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planting grass seed

When is the best time to reseed an old lawn? What is a good grass seed to use for high traffic and living in west Texas where it hardly rains and the wind blows? What is a good way to keep birds and dogs off of the reseeded lawn?

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4 Answers from these members:
ERIN HYNES
It takes about one lawn season from seed. If the soil is warm (and I do mean the soil, which warms up slower than the air) and if you keep the surface of the soil moist, give it 7-10 days for most of the seed to germinate. Then you have to nurse along the tender baby grass as its root system expands, which can be a challenge in West Texas. ---------- The grass isn't really established until it starts sending out stolons (runners) along the soil surface. Roots develop on the stolon at the node (nodes are thick little bumps on the stem where leaves/roots/branches form on plants) ------------------ The grass-growing process goes faster if you plant sprigs, which are little chunks of grass with roots along the stolons. You could dig them up from other parts of the yard, or buy them. Keeping them moist is critical as the roots take hold. You could also by sod -- you don't need enough to cover the whole yard, because the grass will eventually fill in the bare areas. ------------------- Given that you have a dog AND live in a dry climate AND probably have rocks all over your yard (like I did in Austin), maybe go with Plan B? How about making paths around the yard using bark mulch (I used to get mine for free from tree services; not as pretty as the stuff in bags, but it IS free) and use those rocks to define the edges of the path. That way the dog has a place to run. In the areas between the paths, you could grow grass, or things more fun than grass, like vegetables in raised beds, or pots of flowering plants.
by ERIN HYNES
March 17th, 2011
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Manage My Life
I have some St. Augustine and a little Fescue and I think the rest of it is Bermuda. How long does it take for grass seed to grow and really thicken up?
by Manage My Life
March 16th, 2011
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ERIN HYNES
Oooh, west Texas. I've lived in Austin and Houston. Texas A&M has a great turf website (see link below) that covers grass selection. What kind of grass do you now have? Bermuda grass is the toughest and, unlike some other southern grasses, can be started from seed. --------------------------- Plant in late spring or early summer--warm-season grasses need warm soil to start growing. You'll need to keep the surface of the soil moist (not soggy) all the time, because if the grass starts to sprout and then dries, it's dead. -------------- As for the dog, can you block his access to the yard? For birds, you can try covering the seeded areas with straw (which also helps keep the soil moist) or try bird netting, which is often used in berry production.
by ERIN HYNES
March 16th, 2011
Answered in 13 hours
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Manage My Life
It looks and sounds like you are experiencing Spring fever after a tough winter. I am too and am over seeding my lawn. You have asked some great questions and I will share with you that I always ask my local nursery for advice. Managemylife.com is a great place to find help also. I found this good article that may help you until your expert can respond. I hope you enjoy the article and our wonderful spring!
by Manage My Life
March 16th, 2011
Answered in 9 hours
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