Overseeding advice

Asked August 8, 2018, 10:06 AM EDT

Moved into new home that had little care for the small ~1500 sq. ft. yard. Planning on overseeding my with mixture of Kentucky blue, tall fescue and micro clover a little later this month using a slot seeder. Couple of questions:

  1. I have dead/dying crabgrass (treated earlier with Round Up for yard). Should I try and pull this out prior to overseeding?
  2. Need to fill in the yard in places. Also have large bare some spots where the previous owners above ground swimming pool and a children's sand box once stood. It appears that sand was put in to provide a base for the pool and there is residual layer of sand where the sand box was. What would be an optimum medium to put down to fill in the low places and amend (if needed) the sandy areas prior to overseeing? Topsoil only or topsoil/compost mix? Something else? If mix, what % of each?
  3. I am planning to core aerate prior to overseeding. Should this be done before or after putting out the medium refereed to in question 2.
  4. I've read that micro clover seeds are small. Can they be mixed with the other grass seeds mentioned above and put out with the slot seeder, or should they be done separately?
  5. Any advice on the Kentucky blue/fescue/clover ratio? I'd like enough clover to help fix N into the soil for the other grasses, have enough Kentucky blue to look green most of the year (I'm ok with the grass getting a little brown during the summer dormant season), and enough fescue to minimize watering.
  6. I'm not particularly fond of the really fine textured fescues. Any varietal advice on the Kentucky blue, tall fescue, or micro clover?
Thanks!

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1 Response

Looks as if you have done some good research and have some good questions. Let's take a look at each one.

  1. The crabgrass is an annual so the dead plant itself is no problem. The seeds from crabgrass can be a problem in the future.
  2. Adding organic material will be a plus. Compost would be an easy addition. If you haven't already, check to see what is under the sand. Depending on what you find you may just want to till the sand into the soil. Also, a soil test. would be extremely helpful to see what your soil may be lacking.
  3. Amending the soil after the aeration will allow the amendments drop in the holes, incorporating the amendments.
  4. Slit seeders have adjustments for seed size. Using seeds of substantial size difference may affect the uniformity of seed distribution. Slit Seeding the microclover separately may be the way to go. Consult the slit seeder manufacturer for advice
  5. It appears that a 80% tall fescue and 20% Kentucky Blue grass is recommended by weight. The tall fescue/Kentucky blue grass mix should be about to 95% and 5% microclover. This gives you 76% tall Fescue ,21% Kentucky blue, and 5% microclover.
  6. Check out the following link for cultivars. For newer cultivars and mixes appropriate for your soil type and situation you may wish to consult your seed source. http://msue.anr.msu.edu/uploads/resources/pdfs/Turfgrass_Species_and_Cultivar_Selection_(E2912).pdf

Here are some additional links with additional information that could be helpful:

https://plantscience.psu.edu/reduce-runoff/questions-about-microclover

http://msue.anr.msu.edu/news/tips_for_seeding_lawns_in_september

I hope this is helpful,