Austin Lawncare Tips: Reseed this Spring!
published on May 7, 2013
It’s springtime in beautiful Austin, Texas, which means lawncare season has officially begun. However, droughts and winter freezes leave their mark on even the healthiest Central Texas lawns. Facing a yard with thinning grass or bare patches? Consider reseeding. Common Austin-area grasses like St. Augustine and Bermuda grow best when the soil temperature approaches 70 degrees F, and require two months after winter to become established. That means right now (April through June) is an ideal time to reseed. Follow these ten steps to reseed an existing lawn this spring:
- PREPARE SOIL: Whether a home is in West Austin or East Austin will affect soil composition. Consider taking a soil test. If needed, amend soil as recommended using compost or fertilizer. Also, treat any existing pest problems or lawn diseases.
- CLEAN: Remove any pebbles, rocks, soil clods, branches, or bark.
- WEED: Eliminate all undesirable weeds or grasses either by hand, mechanically or chemically. Mechanical approaches include hoeing, digging, and smothering. Chemical approaches involve using environmentally-friendly herbicides, either selective or non-selective. Follow all directions carefully!
- AERATE or RAKE: If the soil is compacted from heavy foot traffic or repetitive mowing patterns, aeration may be needed. A mechanical aerator can be rented from a local garden center, or aeration shoes or garden tools can be purchased. Any bare areas should be lightly tilled or raked just prior to planting (only the top inch: going too deep will stir up weed seeds).
- BUY SEED: While a shady yard in Barton Creek West could feature St. Augustine grass, a sunny home in Olympic Heights will often have Bermuda grass. Purchase seed that matches the existing variety of grass (i.e.: the cultivar). If in doubt, bring a picture to the local garden center where you plan to make the purchase. The seed bag label should read “certified”. Also, check the bag for the best purity ratings. Grass seeds should have no more than 10% weed contamination, and the germination rate should be about 85%.
- APPLY: Apply half the seed in one direction and the other half at a right angle to the first direction. Using a rotary seeder, hand seeding, and drop seeding are common options. Small seeds can be mixed with dry sand (1:1) to make spreading easier.
- WATER: Lawn should be kept moist, but not soggy, for ten to twenty-one days. Morning-time light waterings work best. If the weather is windy or sunny, increase waterings to two or three times per day. Be careful not to water roughly, as you may wash away seeds.
- MOW: Mow when new grass is 1/3 past its ideal height. For example, grass with an ideal height of three inches should be mowed when it reaches four inches. The lawn should be dry to protect grass from pathogens, and lawn blades should be sharp to protect grass blades from injury.
- FERTILIZE: If fertilizer was not applied prior to planting, a complete blend of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium can be applied for 3-4 weeks. Be careful: a blend with more than 10% nitrogen will burn seedlings.
- WEED: As the growing season progresses, continue to pull or hoe any weeds. Use herbicides only as a last resort, and environmentally-friendly brands only.
Reseeding a poorly-performing lawn is a great way to reestablish healthy grass. With proper mowing and care, it should thrive throughout Austin’s growing season!
The Austin REALTORS® at Regent Property Group enjoy providing homeowners from Circle C to Avery Ranch with helpful home tips and information. They also help homebuyers traverse Austin’s real estate market, and keep up with the latest residential trends. Thanks for stopping by!
Read more in Regent Property Group’s Austin Lawncare Tips Series:
Austin Home Price Estimate
What's your home worth? Use our instant home price estimator to get an idea of what your home might sell for on the market today.