It’s August and that means overseeding season is approaching and preparation begins now. Here’s what you need to know to have a successful and prosperous season.
How to save on seed
The good news is that Perennial Rye seed prices are down from 2017. The not so good news is that Fescue, Annual, Intermediate, Bluegrass seed prices are all up. Fescue in particular is up around 20 percent.
Seed costs vary each year based on the amount of seed carryover from last year, as well as the acres planted and yields from seed farms. Freight costs have also risen this year.
But there are a few ways you can save on the seed you purchase at Ewing. In some areas, Ewing stores are offering early order discounts and extended credit terms for purchases placed by Aug. 15, 2018.
Another way to reduce seed prices is with bulk orders of bags or pallets. So if you can estimate the amount of seed you’ll need early enough, then placing one bulk order can help you save on the price per bag.
Timing and preparing it right
Once you’ve got your seed, you’ll likely need to store it for a few weeks while waiting for outdoor temperatures to cool enough for sowing in September, October or November.
Make sure your storage facility is clean and protected from mice or rats before you bring in seed. And make sure the seed stays dry.
The current fall forecasts anticipate a warmer than average fall, so you may want to time your applications a bit later than usual.
In Arizona, California, Nevada and Texas, an application of Prodiamine can be helpful for Poa Annua control six to eight weeks prior to overseeding established bermudagrass with perennial ryegrass, and four to eight weeks after. As always, read the label for use guidelines.
Hit the ground running
When the weather is right, you’ll want to get all that seed applied quickly. You can ensure your applications go smoothly by having all the right tools and supplies:
- A spring rake will be helpful to remove thatch and loosen top soil, and increase seed contact with the soil.
- A hand crank spreader for small lawns or push spreader for larger areas will help spread seed evenly.
- Next, apply a seed topper or seed cover to condition the soil, prevent seed movement on sloped areas, protect seed from birds and prevent seed from drying out during germination if dry or windy weather occurs.
- Finally, don’t forget a starter fertilizer to give those seeds a strong start. Some options include Healthy Grow with Holganix, BEST XB+ Fertilizer 6-24-24, or FERTI 5-20-10, ANDAG 18-24-12, HJE 18-24-12, HJE 5-10-21 10% FE. Consult with your local Ewing for fertilizer options for your region.
Finally, your customers who don’t want any overseeding may be interested in an application of turf colorant to keep their dormant grass a vibrant green color during the winter months. Be sure to let them know it’s an option!