Read the information on the seed tag carefully, and make sure you purchase seed with no noxious weed seed and low levels of other crop seed. 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. Sod will not produce roots unless the soil temperature exceeds 55°F for several weeks. It is also common for Kentucky bluegrass to be seeded in combination with tall fescue. Fertilize before planting. There is a PDF version of this document for downloading and printing. Whether you are establishing a new lawn or renovating an existing one, deciding which type of grass to plant will be the first step. If prolonged periods of rainfall prevent mowing, clippings may be long enough to shade or smother the grass. By making the proper choices, you can create a durable lawn that will grow with minimal maintenance and pesticide use. The plant is unharmed by consistent mowing as long as stubble is left 3 to 4 inches (7.5-10 cm.) A plant that starts from seed and completes its life cycle within the same growing season. 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. If this ratio cannot be located, then a straight-grade analysis product (for example, 10-10-10) may be used at a 0.5 to 0.75 pound of nitrogen per 1,000 sq ft rate. The balanced use of all available control methods is called Integrated Pest Management (IPM). Most soils in North Carolina are acidic and often require the application of lime to sweeten the soil. And consider the amount of time, effort, and money you are willing to spend for turfgrass maintenance. Find your region in the map in Figure 1. Avoid terraces, steep grades, poorly drained areas, and heavily shaded spots. The resting stage of a plant or ripe seeds during which nearly all manifestations of life come to an almost complete standstill. It grows best in full sunlight and does not tolerate cold, drought, salt, or traffic. They should not be used in the coastal plain. Timing of sowing is another important consideration for planting grass seed in zone 6. When thatch exceeds 0.75 inch, lawns should be power raked and cored. Choose a blend or mixture that is compatible with the environment and the existing lawn. Do not apply these herbicides over the rooting areas of trees and ornamentals that are not listed as being tolerant on the herbicide label. 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. Zone 5 Planting Schedule Zone 6 … It can be seeded by itself or mixed with Kentucky bluegrass, fine fescue, or both, particularly where shade is a concern. Tiller: This is made up of leaf blades and sheaths, the stem and sometimes a seed head. Cool-season grasses, for example, which are usually grown in the Mountains region, are best … Sandy soils require more frequent watering. Choose a tough, aggressive, wear-tolerant grass where heavy traffic is expected. Soils that are subject to heavy traffic are prone to compaction. 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. Be sure to obtain current information about usage regulations and examine a current product label before applying any chemical. For best results, bermudagrass should be mowed often (at least twice per week), especially at the lower mowing heights. Because tines have a difficult time penetrating dry, compacted soils, coring is best achieved when the soil is damp. 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. If perennial grassy weeds like bermudagrass are scattered throughout, consider killing the entire lawn. Use one bale per 1,000 sq ft for warm-season grasses and one to two bales for cool-season grasses. The plant will re-seed itself in zones above 5. Native to North Carolina are 4,000 plant species, and 162 of these plants are threatened or endangered. Site and soil preparation, including fertilization, are especially important. These grasses perform best in spring and fall and have a tendency to show signs of stress in the summer. When seed is put down in early spring (March to mid-June), it won’t germinate until the soil temperature is consistently 55 degrees. As a general rule, plant cool-season grass seed at least 45 days before the estimated date of your first fall frost, before soil and air temperatures drop to less favorable levels. See Table 3a, b, or c, depending on your region, to determine the amount of nitrogen fertilizer to apply and the time of application. 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. Establishing a healthy, attractive lawn means planting the best grass for your site at the right time and in a careful manner. Seeding is usually the most economical method of establishing grasses. 