By: Duane Blankenship | Category: Home Improvement | Issue: August 2011
Bryan Kirby heads up Mother Nature’s lawn division and has many tips for the proper care and seeding of cool-season fescue grasses.
Mother Nature’s Pest and Lawn Care began serving businesses and residents of northeastern Oklahoma 32 years ago. Most of us are probably familiar with the name. The company has grown by leaps and bounds while adding to their list of expertise and services. Today, Mother Nature’s provides pest and rodent control, germ control, Sentricon termite systems, wildlife management, insulation, and lawn services. The lawn services division is headed by Bryan Kirby and specializes in weed control, aeration, flea and tick control, and lawn seeding. They also provide services to help control moles, gophers and grubs.
Seeding services primarily apply to cool-season fescue grasses that have adapted well to our area. There are a number of fescue types, and Mother Nature’s seeding services include a seed blend. Fescue grass varieties generally perform very well in northeastern Oklahoma, even with our cold winters. Fescue grasses have three dominant characteristics: a tolerance to shade, staying green year-round, and good drought resistance.
According to Kirby, “September or October is the ideal time to seed a new lawn or over seed an existing fescue lawn. We get our best germination success before winter hits, and it is likely that some seeds will still germinate in early spring.” That’s because Mother Nature’s seed blends have different germination times. Kirby says that if you wait until spring to over seed a lawn or seed a new area, you’ll probably get only 50 percent germination success.
“Once you have seeded with fescue, watering is critical,” says Kirby. “We recommend watering twice per day on new seedlings. And make sure mature fescue gets at least one inch of water per week.” It is best not to begin mowing fescues until they have produced two to two-and-a-half inches of growth. When over seeding in early fall, keep fallen leaves off new germination, being careful when you remove the leaves not to disturb the delicate new seedlings. With fescue, you must over seed at least once per year, and preferably twice, to maintain a healthy lawn. September and October (early fall) are the best months for over seeding, as are January and February (late winter).
Mother Nature’s offers some helpful tips. Do not apply a pre-emergent to seedlings; apply them only to mature fescue grasses. The best defense against weeds is to have a thick, healthy shade grass in your lawn. Bare areas – such as under trees – are more subjective to weeds.
Mother Nature’s recommends a balanced fertilizer for your fescue, rather than high nitrogen fertilizers. “During the seeding process, you really don’t have to fertilize at all,” says Kirby. “A little won’t hurt, but you don’t need to worry about fertilizing until you have new growth appearing.” New growth will need nutrients to help new growth mature. If you’ve fertilized in the fall, you should have mature grass by the time the heat of summer rolls around and plants start stressing.
Kirby concludes by explaining, “The lawn business is not an exact science. You may be doing your part by over seeding and applying pre- and post-herbicides, but we still need some cooperation from the real ‘Mother Nature.’”
Mother Nature’s professional lawn technicians are licensed and experienced, acquire ongoing education, and are fulltime employees of the company. You may arrange for a free estimate for any of their services or for their full lawn service program. Call or visit online today to set up a consultation with a Mother Nature’s technician.
Blankenship graduated from the University of Oklahoma and has enjoyed a lifetime career in advertising. He started his own advertising business in 1993 and enjoys creating graphic art and writing. Hobbies include hunting, fishing and pencil drawings. Duane and his wife, Janice, have been married over 50 years and are active in their church and community. He has been a contributing writer for Value News/Values Magazine since 2005.