As we approach the end of August we are starting to get people asking about overseeded turf. When can they overseed or when will out turf be ready? I know most of us are optimistic that the end of August should indicate the end of a hot summer but we’re still a long ways off. The month of September will typically see at least 10-15 days above 100 degrees and night time temperatures will still be in the low 80’s. The last thing you want to do to your lawn is cut the growing season a month short and pay for it in the spring by having weak turf.

For those of you who follow my blog monthly you know how important it is to have a minimum of 100 days of growth for your summer lawn without any competition from ryegrass. One thing you need to keep in mind with that statement is that even though many of us think all of the ryegrass has been eliminated by June, it is doubtful unless you chemically transitioned your lawn like most golf courses do. Today’s ryegrass varieties are so strong that it takes a few days with high temperatures and high humidity to completely remove them. Have you ever gone on vacation in the month of July with a perfect lawn and returned to a lawn rich in ugly brown hues? The humidity is the final straw for ryegrass so once it hits it will eliminate your grass stand overnight if you’re not treating it with a fungicide. Many of us will try and hold on to ryegrass under a shade tree as long as we can but once the monsoon’s arrive you can say goodbye to your pretty lawn. My point being that you really need to start your 100 day count around July 1st, not June 1st because the ryegrass sticks around a lot longer than you think.

In the next few weeks you will probably start to notice golf courses, landscape areas, and hotels scalping their lawn areas. Agronomically this is not a practice you want to follow. The ideal temperature to begin the overseed process is when night time temperatures are in the mid to upper 60’s. This date is usually around the middle of October. I know many of us are impatient and want to have the first green lawn in the neighborhood but unless you chemically suppress the growth of your warm season grass like a golf course or sod farm your warm season turf will out compete your ryegrass. For the first couple months your lawn will look perfect with the mixture of warm and cool season turf but as soon as temperatures start to dip and the warm season turf goes off color, you will have brown spots all over your turf where there is no ryegrass. It is important to remember that golf courses, landscape areas, and hotels rely on green grass for revenue purposes so overseeding early is the only option. They use an expensive growth regulator such as Primo to stunt the growth before beginning the overseed process. The downfall of doing this is losing growing days in the month of September. Remember that the stronger your warm season grass is when it goes to sleep, the better the ryegrass you will have in the winter.

Since we’re heading into an important time of the year for turfgrass I will update my blog regularly. For those new to the overseeding process I will be posting a step by step video and instruction list on exactly how to overseed. I have received several calls from people asking when they will be able to get the BOBSeed overseed for the fall and it will be in Ace Hardware stores and available from West Coast Turf around mid-September. We will have 10 pound buckets perfect for a lawn 1000 SF or less and 25 pound bags for lawns 2500 SF or less. There will be an easy to follow three step fertilizer program that will help ensure you’re the envy of the neighborhood. I will give a very early warning about seed since you will start to see it in several stores this weekend. Always check the label to make sure it is weed free, over 90% in germination rate, and a single source is better than a blend. A blend will cost less than a single seed source but often contains seeds not ideal for your lawn. Be patient and enjoy the rest of summer.