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. Build protective walls to save trees if the final grade is to be appreciably higher than the present level. To help reduce turf loss: Avoid high nitrogen fertilization of cool-season grasses in the late spring or summer and of warm-season grasses in the fall or winter. Using a sharp mower is especially important for difficult-to-mow grasses, such as zoysiagrass, bahiagrass, and certain types of perennial ryegrass cultivars. Cool season grasses. Late summer to early fall is the best time to renovate cool-season lawns. Warm-season weeds are also much less active at this time of year. Fine fescue seed should be mixed with Kentucky bluegrass because most of the fine fescues are bunch type and do not have the ability to spread. Lawns are smooth, living carpets that add beauty and recreational space to your home. Lime. The cleanest cut and best mowing are obtained when the mower blades are sharp. These cultivars, such as El Toro, Crowne, Palisades, Empire, Atlantic, and Jamur, are coarser in texture (similar to newer tall fescues) and are quicker to establish and recover from injury. Unlike cool-season grasses, some warm-season grasses must be planted either by sod or other vegetative means because seeds either are not available or do not result in uniform stands. Because St. Augustinegrass is fast growing, it needs to be mowed frequently at 2.5 to 4 inches during the growing season using a rotary mower. In turf, the working of the soil without the destruction of the turf. Bermudagrass lawns perform best when mowed at 0.75 to 1 inch using a reel mower. For mixtures containing bluegrass, do not make the mistake of decreasing water as soon as the seedlings appear. *Seeding beyond these dates increases the chance of failure. Fescue grass (Festuca spp., hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture zones 1 through 11) is a cool-season grass type. A sand or prepared soil mix applied to the turf to help smooth the surface, enhance establishment, and reduce thatch buildup. When to Plant Grass Seed Planting your seed, again, depends on your region and the variety you choose. commitment to diversity. Control perennial weeds with a nonselective herbicide. Lime may be put on any time during the year. It should be mowed when it attains 1 inch in height and no higher than 2.0 inches. Prepare a good seedbed. Core cool-season grasses in fall or early spring. Keep the mower blades sharp and balanced. Read our Seed the annual ryegrass at 1.5 to 2 pounds per 1,000 sq ft. However, many will be controlled with frequent mowing at the proper height. Integrated pest management can be successful, but homeowners must realize that more time and labor are required and high expectations may not be met when pest pressures and environmental conditions are severe. Preparing the site involves removing weeds and debris, planning for drainage, and grading the site. But because we can’t be certain, many people choose to avoid pesticides. A list of producers growing certified sod can be found on the NCCIA website. Centipedegrass is a slow growing, apple-green, coarsely leaved turfgrass that is best used as a low maintenance, general purpose turf. Seeding rates range from 1 to 2 pounds per 1,000 sq ft. Higher rates can result in weak, thin stands that are more susceptible to disease and high temperature stress. To reduce the danger of spreading disease and injuring the turf, mow when the soil and plants are dry. Warm-season grasses should not be seeded in the fall as there is inadequate time for maturity before the first expected frost. Bermudagrass, zoysiagrass, centipedegrass, St. Augustinegrass, carpetgrass, and bahiagrass are classified as warm-season perennial grasses. A rake or hoe is ideal for small areas. For more tips on when to overseed your lawn in North Carolina, visit us at JonathanGreen.com or visit your nearest independent retail store for valuable lawn and garden advice. Find the best dates for planting and transplanting vegetables and fruit! This mixture may be used in shady sites rather than using fine fescues. In North Carolina it is never seeded alone but always mixed with other grasses such as Kentucky bluegrass. Then begin watering. A delay in watering at the first signs of wilt will generally not result in permanent damage unless the turf is being allowed to go dormant. Sodding. Though studies have shown that a lawn of 1,000 square feet can produce 500 pounds of clippings in one growing season, these clippings contribute very little to thatch. A dark bluish-gray color; footprints that remain some time after walking; and wilted, folded, or curled leaves are indications that it is time to water. Because annual ryegrass is an annual, it must be re-seeded each fall. Fine fescues include creeping red, chewings, and hard fescue. Tall fescue is best adapted to the mountains and piedmont but can be successfully maintained on the heavy silt loams in the coastal plain. Carpetgrass spreads by stolons. Warm-Season Grass Warm-season grasses, which grow well throughout the state, should be planted in the spring. For example, mow tall fescue back to 3 inches when it reaches 4.5 inches. Rake, bag, and remove the clippings when mowing is delayed. Tall fescue thrives in sun or medium shade. Unlike warm-season grasses, cool-season grasses remain green throughout most of the winter. Bermuda is a warm season grass and should generally NOT be planted in late fall. Attempts to upgrade existing