Reseeding Yard

Asked May 2, 2019, 5:14 PM EDT

Historically I have an area of my yard (facing east) that requires a lot of attention to get grass to grow for the season. Typically, mid-summer it starts dying off and I get bare spots. In the fall when it gets cooler it recovers somewhat however very little. My intent for this year is to till the soil about 3-4 inches down and re-seed completely. Last year I had the U of M do a soil sample and they suggested a 10-10-10 with 1 lb./1000 sq. ft.. From Jonathan Green (vendor) I have a seed that is sun tolerant (Black Beauty Original). In addition they suggested a starter fertilizer of which I bought that is 12-18-8 (Green Up) with an application of 3 lb./1000 sq. ft. Also, I purchased soil enhancer called Love Your Soil. I intend to plant and water according to the directions. Do you have any concerns with the above?

Hennepin County Minnesota

1 Response

Thank you for the question. I followed the links you provided for the purchased products and essentially what you have is a tall fescue grass seed mixture, time release fertilizer, and a micro nutrient compost product. Tall fescue grass seed is often recommended for full sun areas that receive lots of wear and tear. This is a tough, durable grass variety.
Thank you for doing a soil test to find out exactly what your soil needs for optimal fertility. 10-10-10 was prescribed but you purchased 12-18-8 which has different N,P,K ratios. Of greatest concern is the higher amount of phosphorus (18) in your product when the test shows that only 10 is needed. Phosphorus fertilizer application to lawns is regulated by the state to help protect water quality. Avoiding over-application will insure that you comply with the law. Sweeping up grass clippings from the street and removing leaves in the fall are also of great importance. Read more about this here:
I suggest following the soil test results and applying the 10-10-10 fertilizer.

Without knowing more about the soil amendment product, I would think that a load of compost tilled in would accomplish the same goal as the (probably) expensive packaged product. There is no downside to adding organic matter to your soil in whatever form you choose to use. It boosts soil microorganisms, aids in proper moisture holding properties and soil aeration.

U of M Extension recommends fertilizing and seeding in August or September for best results due to various factors such as less aggressive weed competition and cooler, moister weather conditions. If you decide to start your project now, be vigilant in watching for weed takeover. Here's our publication to learn more: