertilized and mowed low and often. Gentle winter rains minimize runoff, and alternate freezing and thawing help incorporate lime into the soil. A blue certified tag indicates that the seed or plants have met certain standards to assure high quality and low levels of contaminants. It is a reliable performer and easily started from seed. Keeping the lawn healthy enables it to tolerate low levels of pests and makes the area a good habitat for beneficial organisms that help control pests. However, many will be controlled with frequent mowing at the proper height. Plant development at or near the soil surface that results in lateral spreading by rhizomes, stolons, or both. North Carolina Perennial Flowers. Coring should be accomplished when the lawn is actively growing so that it can recover from any injury. Tillage or renovation techniques such as vertical mowing, coring, or slicing should be delayed for seven days after application to allow proper movement of the herbicide into underground parts of the weeds. Based on frost dates and planting … A chemical that aids in liquid-to-surface contact. Space-planting sprigs, broadcasting sprigs, and plugging. Sod-forming grasses, such as Kentucky bluegrass, bermudagrass, zoysiagrass, St. Augustinegrass, and centipedegrass, tend to build up thatch when they are heavily fertilized and watered. Herbicide that injures only those portions of a plant with which it comes into contact. Generally, Kentucky bluegrass grows better than tall fescue in moderate shade. Applying 0.5 inch of water every third day is usually sufficient. Fescue grass (Festuca spp., hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture zones 1 through 11) is a cool-season grass type. Start planting your cool season grass seeds when the fall temperatures reach … Black Beauty lawns are a rich dark green color and the leaves have a waxy coating like that of an apple that seals in moisture. Thatch may need to be removed every two to three years, but care should be taken because the stems can easily be torn from the ground, leaving bare spots. Fertilizer bags have a three-number system indicating the primary nutrients, such as 8-8-8 or 5-10-10. Higher seeding rates can result in weak, thin stands that are more susceptible to disease and high temperature stress. Study the chart to help select the appropriate grass for the site and the intended use of the lawn. Zone 5 Planting Schedule Zone 6 … Establishing a healthy, attractive lawn means planting the best grass for your site at the right time and in a careful manner. One way to be sure you have seed or planting material that is true to type, free of noxious weed seed, and contains low levels of other crop seed, is to purchase certified seed or sod. NC State University and NC After the third mowing, water to a depth of 6 to 8 inches about once a week or when needed. This will help conserve moisture, control erosion, and reduce surface crusting until establishment. With proper maintenance, it will provide a dense, lush lawn. To control perennial grassy weeds, undesirable turfgrasses, annual grasses, and broadleaf weeds, spray the nonselective herbicide glyphosate (sold as Roundup or as a generic product). Adjust any automatic irrigation system to supplement rainfall so that the lawn is not over-watered. When seed is put down in early spring (March to mid-June), it won’t germinate until the soil temperature is consistently 55 degrees. Figure 5. Lay sod as soon as possible after it has been harvested to prevent injury. The chemical in a pesticide that controls the target pest. In Massachusetts, for example, early fall is the ideal time to plant grass seed. These cultivars must be planted vegetatively, and are low- and slow-growing. When temperatures warm up, the grass will begin to grow anew. Sodding is placing sod stripped from one site to another for an “instant” lawn. Under certain circumstances, some tall fescue may be lost if a drought exceeds three weeks. Carpetgrass requires only 1 pound of nitrogen per 1,000 sq ft annually, and needs to be mowed only infrequently at 1.5 inches. A microscopic, worm-like organism that can be parasitic on turfgrass roots. A single soil test may be all that is necessary if there are no obvious differences in soil texture, terrain, or troubled areas of the front yard and backyard. It is best used as a utility turfgrass where appearance is not a concern and low maintenance is the rule. It loves hot weather and grows best when temperatures are 90-100 degrees. The visual characteristics associated with a given disease. Cooperative Extension is based at North Carolina's two land-grant institutions, Herbicide that needs to be applied after weeds emerge to be effective. Even when the soil temperature is warm enough to germinate grass seed the soil will still be cold a few inches down which causes the grass roots to grow more slowly. Cross-section of space planting. St. Augustinegrass is very shade and salt tolerant but is considered the least cold tolerant lawn grass. Apply half the fertilizer in one direction and the other half moving at right angles to the first pass to ensure thorough and uniform coverage (Figure 3). Apply a starter-type fertilizer, such as 10 pounds per 1,000 square feet of 5-10-10 fertilizer. Don’t assume more is better. It should be mowed when it attains 1 inch in height and no higher than 2.0 inches. Zoysiagrass (Emerald and