Fescue – planting over ground stumps

Q: I have planted fescue over pine tree stumps that have been ground out. Over the course of the summer, the grass has died where the stumps were located. Do you have any suggestions as to how to improve the chances that the fescue will thrive?

A: This is a situation that’s simple to explain and easy to fix. The chips that were inevitably left in the soil are being decomposed by soil fungi and bacteria. These microscopic creatures need lots of nitrogen to accomplish their job. They grab their nitrogen from the surrounding soil, leaving none for your fescue.

To feed both your fescue and your fungi simply add extra fertilizer to the stump site. Loosen the soil, scatter a pint of 10-10-10 or some leftover turf fertilizer over the ten foot diameter circle, rake it in, then plant your seed. There will be plenty of plant food for everyone to share!

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