planting new lawn
Last year about one-third of my back lawn completely died; leaving dirt spots with little clumps of remaing grass. I want to re-sead this spring but have never done this. Do I need to apply a layer of top soil or would simply raking out the area and re-seading be adequate. Also I don't know how thick to apply the new seed, and how often I need to water the newly re-seaded area. I have Denver water so the water restrictions are now in place. Is there an exemption for planting new lawn.
Thanks for any help you can offer.
Arapahoe County Colorado
You will need to check with Denver Water yourself on water restrictions or a possible exemption for new lawns.
The first step is to find out what happened to last year's grass so it doesn't happen again. It may have been mite damage if you did not water during the very dry winter months. Or may have been a disease such as Ascochyta Leaf Blight. This link might be helpful for that. http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/garden/07241.pdf.
Warm season grasses (Buffalo, Bermuda, Blue Grama) need to be reseeded when the season grasses are actively growing, late May throught the hot summer months when temperatures are consistent at 80-95 degrees.
Cool season grasses (Bluegrass, Ryegrass, Fescue) need to be reseeded in the cooler months - spring and fall - when temperatures are steady at 65-75 degrees.
You didn't specify what type of grass you were planning to re-seed with, so use the above guidelines.
Ideally, seeding bare spots with cool season grass is best done in the fall to give the grass the benefit of two growing seasons (fall and spring) before the heat of the summer. If you choose to re-seed in the spring, do not apply any pre-emergent herbicides for weed control. This will prevent grass seed from germinating.
Follow these steps to properly re-seed a lawn:
After seeding, you can cover the seed with netting, a very thin layer of peat moss, a light sprinkle of compost or some grass clippings that have not been treated with herbicides. This is to really just keep the seeds from blowing away. The most critical step for the seeds to germinate is WATER. 3 times per day until seedlings are established, for about 2 weeks.
Additional helpful resources for lawn care at:
http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/pubs.html#garden under "Yard".