lawns when conditions are not conducive to good growth are difficult at best. Stolon: This is a horizontal above-ground stem or runner. The particular herbicide used depends upon the weeds present and the tolerance of the turfgrass to the herbicide. Planting calendar for Wilmington, North Carolina. Zoysia seed should be planted in late spring / early summer after soil temperatures are 70+ degrees (day time 80+ consistent) AND all danger of freeze / frost is past. Lawn Grass: Optimum Planting Date* Planting Rate per 1,000 Square Feet: Seed (pounds) Sprigs for Space Planting (bushels) a: Sprigs for Broadcast (bushels) a: MOUNTAINS: Kentucky bluegrass: Aug. 15 to Sept. 1: 1.5 to 2 – – Kentucky bluegrass / fine fescue mix: Aug. 15 to Sept. 1 Don’t assume more is better. Figure 5. Grasses used in North Carolina generally consists of warm season grasses such as: bermuda, zoysia, centipede, and carpet grass is even used in shady, wet areas of the state. Seed should be drilled in a diamond-shaped pattern. Pre-emergence herbicides, such as siduron (Tupersan) and bensulide (Betasan), can be applied for annual weedy grass control after sodding cool- and warm-season grasses. Perennial ryegrass should be mowed at 1.5 to 2.5 inches when mixed with Kentucky bluegrass. Chemicals should be applied when the pest is most susceptible. Use a mower with a sharp blade. The frequency of mowing is governed by the amount of growth, which depends on temperature, fertility, moisture conditions, the season, and the natural growth rate of the grass. Chop up the cores (often accomplished with a mower) and, if possible, distribute them by dragging with a span of chain-link fence or a mat. These characteristics become more evident as the turf matures and the maintenance level increases. Zoysiagrass, St. Augustinegrass, and centipedegrass are often planted by plugging. Broadleaf weeds are common in new seedings. High temperatures of summer can cause these plants to go dormant and thus planting during summer is asking for problems. (If bringing topsoil from other sites, be cautious. A deteriorated lawn is often a symptom of some underlying problem. This generally takes 80°+ consistent day highs in temperatures to achieve this level of temperature in the soil. Even when the soil temperature is warm enough to germinate … This can be accomplished by allowing the drought stress symptoms to appear between infrequent irrigation cycles, by mowing high, and by not over-fertilizing with nitrogen. Cooperative Extension county center. Black Beauty grass seed mixture is designed to be heat and drought resistant and develop roots up to four feet deep. Therefore, the initial step in preparing the area is to loosen the soil surface so the seed … As each product is tested and proven to be effective, it will be added to the list of available options for turf pest management. Fertilizer use can be reduced by 20 to 30 percent. Use Love Your Soil. It is suitable for both full sun and shade and is the choice of sod growers across the United States. Thus hot weather … Bare areas that are seeded should be mulched to enhance germination. Keep planting material moist until established. Choose the best grass seed. Success of any grass seeding process depends largely on good seed to soil contact. When seed is put down in early spring (March to mid-June), it won’t germinate until the soil temperature is consistently 55 degrees. Homeowners must now look for other alternatives. Most finely textured, high-quality turf-type bermudagrasses are planted using sod, sprigs, or plugs. In small bare spots, loosen the top 4 to 6 inches of the soil with a rake, hoe, or shovel. A microscopic, worm-like organism that can be parasitic on turfgrass roots. Then apply more water until the desired depth or amount is achieved. 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. One group of products that can be used on warm-season turfgrasses contains the nutrient iron (Fe). 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. Placing sod on top of dead vegetation will result in failure. Ideally, the fertilizer should have a 3-1-2 or 4-1-2 analysis (for example, 12-4-8 or 16-4-8), and one-fourth to one-half of the nitrogen should be a slow-release form. In the absence of rain, water dormant lawns with a minimal amount (about 0.25 inch) every three weeks to keep the growing points hydrated. See the Establishing a New Lawn section for the method used to obtain a good soil sample. Clay soils are prone to compaction and require frequent aerification (removal of soil cores). Kentucky bluegrass recovers well from most droughts, and watering will often increase disease problems. Roll the soil lightly to firm the surface, and provide good seed-to-soil contact. Pesticides are used only when necessary. When temperatures warm up, the grass will begin to grow anew. Plugging is planting individual pieces (2 inches or larger) of sod on 6-inch to 24-inch centers. When not excessive, thatch buildup can be removed from warm-season grasses by cutting as closely