Friday, September 20, 2013

Lawn Renovation Best Achieved in September

Contact: Tim Schnakenberg, agronomy specialist
Headquartered in Stone County
Tel: (417) 357-6812

GALENA, Mo. -- Many people think about renovating or sowing grass in their lawns during the spring.  However, the odds for success are best if grass is sowed in September, according to Tim Schnakenberg, an agronomy specialist with University of Missouri Extension.

“The advantage of September seeding is that cool season grasses like fescue and bluegrass grow best during a cooler time of the year with adequate moisture,” said Schnakenberg. “If they are established just prior to the fall growing period they will have an opportunity to develop a healthy root system going into winter and can get an early start in the spring.  These seedlings will have a five or six month head start over spring seeded lawns.”

Schnakenberg points out that spring seedings usually have limited cool periods to grow since the season progressively gets warmer. When that happens, growth slows down.

“The real downside is that the roots are usually not as well developed has hot weather sets in plus weeds can become competitive at that time,” said Schnakenberg.

A common recommendation for Southwest Missouri is to mix a blend of a turf-type fescue and Kentucky Bluegrass in a 9:1 mix by weight.  The turf-type fescue will have a more attractive appearance than the standard Kentucky 31 fescue variety and the Kentucky Bluegrass will help fill in thin areas and improve the appearance early in the spring.

“Be sure to soil test your lawn by submitting a soil sample to your local University of Missouri Extension Center,” said Schnakenberg. “This practice will insure that you know exactly what the fertility need is for you lawn.  This will insure a healthier stand of grass and point out any serious fertility problems that may exist.”

For more information on variety recommendations, seeding practices and care of a new stand of grass, contact the nearest University of Missouri Extension Center.

University of Missouri Extension programs focus on the high-priority needs of Missourians. Each county extension center, with oversight by locally elected and appointed citizens, is your local link to practical education on almost anything. More information on this topic is available online at


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