Category Archives: Aeration & Seeding

Planting Fescue in Summer Conditions

Planting fescue in summer conditions is a necessary evil in a lot of areas due to the bell curve of optimal fescue seeding temperatures that can vary from season to season. While there are certain air and soil temperatures that are ideal to encourage turf type tall fescue germination and development, knowing when to seed fescue is not as easy as it sounds and can be very unpredictable. As a result, dormant seed is usually seen when a lawn is overseeded at the beginning or at the end of that window of opportunity.

Typically, turf type tall fescue is most suited for germination and development when air and soil temperatures average between 60F and 75F. With the right temperatures and proper watering, germination can be expected to occur within seven to fourteen days, at which point proper fertilization and continued favorable conditions influence how quickly the baby grass develops and matures.

Planting fesuce in summer
New fescue seedlings that are experiencing foliar damage due to summer conditions.

In a transition zone state like Virginia, typical temperature fluctuations throughout the year are not ideal for any specific type of grass. Winters are too long and cold for warm season lawns like bermuda and zoysia, while summers are too hot and provide too little rain for cool season lawns like fescue and bluegrass. However, most homeowners default to fescue because they prefer a lawn that may struggle for a few months in the summer over one that goes completely dormant and brown for more than half of the year.

Because of these extreme temperature fluctuations between triple digit summer heat waves and deep winter freezes, spring and fall conditions are becoming more and more unpredictable and irregular. Fall is the ideal time to overseed with turf type tall fescue because it gives the baby grass the greatest window of time to develop before it has to withstand summer heats. But how do you know when to seed fescue based on a vague idea of “fall” and an ideal range of temperatures that can’t be accurately predicted, and how do you handle planting fescue in summer conditions?

In the professional turf management network, we typically aim to apply fescue seed between early September and early November. This two month window almost always covers the bell curve of ideal conditions for fall seeding in terms of air and soil temperatures as well as when homeowners are able to tend to the baby grass the best. On the back end of this window, that late October timeframe, the biggest concerns are early season frosts and heavily falling leaves. However, on the front end of this window, the September timeframe, the biggest concern is late season heat waves and resulting dormant seed.

Every year changes significantly in how early or late this cool fall temperatures arrive. We have seen ideal seeding temperatures begin as early as Labor Day on year and then as late as Halloween the next. With this unpredictability experienced in some way by every kind of outdoor service provider, the policy is typically to roll with the punches and provide the best supportive care possible.

As a result, planting fescue in summer conditions is not the end of the world if an aeration and seeding service is provided in September before the weather fully cools off. Rather than the one to two week fescue germination you would typically see in ideal seeding conditions, it may be another week or two before that seed really begins to pop. This delayed is known as dormant seed and occurs when conditions are either too hot and dry or too cold for seed to develop. This is not “dead” seed! This is just seed that is waiting for its time to shine.

If you have had a September aeration and seeding service performed that has resulted in dormant seed due to late season heat waves, patience is the biggest key to success. Your seed just needs an extended period of proper watering and low interference to give it time to do its thing. Dormant seed will be magnified if a homeowner is not watering the seed properly, so your watering habits will be a great impact on the rate of your germination as well.

Planting fescue in summer conditions gives your seed plenty of time to germinate before leaves and frosts become a threat, but it can result in dormant seed for a time if there are prolonged heat waves and little rainfall. As long as your seed is still on the ground, it will come up when the time is right. While seasonal temperatures are unpredictable, what goes up will always come down! Just stay patient and wait for those eventual cooler temperatures.

Aeration and Overseeding

Aeration and Overseeding

Aeration and overseeding are fall services that go hand in hand to replenish the health and thickness of an ornamental lawn. There are broad subjects relating to aeration and overseeding that are covered often such as how to prepare the lawn and proper aftercare for seed, but there are some less common questions asked every… Continue Reading

Overseeding Before Rain

Overseeding before rain can result in a fine line being drawn between something that will benefit the result of a fall seeding and something that will wash all of your fescue seed away. Taking the necessary short and long term aftercare of seed and baby grass is an important consideration when determining how to overseed… Continue Reading

How to Prep Lawn for Reseeding

How to Prep Lawn for Reseeding

“How to prep lawn for reseeding” and “preparing lawn for aeration” are some of the most commonly searched topics by homeowners during the end of summer and the beginning of fall. Aeration and seeding are fall lawn care services for most fescue lawns every year that go hand in hand. Fescue seed is needed to… Continue Reading

The Aeration and Seeding Process

The aeration and seeding process for a fescue lawn varies in its steps between companies and whether it includes liquid aeration or core aeration, but there are some standards of practice that are universal and beneficial across the board. Picture Perfect Lawn Maintenance is a turf management company in the Richmond, Virginia area that specializes… Continue Reading

All About Liquid Aeration

Liquid Aeration And How it Compares to Core Aeration Liquid aeration is a type of soil treatment that has been developing for years, but has only started to pick up mainstream momentum more recently. To understand the growing popularity of liquid aeration, the different types of products being used, and how it compares with the… Continue Reading

Lawn Care Company Located in Midlothian, VA

Lawn Care Company Located in Midlothian, VA

Lawn Care in Midlothian, VA Midlothian Lawn Care Midlothian, VA is one of RVA’s most quickly growing communities. Residents of Midlothian are active and family focused, which is why Midlothian lawn care is an important part to every homeowner’s maintenance regimen. As a resident of Midlothian, you have far better ways to spend your time… Continue Reading

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