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STEPS TO SELECTION
| SPECIES |
WHEN TO PLANT |
SITE PREPARATION |
WHEN TO PLANT - PLANTING RATES
Planting sports fields is specific to the region where the
grass will grow, allowing for the most time to "mature" the
species to adult stage. (Best growing window with ideal
temperatures / moisture.)
PLANTING & RATES / BY ZONE
- Transition Zone
In the transition zone cool season grasses are seeded in
Fall and Spring, though the optimum time is FALL for
Tall Fescue. (generally
between mid-August and mid-October). Planting in winter at
temps below 55 degrees will not allow for germination to occur.
SPRING plantings of Tall Fescue are also done and are considered
second best planting time. Planting in Spring may be
required to repair fall use damage. March and April are best
months. Tall Fescues should be seeded in early FALL for use
the following spring. Fescue generally requires about 4
months growing time for adequate establishment to occur for usage.
Warm season grasses such as
Bermuda should be
planted in LATE spring / early summer when soil temperatures are
65 to 70+ degrees. Buy a
soil thermometer to determine planting conditions.
The hotter the soil the faster the germination / grow in time
provided sufficient moisture is present. Overseeding of Bermuda
should occur in the fall. Perennial Ryegrass provides a
nicer playing surface than does Annual Ryegrass on Bermuda turf.
Tall Fescue: 10-15 lbs. per 1000 sq. ft.
Tall Fescue Blends 8-15 lbs. per 1000 sq.ft.
Bermudagrass: 2-3 lbs per 1000 sq. ft (coated seed)*
*Note: On Bermudas as
you move far North cut rate by 1/2 - this results in less plants,
but larger plants per sq. ft. A key to helping bermuda
become hardy and establish in order to avoid winter kill in cool
Northern areas. Expect establishment to take 2 years to fill in.
- Cool Season Zone
In the cool season zone planting can occur just about all year
(when soil can be prepared) The best time is in the Fall
from mid August to mid-September. Germination temperatures
are important, with lower temps after September increasing the
risk of poor or non-germination. Late planting can also
result in the grass plant NOT reaching a large enough size before
dormancy occurs, which often results in winter-kill (dead) plants.
soil temperature is required for germination to occur.
Keep in mind that Bluegrasses
can take from 2 weeks to 2 months to germinate. This is one
reason why Perennial
Ryegrasses are also used as germination can occur in 7-14
days. Bluegrass takes about 1 year for establishmen to complete
for normal usage. Perennial Ryegrass and Tall Fescue
generally requires about 4 months growing time for adequate
establishment to occur for usage.
Spring is also an acceptable time to plant (2nd after
fall). Overall, planting can occur from around the middle of
April to around the first of October in Northern areas (seeds &
sod). Perennial Ryegrass can generally be planted a little
later than other species and still have satisfactory germination.
Planting in summer usually requires the use of irrigation to
provide water for establishment and growth. Planting in
spring is not as desirable because more weeds generally grow
during spring establishment.
Kentucky Bluegrass: 2-3 lbs.
per 1000 sq. ft.
Perennial Ryegrass: 7-10 lbs per 1000 sq. ft.
Bentgrasses: 1/2 to 1 lb. per 1000 sq. ft. - Slightly higher
with coated seed.
Mixtures of Ryegrass & Bluegrass: 4-8 lbs. per 1000 sq. ft.
The more the % of Ryegrass the higher the planting rate.
- Warm Season Zone
WARM SEASON ZONE
In warm season areas the best time to seed is from mid-spring to
soil temperatures need to be 65-70 degrees or higher and all
danger of freeze / frost past. In most cases an average 80
degree high is needed to create 65-70 soil temps. Check soil
temps to determine best time. Early in spring / summer is
better BECAUSE this allows for the most growth to occur over the
summer optimum growing period and thus for better coverage of your
turf grass the first year.
Many warm season grasses (Bahiagrass,
Zoysia) take 2 years to fully
establish, though Bermudagrass
often can be established in 6-10 weeks. A planting window of
around April 15 to August 15 is considered best in Southern Areas.
Later plantings run higher risks as well as do earlier plantings.
Sodding can occur pretty much year-round. Sprigging and
plugging is best done during the same date range (above) as with
seeds. Best planting time for warm season grasses is just
prior to summer temp peaks... from around May 15 to July 15.
Bermuda Grass: (Hulled / Coated
Seeds) 2-3 lbs. per 1000 sq. ft.
Bahiagrass: 5-10 lbs per 1000 sq. ft.
Zoysia Seed: 1-2 lbs (un-coated seed) / 2-3 lbs per 1000 (coated
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