21 September 2010

Fescue Lawn Grass Overseeding: PART 3 -- Atlanta & N. Georgia gardens

close up of grass blades with dew
September & October are the ideal time of year for overseeding fescue turf grass lawns in Atlanta and North Georgia gardens. We have been reviewing the lawn analysis and seeding preparation steps needed to have a bang up overseeding season. This article will list the steps for actually executing the overseeding.
  1. Aeration: core aeration is an important step in the process, skipping this is possible, but will compromise your success. Your options in this regard are to rent a machine, or hire a professional lawn care service. In either event, the lawn area should be ran over with the machine multiple times in varying directions.
  2. Amendments: If you haven't applied your soil test recommended amendment in the preparation phase, apply them now in the recommend rates. Do not apply any fertilizer amendments at this point.
  3. Seeding: Now apply the fescue turf grass seed at a rate of 5 lbs per 1000 square feet of existing lawn. For especially bare areas, increase this rate to 8 lbs. Remember, we are using 100% weed free grass seed. If you cannot find this, seriously consider hiring a professional lawn care company, as you do not want to actively be planting weeds.
  4. Mulching: Mulch your newly overseeded lawn with clean wheat straw at a rate of 1 bale per 1000 square feet. This may seem a bit thin, but will be adequate for overseeding of established fescue stands.
  5. Water: Water in your newly seeded grass. Check out Georgia's new watering rules. The objective is to keep the seed bed continually moist for the next two weeks without causing any runoff. This generally means watering every morning for no more that 15 minutes. Continue watering in this fashion for two to four weeks. Afterwards, observe normal watering rates of 1 inch per week (you will need to measure this).
  6. Fertilizer: Apply the soil test recommended fertilizer recommendations 30 days after your initial seed application.
Abdurrahim is the lead designer at metro-Atlanta based, award-winning Proudland Landscape, LLC.
You can contact him with question via email at
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16 September 2010

Fescue Lawn Overseeding: Part 2-- Atlanta & North Georgia Lawns fescue grass turf lawn

Fescue grass blades up close, germination
It is fescue lawn overseeding time again for Atlanta and North Georgia lawns.  Gardeners and lawn rangers get your spreaders out, and get your garden lawns up to par!  This summer has been brutal for many Atlanta and North Georgia fescue turf grass lawns.
At this point you should have already evaluated your lawn, and tested your soil.  If you haven't, check out Part 1 of this series.  If you have, read on, we will be preparing the soil for overseeding.
At this stage you are between a few days to two weeks away from actually applying the fescue turf grass seed, depending on your particular lawn situation.
If you have more than 50% loss or undesirable turf in your lawn, you may want to seriously consider a complete lawn replanting.  Many of the steps in this series will still apply.

  1. Measure the square footage of your lawn. The simplest method is to break your lawn into rectangular areas, establish the square footage of each, add them, and then subtract the approximate square footage of any islands or beds.
  2. Get out your soil test results, read the recommended amendments and nutrients, and purchase the quantities you need for your lawn. 
  3. Purchase the appropriate amount of fescue seed for your lawn square footage.  Plan on about 5 lbs of seed per 1000 square feet of lawn.  In selecting a fescue seed blend, read the Agricultural Department label, and select a seed blend with both 0% weed seed and 0% noxious weed seed.  Do not allow the Garden Center department guy to tell you there is no such thing.  You Do Not want to be intentionally planting weeds.
  4. Treat you lawn for any existing weeds with a post-emergent herbicide.  You may need two applications, one for broadleaf weeds, and one for grass-type weeds.  Read the chemical labels carefully, and follow all application directions.  Allow the appropriate amount of time between applications, and before overseeding.
  5. Apply any nutrient amendments recommended by your soil test, except any feritilizers at this point.  Fertilizers will be applied later.  Water the nutrients in well (lime, gypsum, etc).
  6. Determine your watering plan ahead of time.  In ground irrigation?  Hoses and sprinklers?  Purchase the hoses, etc you need, have your sprinkler system tested, or arrange to have one installed, before you overseed.
If at any point, you run into a snag, are unsure of the chemical treatments, or can't find appropriate grass seed, contact a lawn or landscape professional.

That's all the preparation at this point.  The next step will be actually overseeding.  Stay tuned.

