Originally Posted by 15fan
Hey SD -
I've got fescue. Front yard looks pretty good - we put some sod down last fall & it has taken quite nicely. I figure a year or so of growth, as well as aerating & overseeding this fall, and I'll be in good shape.
The back yard, though, needs some help. There's fescue back there. There's also a fair amount of weeds and bare patches. I'd say I've got about 60% grass, 25% weeds, and 15% bare patches. About 2800 square feet or so.
I'm hoping that I can try overseeding later this spring (in a few weeks, maybe?) and again this fall so that I don't have to consider other options like plowing the whole thing under and starting from scratch. Any thoughts?
I think now or even earlier would be a good time to overseed. Fescue is a cool weather grass and it does best when the temp. is below 80 degrees. So, in Atlanta that leaves you about fifteen more minutes, doesn't it?
I'm curious about the "bare patches". If weeds won't even grow there, then you have a cultural problem and you need to give the soil a little TLC.
Lawns need a programmatic approach.
Aerate and overseed in the Fall. This is THE BEST time to treat your lawn.
Aerating is very important- it introduces air space into the soil, creates spaces for the roots to grow, helps nutrients get to the roots. Also, "top dress" by spreading composted manure. Work it into the holes the aerator creates. Aerating and top dressing is what I recommend for your back yard. You could do it now, too, but the main thing is that you will have to care for the new grass that comes up more closely. The advantage to fall seeding is that you don't have to worry about the hot summer sun.
When the temp drops, weeds have stopped germinating and your grass is in hog heaven. Perfect temperature for root and shoot growth.
Fertilize with something rich in phosphorous in the Fall. This is good for the roots, which are very active in late fall and early spring.
Seed and repair bad spots in the Spring (fall, too).
Fertilize with something that has a little more Nitrogen to get green growth.
If the weeds are perennial, kill them or pull them out. If you want to stop annual weeds, apply something prevents seed germination. Something that says it prevents annual weeds does that.
Summer: I generally only water and cut. But, Fert. companies would love to have you applying broadleaf weed killers and fertilizer.