as possible at spring green-up and then raking by hand. Carefully read and follow directions and precautions on the herbicide labels. Creeping grasses spread by stolons or rhizomes. Cold tolerance of zoysia is not a problem in North Carolina’s piedmont and coastal plain. Cultivar texture ranges from coarse to fine, and it forms a dense, durable surface when grown in full sunlight. The type of grass and the planting method you select will determine the best time of year to plant. Applying 0.5 inch of water every third day is usually sufficient. Warm-season grasses can be installed as long as soil temperature exceeds 55°F. This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged. Research indicates that pesticide use poses a minimal threat to the health of humans, animals, and the environment. This same technique can be used on slopes and compacted soils. Lightly cover the seed by hand raking or dragging with a mat or span of chain-link fence. Liquid products can be applied to lawns to provide green color without influencing growth. Kentucky bluegrass / tall fescue / fine fescue mix, Kentucky bluegrass / perennial ryegrass mix, Key for tolerance ratings: 6 = Excellent; 5 = Very good; 4 = Good; 3 = Fair; 2 = Poor; 1 = Very poor. Both cool-season (northern) and warm-season (southern) grasses are grown in North Carolina. Tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea) is the most used grass variety in North Carolina, according to the North Carolina University Extension. 50 divided by 10 equals 5. Uneven ground can make mowing below 1 inch difficult. Herbicide that kills or injures all plants. commitment to diversity. After the third mowing, water to a depth of 6 inches. Well-prepared soil with adequate nutrients for growing grass encourages the development of a healthy lawn (Figure 2). 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. Sod consisting of cool-season grasses can be installed any time the ground is not frozen. Hard-to-control weeds, such as perennial grasses with underground shoots or weeds in large areas, are best controlled with herbicides. Recommendations for the use of agricultural chemicals are included in this publication as a convenience to the reader. A&T State University, in all 100 counties and with the Eastern Band of Cherokee What Is the Best Grass Seed for a North Carolina Drought? Mow at the proper height. The low-maintenance grass covers over 1 million acres in the state, and is the grass … St. Augustinegrass is a fast-growing turfgrass best adapted to the coastal plain. Examples include glyphosate (Roundup, Touchdown Pro) and glufosinate (Finale). Rototill the recommended amount of fertilizer and lime, indicated by soil test results, or apply lime at 75 pounds per 1,000 sq ft and 10-10-10 fertilizer at 20 pounds per 1,000 sq ft to the area to be sprigged. 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. Treat only those areas in need, and regard pesticides as only one of many tools available in lawn care. Cooperative Extension is based at North Carolina's two land-grant institutions, No one type of grass is best suited to all situations. 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. This is an excellent way to introduce a more adapted lawn grass into an old lawn in an effort to replace old grass by crowding out. For this reason, a 1- to 2-inch mowing height is recommended when using a rotary mower. 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. Based on frost dates and planting … On soils difficult to loosen with hand equipment, loosen the top 2 to 3 inches for good to excellent results. When Is the Best Time to Plant Fescue Grass?. Slowly ease a lush, actively growing lawn into dormancy. Keep unnecessary traffic off the renovated lawn until it is well established. Several newer cultivars, however, can also be seeded that have a medium texture. A mix of Kentucky bluegrass and perennial ryegrass should be seeded at the rate of 2.5 pounds per 1,000 sq ft, with Kentucky bluegrass making up 60 percent of the mix by weight. The name is derived from the very finely textured leaves, which are almost as fine as pine needles. In transition zone states, such as North Carolina or Arkansas, September is typically the best month for planting tall fescue seed. Get professional advice about the type of drain and installation. This is necessary for large lawns and helpful for small lawns. 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. It does not tolerate traffic, compaction, high soil pH, high soil phosphorus, excessive thatch, drought, or heavy shade. Apply half the fertilizer in one direction and the other half moving at right angles to the first pass to ensure uniform coverage (Figure 3). Perennial ryegrass is similar in appearance to Kentucky bluegrass, but is only adapted to the mountains for use as a monostand turf. Use a complete N-P-K turf-grade fertilizer that provides about 1 pound of nitrogen per 1,000 sq ft or the amount recommended on your soil test. It is the best grass to plant if you want a year-round green lawn. Early fall (late August to early October) is the best time to overseed your lawn. Cavalier, Zeon, Zorro, Geo, and Leisure Time are new zoysiagrass cultivars with a moderate growth rate and a fine texture similar to Emerald. Again, to ensure high quality and better chance for success, it is highly recommended that certified sod be used. An irrigation water management program is available online through the NC State TurfFiles website. Bermudagrass is well adapted to sandy soils. 