I live in Prince Georges county (Glenn Dale/Bowie, MD) about 5-10 miles form...

Asked October 14, 2013, 9:16 AM EDT

I live in Prince Georges county (Glenn Dale/Bowie, MD) about 5-10 miles form the main campus.1. Can I overseed this week and get growth, if not what time of year would you recommmend. 2. If I Overseed should I use hay or straw on the grass after seeding or neither 3. I had/have Moles, what's the best way to rid the yard of them I have used Grub Control, that does it for a couple of weeks then they are back. I also used a repellant 4.FYI I have a shady area on a small lot with 5 trees. Alot of shade during the summer. 5. Any and all suggestions would be appreciated. 6. What type of seed would you recommend and possibly the maker, please.

Prince George's County Maryland lawns and turf moles overseeding

3 Responses

Please read our online publication, reached from our homepage. Click on Publications, then Lawns, then "Lawn Establishment, Renovation and Overseeding." This is a terrific short read that covers just about everything you need to know.
1. Mid October is the cut off for seeding generally. After that time, it's dicey. Fall is the best time to overseed, starting early, even the end of August, so that the new grass has time to mature before freezing temperatures hit. However, if you just need to seed a small patch, go ahead.
2. Use straw, never hay. Hay has seeds in it that you don't want. Straw has no seeds.
3. You probably only have one mole and don't waste your money on grub control. If they can't eat grubs, they just eat other critters, like worms. But keep in mind that moles are beneficial in many ways: they aerate your lawn, eat grubs and other pest insects, and usually move on after a season or so. See our online publication on nuisance wildlife in the Wildlife category of Publications. They are extremely difficult to trap (the only real solution),so we recommend living with them if at all possible.
4. If you have less than 3-4 hours of sunlight on your lawn, you won't be able to grow grass well probably. Fertilizer, etc. won't change that. Fine fescue grass is best for shade. You can try pruning up some of the tree limbs to let in more light, but you may have change your landscape in the darkest areas, making beds of ferns, groundcovers, or shrubs (or mulch.)
There is also a good publication about moss control that has good information for shady lawns: http://extension.umd.edu/sites/default/files/_images/programs/hgic/Publications/HG100_Moss_Control_i...

And here's that other pub we mentioned above: http://extension.umd.edu/sites/default/files/_images/programs/hgic/Publications/HG102%20Lawn%20Estab...

ECN

I appreciate your response on the mole issue. Thanks a lot!
In overseeding I was wondering if I seeded this weekend or Friday would that be time enough for the seed to germinating with growth. It will only give me a small window I know the weather plays the greatest part and it's not that chilly yet but who knows. Would you advise me to try it this weekend for the whole lawn or just wait until next year because of the time, energy and cost may outweigh the slim possibility. On the moles they go under a dig these tunnels and separate the grass from the soil. Is that ok, or does it need contact with the soil. I normally walk over it to place that grass closer to the soil... Thank you so much for the timely advise! too.

You could top-seed now, if you wish, but as you are aware, weather conditions will definitely impact the success of getting the resulting grass established before the first frost. You should be prepared to top-seed again in late March in order to thicken the turf before the heat of summer.
As for the mole(s), your technique of walking the tunnels back down is a good one. Typically, rain will also cause the tunnels to collapse.
LS