Check out our Resource Page for additional gardening and lawn info.

Leave your comments or ask any question below.

Abdurrahim is the lead designer at metro-Atlanta based, award-winning Proudland Landscape, LLC.
You can contact him with question via email at
Follow him on Twitter at
Also, check our Facebook fan page

15 September 2010

Poison Ivy -- Identify & Control

Poison ivy leaf.
Photo: UGA College of Agricultural Sciences
Poison ivy is one of the banes of gardening in the rich environment of Atlanta and North Georgia. Gardeners need to be able to identify and address this pesky plant in their gardens.

Identify. Poison ivy may grow as a small shrub or climbing vine. New plants can arise several feet away from the parent plant. It can also be distributed in seed form from bird droppings.
The leaves are alternately arranged in groups of three. Actual leaf color can vary in different shades of green. Leaf shape is eliptical, generally asymmetrical, and can have smooth or serrated edges.
"Leaves of Three, Let it be." Several plants have similar leaf characteristics and can be mistaken for poison ivy. Better to err on the side of caution before handling any questionable plants, such as box elder, or Virginia creeper.

Poison. All parts of the plant are poisonous all the time. However, if the leaves or stems are bruised or broken, they can transfer the toxin especially quickly. The toxin can be transferred to human skin via contact with the plant, animal coats, tools, clothing. Burning the plant can cause the toxin to be ingested through the lungs.

First Aid. If you think you've been exposed, wash the skin with cold water and soap as soon as possible. Wash suspected tools and clothing, as the toxin can be transferred to additional items, such as furniture. If a rash or allergic reaction develops, depending on your level of allergic sensitivity, consult a physician or visit the pharmacy for over-the-counter treatments.

Control. Mechanical control: Poison ivy can be controlled by repeatedly mowing or pruning down to the ground. Also, younger plants can be eliminated by tilling, or scarifying the soil. Be sure to use protective clothing, gloves, masks and goggles when working in or around poison ivy.
Chemical control: For larger plants, or larger areas of infestation, look for spray herbicides with the following chemcials: Glyphosate (e.g. Roundup), 2-4D (e.g. Spectracide, or Trimec ), or Triclopyr (e.g. Ortho Brush-B-Gone). Always read and carefully follow all label instructions.

For more info, look here for the UGA Agricultural Dept. paper.

Also, check out our Atlanta Gardening Resource Page.

Abdurrahim is the lead designer at metro-Atlanta based, award-winning Proudland Landscape, LLC.
You can contact him with questions via email at
Follow him on Twitter at
Also, check our Facebook fan page

14 September 2010

Fescue Lawn Overseeding: Part 1-- Atlanta & North Georgia Lawns

fescue grass turf lawn

The days are still hot, but with cooler mornings and evenings, get ready Atlanta:  the fescue lawn turfgrass overseeding season will be here soon.  We are almost into the ideal time to begin aerating and overseeding fescue lawns or Metro Atlanta and North Georgia.  I will present the things you need to do in a multi-part series. 
The ideal overseeding season lasts about 6 weeks, however, No Worries, there are other good, if not ideal timeframes to get this task done.

At this point, we have some time, so there are a few preliminary tasks to get done:
1.  Evaluate the condition of your lawn.  This summer was especially brutal, and fescue lawns were hit by heat, fungus, lack of rain, high humidity.  How much of your lawn is acutally desirable lawn grass?  If it is hovering around 50% or less, you may consider a more extensive renovation or replacement.  Above 50% and aeration & overseeding may be adequate.
2.  What does you soil look like?  North Georgia soils tend to be nutrient deficient.  Couple that with erosion, soil depletion, and poor grading practices, and you have very tough conditions for root development.  Is your soil sandy, brick hard, or rocky?  If so, you may want to consider topdressing with some organic matter.  We'll discuss these later.
3.  Get a soil test done!  Your county extension office will test your soil for your specific applications, e.g. lawn, vegetable garden, planting beds.  They will tell you exactly what amounts of nutrients need to be replenished.

Get these done now to be ready to go for the actual overseeding season.

Check out my resource page for more good info.

Abdurrahim is the lead designer at metro-Atlanta based, award-winning Proudland Landscape, LLC.
You can contact him with question via email at
Follow him on Twitter at
Also, check our Facebook fan page