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. It will not perform well in full sun in the coastal plain, especially if the soil is sandy. Soil temperatures in the fall are still warm, which promotes optimum seed germination, and cooler air temperatures are better for grass growth. 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 … Use a complete N-P-K fertilizer that provides about 1 pound of nitrogen per 1,000 sq ft. Twice-monthly applications of a nitrogen-only fertilizer that provides about 0.5 pound of nitrogen per 1,000 sq ft may help warm-season grasses fill in more rapidly. Contact your. Start sodding from a straight edge and butt strips together in a bricklike pattern. 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. A seed lot inspected to meet minimum standards and to ensure trueness to type for a given cultivar. Cool-season grasses are best seeded in early fall, but fair results may be obtained from seeding in early spring (mid-February to late March in the piedmont). Seed is unavailable, so cultivars must be vegetatively planted. It exhibits good disease resistance, drought tolerance, and cold tolerance; tolerates moderate traffic; and persists with minimum care. As the seedlings grow and root, water less often but for longer periods. The NC State TurfFiles Turf Select Decision Aid program is a free online tool designed to guide homeowners through the turf selection process. The North Carolina Native Plant Society encourages the creation of native plant … Herbicide that needs to be applied before weeds emerge to be effective. Avoid stretching sod. A stage in the development of certain insects, caterpillars (butterfly larva), or grubs (beetle larva). The use of brand names and any mention or listing of commercial products or services in this publication does not imply endorsement by NC State University or N.C. A&T State University nor discrimination against similar products or services not mentioned. It is never recommended for overseeding other warm-season grasses. A blue certified tag indicates that the seed or plants have met certain standards to assure high quality and low levels of contaminants. Fertilize after planting. Ideally, though, a the right type of conditions would call for between 8 to 15 pounds of seed … General watering recommendations include the following: Take certain precautions if you do not plan to irrigate throughout the summer. Usually, 1 inch of water per week is adequate. It is best used as a utility turfgrass where appearance is not a concern and low maintenance is the rule. Generally, late winter … As with most cool-season grasses, it is best to broaden the genetic base by planting a blend of two to three cultivars rather than seeding a single cultivar. Spacing is determined by how fast the grass will spread, how fast you want it to cover, and how much material you have available. To apply 0.5 pound of nitrogen per 1,000 sq ft: 50 divided by the first number on the fertilizer bag equals the amount of product to be used per 1,000 sq ft. Suggested pattern for applying seed and fertilizer. Core in several directions, allow plugs to dry, and then pulverize them with a mower, dethatcher, or span of chain link fence. It produces a low maintenance, general purpose turf. You may also encounter more weeds than you would if planting in the fall. A plant that starts from seed and requires two years to complete its life cycle. Adjust any automatic irrigation system to supplement rainfall so that the lawn is not over-watered. Many new cultivars with improved color, texture, and pest resistance are now commercially available. Grass can be seeded or established using vegetation in the form of sprigs, plugs, or sod. A number of factors should be considered before deciding which lawn grass to plant. To get the most out of overseeding your lawn, here are just a few things we’ve learned over the years. St. Augustinegrass is very shade and salt tolerant but is considered the least cold tolerant lawn grass. Use the example provided in that section to determine how much fertilizer to use. Seeding beyond these dates increases the chance of failure caused by winter injury. Vegetative: Warm-season grasses may be planted vegetatively (by sprigs or plugs) from March through July. Use a plugging device to remove plugs of soil from bare areas, and switch them with plugs collected from healthy areas. These products have not been found to have any significant impact on turfgrass health. 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