Figuring fertilizer ratios - measuring lawn Ratios for Smarter Fertilizing

Fertilizer ratios and grades tell consumers how many pounds of nutrients are contained in 100 pounds of fertilizer and indicate the relative amounts of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K). To figure out home much fertilizer (or any other soil amendments) to buy, divide your lawn into simple geometric shapes, and then calculate the areas of the shapes using simple formulas. Read more »

Seed Storage Seed Storage

While unused grass seed may remain viable for years, its rate of germination will decrease over time.  Be sure to keep seed stored in a cool, dry environment.  To maintain optimal viability, the rule of thumb for storage is that the temperature and the relative humidity added together should be less than 100.  Store in 5-gallon pails with tight-fitting lids. Read more » 

Protect with straw Protect a New Lawn With Straw

If the weather is dry or warm, spread a layer of straw mulch over seeded areas.  Straw mulch will slow evaporation, provide some shade, and disperse raindrops that might otherwise dislodge young seedlings. Choose a clean mulching straw that is free of seed, such as wheat straw.  Evenly spread about 50 to 80 pounds (one or two bales) per 1,000 square feet.  Read more »

Planting Your Lawn Overseeding Southern Lawns for Winter Color

Warm-season grasses have a major drawback for homeowners—their color disappears when winter arrives.  To have green grass in winter, some southerners overseed their lawns using cool-season grasses such as Fine fescue, bluegrass, or ryegrass.  These annual cool-season grasses find a hospitable habitat among the dormant southern grasses and then die off with the return of warm weather in the spring.  Aside from improved aesthetics, overseeding also helps prevent the establishment of winter weeds. However overseeding may also slow your permanent turf’s spring green-up. Read more »

howmuchseed copy How Much Seed Do I Need?

Note: Spread settings vary with the type and model of spreader.  Consult your owner’s manual for exact settings.  Apply 50% more seed if you are attempting to sow a new lawn in the spring. Read more »

endophyte Endophytes: Natural Pest Repellents

Endophytes are small fungi that live in some grasses making the grasses harmful or deadly to a variety of grass-eating insects.  After observing cattle get sick after eating certain grasses, scientists in New Zealand discovered endophytes, opening a new frontier in grass research.  Endophytes live primarily in the lower stem and crown of grass plants, and deter surface pests such as sod webworms, armyworms, billbugs, cutworms, and cinch bugs.  Read more »