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best grass seed to prevent weeds

Note: Cow manure, like grass seed, can be overdone. A little will go a long way for the freshly laid seeds, so layer no more than 1/4 inch over the lawn. If you have any leftover, feed other trees and plants in your landscape.

Jerry’s yard is full of mature trees, which help shade his landscape. Fescue would be a great option for him, because it does well in partially shaded areas. The grass will require a bit more watering than Jerry’s current lawn, but he’ll get better results.

Tip: Paul uses this handy perforated shovel to sift the compost over an area. The shovel is also good for working in water gardens.

Sow Seed Correctly

Paul suggests Jerry use a mixture of fescue — two types of tall fescue and also a creeping red fescue, which is extremely shade tolerant; in areas of complete shade, the red fescue will help fill in the bare spots.

What do you do when the greenest things in your lawn are weeds? Jerry Cunningham wonders the same thing, so Gardening by the Yard host Paul James comes to the rescue with answers. The overall approach: Choke the weeds out not with chemicals, but by creating a new lush lawn of healthy grass.

Top-dressings — such as a cow-manure/alfalfa mix — are underused in lawn care (such as after you’ve sown grass seed). Too bad, because they’re full of organic matter that activates soil.

When spreading seeds, it’s important to make sure you don’t throw too much into adjacent beds. Work side to side, and then work back over the same area at right angles to the original. You can either throw the seed out by hand or use a tool that helps relieve strain on your wrist. You can have too much of a good thing. Applying too much seed can create competition for the moisture and nutrients that feel the lawn.

If you live in a Northern state, select a cool-season grass. Cool-season grasses thrive in the late spring and early fall months in the northern two-thirds of the United States. Northern grass seed products grow best when temperatures are 60-75 degrees Fahrenheit.

Here’s how tall your grass should be before you mow for the first time:

Best grass seeds for Northern states

Not anymore. The use of phosphorus has become controversial and for good reason. While the element is essential for the root system to grow, its overuse has led to over-blooming algae and dead zones in bays, rivers, and lakes.

People living in Southern states should select a warm-season grass seed. But the variety of seed will depend on what part of the country you are in.

Each type of grass seed has its uses. The pure seed will give you a unified look. The blends will be a bit less uniform, but one variety may cover up for the weaknesses of another. Grass seed mixtures provide the most biologically diverse lawn: The grass plants won’t look identical, but the diversity gives you the greatest chance of having your lawn survive diseases and droughts. Pennington, for example, has a Smart Seed brand that includes a mix of shade grass seed and full-sun seed.