Bare spots in your lawn got you down? Are you creating a new lawn? Either way, you'll need some advice on the best grass seed! The best grass seed for cool season grasses used in Ohio lawns are Kentucky bluegrass and tall fescue grass. Cool season grasses grow best between 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit, making the spring a good time to start taking care of all of those brown spots on your lawn. Both are great grasses, but there are a few differences in them that one person or homeowner may prefer over the other. Read up on Kentucky Bluegrass and Tall Fescue to see if they seem like they are the best grass seed for your lawn.
Kentucky Bluegrass is one of the best grass seeds. It is a cool season grass popularly used in Ohio. Fun Fact - this grass originated from Europe and Northern Asia! Kentucky Bluegrass grows vigorously when it is cooler outside in the spring and fall. In the summer heat, the grass grows very slow. This cold seasonal grass has shallow roots, which makes the grass not very drought resistant because it cannot hold a lot of water. This makes the grass have a lower tolerance for heat as well. When Kentucky Bluegrass is healthy, it grows beautifully with an emerald green color that has a hint of blue in the lawn. If you have a lawn with Kentucky Bluegrass, it is important to make sure you water your lawn regularly to keep it green and healthy because it cannot store as much water in its roots as fescue or other cool season grasses. The seeds in the Kentucky Bluegrass spread quite well, making it easy to repair damage and grow a thick lush lawn.
Tall Fescue Grass
Tall Fescue grass is another one of the best grass seeds for cool season grass. It is abundant in the Ohio area. This grass is very resilient and it thrives in the spring, summer, and fall. It can withstand the harsh cold of the winter which sounds perfect for our crazy Ohio seasonal weather. The root system grows deep into the ground, 2 to 3 feet, making it drought resistant and able to endure the high heat of the late summer, unlike the Kentucky Bluegrass. Tall Fescue grass absorbs much more water than most other cool season grasses because of its deep roots. In fact, your lawn may require 30 percent less water per year to stay hydrated and healthy than other grasses.
Buying The Seed
When you have decided on the best grass seed and go to purchase the bags for your lawn, there are a few things you should know. With whatever grass seed you decide to buy, pick out a 75/25 mixture with 25 percent annual rye. The annual rye will not grow back after the first year, but it will cause the perennial grass to sprout and grow strong from the seed. The rye germinates faster than the other seeds, making the rye able to protect and shade the growing grass. The harsh rain storms can wash away the seeds if there is not annual rye to protect it. Imagine doing all of the hard work of seeding for nothing!
Take Care of Your New Grass
There are some treatments that will help your new grass thrive. Be sure to do some of the following treatments on your lawn.
Lawn aeration relieves compaction in your lawn and allows room for roots to spread and grow in the soil. Core aeration removes small plugs of soil from your lawn. When the holes are in the ground from aeration, it is the perfect time to seed. The seeds with be able to make contact with the soil much easier when the lawn is punctured and cored. If you are seeding your lawn because of bare spots, know that bare spots are a symptom of a compacted lawn so aeration will be beneficial to keep it healthy and avoid future bare spots. Some other symptoms of a compacted lawn are puddles and pooling in the yard and dry brownish lawns. You should aerate your lawn at least once a year to help make your lawn greener and healthier.
Fertilizer provides your lawn with vital nutrients that may not be provided through your soil naturally. In order to most effectively add nutrients to your lawn, you or your lawn fertilizing company should take a sample of your soil and test it to see which nutrients occur naturally in the soil. Using this information, the lawn company should be able to give your lawn the lacking nutrients. Early spring fertilizing is something we want to do with our cool season grasses. It is best to get a few fertilizing treatments in before it gets too hot outside because fertilizer does not work well with high heat. A really great time to fertilize is right after your lawn has been aerated. The cored soil will be able to absorb the nutrients very well.
Mowing Your Lawn
Did you know you might be cutting your lawn too short? The recommended height for Kentucky Bluegrass and Tall Fescue is around two to three inches. You can mow your lawn after the new seeds have reached mowing heights, but this can take up to 4 weeks or more. Generally, you would think cutting the grass shorter would be better, but having a longer lawn is actually better for the health of your grass. Having longer grass will allow for more water retention and the longer blades of grass will create more shade for the roots of the grass. Keeping a longer lawn will inevitably lead to your lawn needing to be mowed more often, but the health and beauty of a greener lawn is worth it. Lawn mowing can begin in the spring as soon as you notice growth in your lawn. When scheduling your spring lawn care services, ask to see if they can keep your lawn a little bit longer to keep your lawn healthier.