I have a new house completed last fall; we were a little late with the yard (November). The grass came up to about 1 inch–will it be okay or should I re-seed again for good measure? There is straw on the lawn.
The Gardener’s Answer
Hi, Kathy: Since the grass seed did not have much time to become established before the winter arrived, it is possible you may need to re-seed. If the grass looks patchy or thin in certain areas, you should consider re-seeding. The good news is that the second-best opportunity to seed is coming up soon when the day temperatures are warm and the night temperatures are still a bit cool, ususally mid-March. Otherwise, the existing grass should become stronger and healthier and you can begin mowing when it grows to 2-2.5 inches tall. Is the straw still down from when you seeded the lawn? If so, you should take this up. Different grasses have different seeding rates. For example, tall fescue requires 6 pounds per 1,000 square feet. You may also consider having your soil tested for lime and fertilizer needs. This can be done through your County Cooperative Extension Service. Ideally, this would have been done before seeding, but with new construction it is important to make sure the nutrients are still available. New construction can compact the soil–in turn, the oxygen is not able to move freely. So as long as the site was prepared properly before the initial seeding I think you should be fine, but if there are areas that look like they could be more dense, go ahead and loosen the soil, then re-seed those areas. Keep these areas moist for the next two or three weeks after seeding. The following is a the link to some literature from the Extension Service on establishing lawns in Kentucky: www.ca.uky.edu/agc/pubs/agr/agr50/agr50.htm