Fall fix includes slice seeding your lawn with a seed mix appropriate for conditions in your yard. Generally, we use a mix of tall and fine fescues designed for use in organic lawns, but each truck also has a mix for deep shade and a core aerator for compacted soils. Tall fescue is the most heat and drought tolerant of the grasses. It has deep roots and also does well in shade. The new, finer textured, darker green varieties of tillering tall fescues do well in a variety of conditions. The fine fescues do particularly well in the shade. The mix includes some bluegrass and perennial rye as well.
Last summer, I attended a conference at Cornell on soil health, attended by farmers and scientists from around the world. The consensus was that our soils are fast becoming depleted in organic matter, causing degradation and loss of fertility. It is a common problem in our lawns, as well.
For a vigorous, healthy lawn you need good seed. For deep roots, water retention and higher yields you need good soil. You need nice aggregates, balanced chemical properties and a healthy biological community. If I plant grass seed in a 5 gallon bucket of good soil and rely on the rain for water, the roots will be coming out the bottom in a couple of months. If I plant the seed in a bucket of gravel, the seed will struggle to germinate, the water will drain through and roots will not grow vigorously. Most weeds do well in acidic, compacted soils with low organic matter and biology. Grasses like air, water, cool weather and biology. Slice seeding in late summer and early fall is when we can fill any spaces, thicken the lawn and really make a difference.
The seed we plant will do best if kept moist so a little water every day is nice. However, rain is most dependable in fall and with the cool nights and heavy dew, the seed should germinate just fine on its own. Our goal is to get the lawns as healthy as possible in October, so they will winter over and come into the spring thick and hardy and ready to survive the rigors of next summer.
Weed seeds put out millions of seeds each season, and they can wait years for an opportunity to sprout. Our lawn grasses never get that opportunity because we mow the plants before they go to seed. It is time to level the playing field. Your lawn is reinvigorated, rejuvenated and buffed with the introduction of new seed. Our slice seeders cut small furrows in the soil and deposit the grass seed, for that all important soil to seed contact. This will thicken the turf, aerate the soil, reduce bare spots and combat old age.