September 5, 1998 | By: Ellen Brightwell

A severe drought often will destroy some grass in a home lawn.

If this year's drought kills your lawn or if you decide to re-seed this fall, these are some factors to consider from A. J. Powell, Jr., Extension turf specialist for the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture.

When drought destroys turf, remember the best time to seed usually is from now until mid-October. The second best time to seed is late February through mid- March.

It is very hard to seed successfully during a drought because irrigation (water) is critical for new grass to germinate and survive.

Tall fescue is easier to establish than Kentucky bluegrass. It also has fewer problems with diseases, weeds and insects than Kentucky bluegrass.

When seeding, don't just broadcast seed on top. Incorporate by lightly raking the seed into a prepared (tilled) seed bed or by slit-seeding (no-tilling) the seed into the surface of the present lawn.

Custom no-tilling is available in many areas. Also, rental agencies have slit-seeders or vertical mowers (dethatchers) to groove the soil and provide better contact for the seed.

Keep the soil surface moist for several weeks after seeding.

Tall fescue will germinate in seven to 10 days. Kentucky bluegrass will seldom appear in less than 21 days.


Writer: Ellen Brightwell
(606) 257-1376

Source: A.J. Powell Jr.
(606) 257-5606