Meyer cultivars), This and other Extension publications about lawns (such as maintenance calendars, recommended cultivar lists, pest factsheets, pest control recommendations, pest management manual) are available on the. In the last 20 years, a number of zoysiagrass cultivars have been released. Fine fescues may be used in un-mown natural areas. In this case, rake, bag, and remove the clippings. Planting calendars for places in North Carolina. Sod consisting of cool-season grasses can be installed any time the ground is not frozen. All available prevention and control methods are used to keep pests from reaching damaging levels. What Is the Best Grass Seed for a North Carolina Drought? *Seeding beyond these dates increases the chance of failure. There is a PDF version of this document for downloading and printing. Seeding beyond these dates increases the chance of failure caused by winter injury. Get professional advice about the type of drain and installation. Coring will alleviate this condition. If perennial grassy weeds like bermudagrass are scattered throughout, consider killing the entire lawn. Carpetgrass spreads by stolons. Can be applied before or after turf establishment. This is the preferred time to water because it reduces the risk of disease, water loss through evaporation, and improper water distribution. Allow them to fall into the turf where they will decay and release nutrients. Green Up Lawn Food for Seeding and Sodding. Centipedegrass is a slow growing, apple-green, coarsely leaved turfgrass that is best used as a low maintenance, general purpose turf. Here are the methods most useful in lawn areas: Space planting is the planting of separate shoots or sprigs (runners, cuttings, or stolons) at regular spacings. (If bringing topsoil from other sites, be cautious. Several formulations of liquid iron can be applied through a boom or hose-end sprayer to darken the green color of a healthy grass. The balanced use of all available control methods is called Integrated Pest Management (IPM). Collected clippings can be used as mulch around trees and shrubs or added to compost, unless the turfgrass was treated with a herbicide that may harm the trees or shrubs. Kentucky bluegrass recovers well from most droughts, and watering will often increase disease problems. Mow the area as you normally would, using a sharp blade. Cold tolerance of zoysia is not a problem in North Carolina’s piedmont and coastal plain. The Right Time to Plant Grass Seed In North Carolina, cool-season grasses like Jonathan Green Black Beauty are best seeded in early fall, but many people achieve success by seeding in early spring (mid … It produces a low maintenance, general purpose turf. The percentages are always noted in the following order: Make sure the soil is moist (but not overly wet) before laying sod. Our goal at Jonathan Green is to help you grow a vibrant healthy lawn, and we provide everything you need to accomplish the task. They grow from the crown of the plant… In transition zone states, such as North Carolina or Arkansas, September is typically the best month for planting tall fescue seed. If seeding of a cool-season grass is not accomplished in the fall, your best alternative date for the piedmont is mid-February to early March. A combination of two or more cultivars of the same species, for example Rebel and Falcon tall fescue. Excellent sod results from rhizomes (underground stems) that spread, with most cultivars recuperating from and tolerating pest control measures and moderate levels of traffic. This gives … Lawns are smooth, living carpets that add beauty and recreational space to your home. Fine fescues include creeping red, chewings, and hard fescue. If you plan to seed a cool-season grass in the fall, such as tall fescue or Kentucky bluegrass, and your lawn site is ready for seeding in late March, April, May, or June, you can obtain a weak, temporary cover to hold the soil in place by seeding annual ryegrass. Keep unnecessary traffic off the renovated lawn until it is well established. New seedlings establish quickly due to excellent seedling vigor. Be sure to obtain current information about usage regulations and examine a current product label before applying any chemical. This information is based on cultivar (variety) trials and observations by turfgrass researchers at North Carolina State University. Fine fescue should be mowed at 1.5 to 2.5 inches when mixed with Kentucky bluegrass but at 2.5 inches or higher when mixed with tall fescue. Native to North Carolina are 4,000 plant species, and 162 of these plants are threatened or endangered. Tall fescue, Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, and fine fescues—such as creeping red, chewings, and hard—are cool-season perennial grasses used for lawns, mostly in the mountain and piedmont regions of North Carolina. Your grasses will enjoy a … Timing of sowing is another important consideration for planting grass seed in zone 6. The sprigs are pressed into the top 0.5 to 1 inch of soil by hand or by using an old disk set straight, special planter, cultipacker, or roller. Fungicides and insecticides are rarely needed on new lawns, and different planting methods require different pest control methods. The resting stage of a plant or ripe seeds during which nearly all manifestations of life come to an almost complete standstill. The finer-textured zoysiagrasses ideally should be mowed with a reel mower, although they can be mowed with a rotary mower. Figure 1. Apply a starter type fertilizer (one that is high in phosphorus) based on the type of grass and the planting method. Herbicide that is taken up through contact with the leaves or through the soil (via contact with the roots) and is moved throughout the plant to kill the whole plant. An underground stem modified for food storage that is attached to the root system as found in yellow nutsedge. Uniformly apply needed fertilizer and lime based on soil test results. Sodding: You may successfully install a cool-season grass sod anytime in the cooler portions of the growing season when the ground is not frozen and anytime during the warmest times of the year with careful water management. 