The weather is finally starting to cooperate, and we are in prime overseeding season from now till early November.  It appears that the night time temperatures will start to drop into the high 60’s by mid week and the day time temperatures will be in the high 80’s.  It has been a long hot summer (as they all are!), but this one seemed particularly brutal to me.  That may be because I thought the summer was the optimal training opportunity for my running since I could get to the trail by 3:30- 4:00 am and get my 10-20 miles in before anyone ever thought of getting out of bed.

As I drive around the neighborhoods and talk to contractors and golf course superintendents, they all have one thing on their mind right now– getting a good overseed.  We all know that golf courses pride themselves on how great the course looks throughout the prime season and without a good stand of ryegrass, no one in the turf industry is going to have a fun winter.  So how do you get that perfect park, lawn, or golf course?  I have laid out the steps over the last few weeks for anyone growing bermudagrass, but how about everyone who is growing paspalum and would like to overseed?

Overseeding paspalum is not a necessary step because it does stay green much longer into the fall and green up quicker than bermudagrass.  But there still are a few months when we want to see green instead of brown so I have typed up some instructions on a couple different ways to overseed paspalum.  If you are asking yourself why is overseeding paspalum different than bermudagrass, the answer is that it has to do with the root system.  Paspalum is a primarily a root grown grass and therefore it saves all its energy supply in the root system and all recovery will come from there.   So what does that mean?  This means that the normal practice of scalping down turf in the fall for overseed is not optimal because it will cause the plant to send all of its energy to the roots and the shoots will have a little difficulty recovering in the spring.  The good news is that you won’t have to haul off 20 bags of grass clippings throughout the fall, and you can actually take the grass down to a reasonable height without causing damage to the grass plant.

The following are the steps that should be taken to prepare your paspalum for overseeding.  After you read the instructions you can take a look at my quick video where I show exactly what I am referring to.

  1.  Raise your mowing heights up 30-40 percent for one week prior to preparing for seeding.
  2. Turn off the irrigation system for two days prior to mowing the turf down.
  3. Gradually take the mowing heights down to a reasonable height without scalping.  The key is to not mow the turf too short or the leaf canopy will become tighter and tighter.  It is not about how short the grass is, but how open the canopy is.
  4. Lightly verticut to open up the grass plant and mow up any of the excess stolons covering the ground.
  5. Make one final cleanup mow and apply your starter fertilizer.  I like 5-15-10 organic or 6-20-20 for a paspalum overseed application.
  6. The two options for seeding are to use a drop spreader/broadcast spreader over the area if the canopy is open enough or to rent a slit seeder and it will drop the seed into the grooves you put in the ground. (See video)
  7. Seed with your BOBSeed at 8-10 pounds per 1000 SF
  8. Water your turf 3-4 times daily for 5 minute cycles making sure the top ½” of the soil stays moist for the first two weeks.
  9. Once the ryegrass is 1 ½” you can make your first mow to the turf and apply a second fertilizer such as 16-20-0 or 15-15-15.
  10. After the ryegrass has been established for a month and mowed a few times apply one last fertilizer application to get it through the cold periods.  A good fertilizer is 21-7-14 or 15-15-15.
  11. Enjoy your ryegrass and transition it out early in the spring and get your paspalum thriving.


TIP OF THE WEEK:  It is time to drop your seed.  Get out there, get your lawn prepped, and  your BOBSeed down.  The temperatures are perfect and you will have a great looking lawn after just a couple of short weeks if you follow the steps we have lined out for you.

College Football Week 5

I am not sure what I learned last week in college football except that it appears offense wins games this year, not defense.  I am not sure if there was a school that I watched that had any defensive talent outside the state of Alabama.  It appears that there is quite a separation between the 31 and #2 teams in the country, but there are several candidates starting to show that they belong in the race.

How about the Ducks last weekend?  I find it hard to believe that Stanford could come out of the game feeling anything but deflated after giving up 28 unanswered points to the Ducks only to see their PAC 10 title hops start to slide down the drain.  Now they do get USC this weekend and they are coming off an embarrassing loss to Washington last week but you have to think they are going to be hungry.  How is it that they rushed for over 300 yards, passed for 275, played at home and still lost to an inferior opponent?  I like the Trojans to bounce back this weekend and finally put together a statement game.  They are after all coming off a loss to Stanford from last year and two losses in a row to the Cardinal’s is not going to sit well with anyone on the team or in the stands.  They need to get this season turned around in a hurry and realize that just because there is no bowl game, doesn’t mean there recruiting won’t be affected by a poor season.

I was politely asked this week to give the Broncos a break so I will since they did drop a spot in the ranking and I have nothing to complain about if they are the number three team in the nation.  I would say that they are a top 5 team even though they do play a lot of weak opponents.

How about my Wolverines over the weekend extending the winning streak on the year  to 5 games and have inched one game closer to becoming bowl eligible for the first time in two years. Now I have never seen a defense put together quite as bad as theirs, they do have one unstoppable offense.  It was another unbelievable game for Shoelace as he ran for 74 yards and a TD on his first touch of the game and finished the day with 250 yards passing and 230 yards rushing.  It is not very often that a quarterback leads the NCAA in rushing halfway through the year and I don’t see this trend stopping anytime soon.

This weekend my alma matter Michigan State comes to Ann Arbor and look for them to be the latest victim for fall to Denard Robinson.  They have shown no signs that there defense can contain him and even with their heads hanging high and the emotional boost of having their coach coming back to the sidelines after suffering a heart attack a couple weeks ago, I still see them losing 42-31.  While I did attend Michigan State I will never root for them to win they play the Wolverines.  I bleed maize and blue and I will always stick by the Wolverines even when times are bad–sorry Sparty.  You did give me a bachelor’s degree in turfgrass, but you can’t make me like your team.

For my picks of the week I have included a couple upset specials.  These are my locks as some of the prognosticators call them.

Michigan over Michigan St 42-31

USC upsetting Stanford 33-29–I think they will win outright on the field.  I would still take the 6 points Vegas is offering.

LSU over Florida – Florida is so highly over rated and I think that Les Miles may actually take a look at the clock with a minute to go this week to see how fast he needs to get a play off.  I like LSU in a close one 27-24 over Florida.

The absolute lock of the week is Texas A and M over Arkansas.  Sorry big John Daly, but the Hogs had their run and coming off the disappointing loss to Bama.  Look for Mallett to have a decent game, but to come up short in the end.  I like Texas A & M 45 and Arkansas 30.

Enjoy the football and overseeding this weekend, and I’ll post a new blog when I get back from the islands.  If you have any questions for me, please hit the “Ask Jay” button on the top right of this page.