Grass turf lawn


Q: Grass turf was laid in our south-facing backyard two years ago. We have heard that it would be wise to spread grass seed over the entire grass turf area. What kind of grass seed should we use and when should grass seed be spread?

Yes, over-seeding an existing lawn is a good management tool to invigorate the lawn while keeping weeds and diseases out.

Cut the lawn as short as possible. Either aerate, if possible, or de-thatch (“power rake”). I prefer the former, especially given European chafer problems. Remove excess thatch, cores and dead grass to compost. Scatter an over-seeding mix (I prefer mixture of fescue and perennial rye grass) at a minimum of 500 grams (1 pound) per 20 square metres (200 sq-ft). Top dress with good quality topsoil no more than 2 centimetres (1/2 inch) deep; this is an optional step. Brush all the items into the lawn with a broom or rake. Keep seeded area moist for 10 to 14 days, watering three or four times a day for at least 10 minutes, until grass seed germinates.

Best time to over-seed here on the coast is in the fall (less weed seed competing), and the next alternative time is in spring (weed seed more prevalent). Summer time is best avoided due to limited moisture and excessive heat.