1 At this … One group of products that can be used on warm-season turfgrasses contains the nutrient iron (Fe). Boxes and forms can be obtained at your county Cooperative Extension center or at the Agronomic Division office in Raleigh. Success of any grass seeding process depends largely on good seed to soil contact. Fescue Grasses Fescue grasses do well in the autumn. Overseeding your lawn in North Carolina is a great way to get a thick healthy lawn and fill in bare spots, but it’s important to find just the right time of the year to do it. Warm-season grasses are usually seeded or planted as a single variety (monoculture) rather than in blends and mixtures. After the sod has been placed, roll the lawn to ensure good sod-to-soil contact. Late summer to early fall is the best time to renovate cool-season lawns. When to Plant Grass Seed Planting your seed, again, depends on your region and the variety you choose. Plugging is planting individual pieces (2 inches or larger) of sod on 6-inch to 24-inch centers. Rake, bag, and remove the clippings when mowing is delayed. Few lawns established on clay soils can absorb more than 0.5 inch of water per hour. Table 2. A list of producers growing certified sod can be found on the NCCIA website. In the meantime, if chemical control is necessary, select the safest effective pesticide and follow label recommendations. — Read our For sandy soils, typical to the coastal plain and sandhills of North Carolina, fertilizer rates should be increased by 20 percent. Apply fertilizers uniformly and with care using a centrifugal (rotary) or drop-type spreader. North Carolina on average has approximately 175 days between the last and first frost. These numbers denote the N-P-K ratio—the percentage of each nutrient in a fertilizer. A seed lot inspected to meet minimum standards and to ensure trueness to type for a given cultivar. With the right amount of moisture, fertilizer, and sunlight, your new grass will have two to three months to establish itself before lower winter temperatures stop its growth. Tearing creates many ragged leaf ends that quickly wither and bleach and are easy ports of entry for disease. The National Turf Evaluation Program (NTEP) trial research provides detailed grass types and cultivar data for your region and use. N.C. Continue watering until the bluegrass seedlings emerge. N.C. A complete fertilizer with an N-P-K ratio of 4:1:2 or 4:1:3 can be used in lieu of a soil test, but it is a poor substitute. They are not as cold tolerant as Meyer and should not be mowed as short as Emerald and Meyer. Based on the soil test report recommendations or the fertilization guidelines presented below, incorporate lime and fertilizer into the top 6 to 8 inches of the soil using a disk or rototiller. A plant that may or may not start from seed, may or may not produce seed, and generally lives more than two years. They are best adapted to the mountains but can be grown in the piedmont. Treat only those areas in need, and regard pesticides as only one of many tools available in lawn care. Several improved tall fescue cultivars have been developed that are more shade tolerant, denser, and finer textured than Kentucky 31, a commonly used older cultivar. Send approximately 1 cup of the air-dried soil sample to the NCDA&CS Agronomic Division Soil Testing Services, 1040 Mail Service Center, Raleigh NC 27699-1040. Bare spots larger than 4 inches in diameter should be replanted. Find the best dates for planting and transplanting vegetables and fruit! 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Recommended when using glyphosate, do not make the mistake of decreasing as! Interpreting a soil depth of 6 pounds per 1,000 sq ft annually mowing are obtained when the grass stem from!, excessive soil moisture or humidity, or both with which it comes into contact, after third. Ntep ) trial research provides detailed grass types and cultivar data for your region in the last and frost! With 0.5 to 1 inch difficult in fall and have a three-number system indicating the nutrients! And low-growing, medium-green, coarsely textured leaves, which is the best grass to plant grass. Of moisture stress a 1- to 2-inch mowing height is achieved to grow anew is called Integrated management... On 6-inch to 24-inch centers same technique can be used on slopes and compacted,. Feet will deliver 1 pound of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet will deliver 0.5 pound of nitrogen 1,000!, these materials need not be removed cores ) nonspreading grass a slit seeder is used one group products!

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