Planting Tall Fescue

Starting A New Lawn and Repairing Bare Spots

Ideal Planting Time

The best time to plant is late summer, early fall, or spring. If seeding at other times, be prepared to touch up thin or bare spots as needed.

Seedbed and Soil Preparation

Some lawns may need other soil amendments such as lime. It is best to conduct a soil test prior to any new seeding. Till the soil approximately 6 inches deep and level with garden or landscaping rake. Surface may be firmed by rolling or soaking and, then re-raking till until level. Leave top 1/2 inch of soil loose to allow seed to be worked into soil.


Prior to or right after seeding, apply a starter fertilizer to help proper root development. Continue using a systematic fertilizer program to maintain a healthy lawn.


Sow seeds evenly at 7-10 pounds per 1,000 square feet. Rake lightly into soil. No more than 1/8 inch of soil should cover seed. Use a roller or other means to firmly pack the seeded soil.


Use blankets, pelletized or paper mulch, or straw to hold soil moisture and hasten germination. Baled straw may bring in unwanted weeds; use with caution.


Do not allow soil to dry out. Keep the soil moist with frequent light watering until seedlings are visible. After the lawn is established, water as necessary.

Overseeding An Existing Lawn

Lawn Preparation

Mow lawn to 1 inch and remove clippings. Dethatch with a power rake or hand rake smaller areas.


Sow seed evenly at 4-6 pounds per 1,000 square feet. Work seed into existing turf by raking.


Keep soil moist with frequent, light watering until grass is established.


Follow normal mowing practices when grass reaches 3 to 4 inches in height.

Maintaining Your Lawn


Maintain mower height between 2 to 3 inches; never remove more than 1/3 of the grass plant with each mowing.

Weed Control

It is very common to see new weeds when planting a new lawn or disturbing the soil. For new lawns, wait 6-8 weeks before using any herbicide. For existing lawns, the best weed control is to maintain a healthy lawn by regular fertilization, proper mowing, and watering as often as necessary.