Cool season grasses are predominant in the north coast region.
Cool season grasses start growth at 5 °C (41 °F), and grow at their fastest rate when temperatures are between 10 °C (50 °F) and 25 °C (77 °F), in climates that have relatively mild/cool summers, with two periods of rapid growth in the spring and autumn.[30] They retain their color well in extreme cold and typically grow very dense, carpetlike lawns with relatively little thatch.

Conventional selections:
Bluegrass (Poa spp.)
Bentgrass (Agrostis spp.)
Ryegrasses (Lolium spp.)
Fescues (Festuca spp., hybrids, and cultivars)

Tips for Planting a Lawn

Application Rate:

New Lawn –8 to 10 pounds per 1,000 square feet

Over seeding an existing lawn — 5 pounds per 1,000 square feet

First things first….Soil Preparation

The more fertile and balanced the soil at the beginning, the better your lawn will establish and thrive. Clear the planting area of rocks, roots and all debris.  Apply a good quality compost.  Do not add materials that are not composted, such as sawdust, wood chips or straw; these materials will tie up nitrogen and make it unavailable to the new plants. Use a rotary tiller to work the compost into the top 4-8 inches.

Following the rotary tilling, rake and smooth area.  To avoid  low and high spots, use a roller to make it as level as possible.

Apply the Seed

Calculate the area to be seeded and make sure to have the proper amount of seed on hand.    Use  a  hand held broadcast spreader, or a drop spreader on wheels.  These are available at any garden supply store.  Hand application can result in uneven distribution.

Divide the seed quantity in half and cover the entire area by walking back and forth in one direction.  Take the second half and cover the area again, walking back and forth in the opposite direction.

Finishing Steps

It is important that the seed has good soil contact to optimize germination and growth.  First, lightly rake the seed into the soil surface; taking care not to bury the seed too deep.

One of the most important steps is to topdress the seed.  This will aid in germination, reduce loss to birds, and most of all, help retain moisture.  There are several options, but a quality compost or peat moss are two of your better choices.  Perhaps clean straw or wood (sawdust or chips) but these may take an extended time to decompose.

Last But Certainly Not Least — Water

Once seed has germinated, it is important to have the soil retain approximately one half inch depth of moisture.   Soil conditions and weather are major factors in determining water applications.   A new lawn generally requires water 2-3 times a day during a hot spell.  If our north coast marine layer is a regular occurrence, 1-2 times a day should be adequate.  Fifteen to twenty minutes per watering is recommended.

When to Mow

Most grasses will prefer to be kept at a height of 2-3 inches.  The rule of thumb is to mow no more than one-third of the grass’s height at one time, otherwise you shock the plant and cause stress.   A new lawn should grow to approximately 4 inches then mow 1 inch.

Once established, apply a  lawn fertilizer, particularly in the fall and spring — the primary growing seasons.  LeBallister’s carries both organic and non-organic fertilizer options for keeping your lawn healthy and beautiful.

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