Fescue – Too Much Seed

Q: I planted a new lawn in my back yard using eighty pounds of seed over four thousand square feet. By the end of September, the grass was lush, green and four inches tall. But after a few days, the grass literally disappeared and I am left with a dirt backyard again.

A: You used too much seed! The recommended rate is 5 – 6 pounds per thousand square feet. You should have spread only 20 – 25 pounds. When fescue is sown too thickly the seedlings quickly develop pythium blight, characterized by quick browning and seedling death. It’s worth a try to replant now. Scratch the area with an iron rake and scatter five pounds of seed per thousand square feet. Irrigate to apply just enough water to keep the top inch of soil moist but never soggy. No fertilizer is needed.

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