August is like the Sunday of summer.

Hello, again!

A couple of weeks ago as our morning temperatures were in the 60’s, thoughts of early fall seeding of cool season turf were entering my mind. Often the month of July will be our hottest month of the year in South Central Kansas with August temperatures starting to trend a bit cooler. As I watch the long term forecast, many times I’ll start my lawn overseeding in late August IF there aren't any hot temperatures forecast into September. Well, never mind that idea this year! With record high temperatures presently, I’d not get in a hurry to overseed cool season turf for fall establishment. But it's never too early to plan!

With another successful Iron ChileHead last weekend (even in record temperatures!) our stores are now getting ready for fall. Our home grown mums are starting to show color, spring flowering bulbs are ‘on the water’ coming from the Netherlands and pansies will be stocked as cooler temperatures allow. New foliage from Florida fills our greenhouses and ferti-lome will be delivering fall products any day.

Once it’s here, fall is the ideal time to seed cool season turf in our area. Maybe you’re planning to overseed or start a new lawn. As our temperatures drop, the new turf plants are able to get established rapidly. Selecting the grass seed is one of the key items when planting a lawn. Gard’N-Wise Premium Fescue Blend is our go-to seed blend, and has been for years. The blend may change from year-to-year depending on new test results from the National Turfgrass Evaluation Program (NTEP), but it always includes the best performers.

Over 100 varieties of turf-type fescue are grown and tested in university research across the country. They are graded on several categories, such as seedling vigor, appearance, drought tolerance, disease tolerance and many others. Kansas State University has a Wichita research facility which takes part in NTEP, so the results include our local conditions. Gard’N-Wise Fescue Blend contains varieties that have ranked high in the research, assuring you the latest and best in available seed varieties. The blend has 0% weed seed, no ‘other’ crop and very low inert matter. With four seed varieties in the blend, you’ll be happy with the results.

Gard-N’Wise Premium Fescue blend currently has these top NTEP performers in the blend for your seeding success:

Avenger III pushes the boundaries of tall fescue versatility, adapting to both high heat and extreme cold climates. Avenger III excels with Brown Patch resistance and scored in the top percentage for shade tolerance.

Firecracker G-LS is a breakthrough tall fescue cultivar, combining Lateral Spread TM (LS) toughness with the first NTEP proven resistance to Gray Leaf Spot! Firecracker G-LS sets a new standard for durability thanks to its aggressive recovery and density, which allows it to shine in summer’s heat and resist diseases that take out the competition.

Supersonic has fine leaf texture and early spring green-up, along with excellent brown patch resistance. Supersonic exhibits high seedling vigor to establish quickly and out-compete weeds.

Starfire II is perfect for multipurpose use with an intensive root system. Deep roots lead to high drought resistance and strong recovery with a high disease resistance with good vitality. It impresses with intensive green color the whole year around, especially during winter. Starfire has a fast establishment and secures a high success rate.

After seed selection, soil preparation is very important. Getting good seed-to-soil contact will keep the germination percentage high as well. I recommend ferti-lome New Lawn Starter at planting time followed with two applications of ferti-lome Winterizer.

One question I frequently receive is how much to water the newly planted grass seed. It’s difficult to give a definitive answer to that question. There are so many factors that can vary the watering schedule and amount of water applied. My best answer is to keep the newly planted seed moist, not overwatered. I’ve planted grass seed and not watered it at all, and it still to this day is a good stand of fescue; however, I would not rely on this method!

Your friend in the garden,

Marty Johnson
Owner - Johnson's Garden Center