Making Decisions on Newly Seeded Turf
Glenn Hardebeck, Turfgrass Research Agronomist, Department of
Agronomy, Purdue University
Turfgrass establishment often requires more attention than preparing
the soil, seeding and watering. Problems such as washouts, spotty
germination or weed infestation may require a helping hand yet
this fall. While we often field questions about broadleaf problems
in newly seeded turf, weeds are not as high of concern as establishing
a reasonable stand of seedling turf. Broadleaf weeds can be removed
later after the seedlings have been mowed 2-3 times. After germination,
it is more important to determine whether there is a need to spot
seed or overseed in order to improve the turf density or uniformity.
This Tall Fescue was seeded the last week of September, which
is at least two weeks past the primary seeding window for cool
season turfgrasses in central Indiana. While the turf will be mature
enough to survive this winter, the later seeding date has limited
the ability of reseeding the area yet this fall. Seed planted late
October through November is likely to winterkill but, it is possible
to dormant seed the area anytime from December through early March.
The freeze-thaw cycles will plant the seed for you and germination
should begin by late April. Avoid preemergent crabgrass controls
on areas that have been dormant seeded and delay broadleaf applications
until late May or early June if needed.