The following instructions are directed at those who want to start and maintain a turf lawn in the Midwest, specifically, the area around the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri.
First Things First
You will never, and I mean never, have a nice turf lawn without having at least 4 inches of good topsoil. The soil here is too rocky. You may get an initial stand of grass without the soil, but come August, with the heat and dryness, the rocky soil will “fry” the grass roots. Also, don’t try to place your proposed lawn on a 45 degree slope….the soil will not stay there. How to determine how many truckloads of soil? Measure your square footage you want to cover by multiplying the length X width, in feet. Take this product and multiply it by the depth (in inches) of soil, preferably 4 inches. Take this number and divide it by 324 and this will give you how many cubic yards of soil that you will need. Example: 1000 sq. ft. X 4 inches= 4,000.
4,000 divided by 324 = 12.34 cu. yds. This formula works for any material such as mulch, rock, etc.
You can have an “OK” yard or a really nice lawn. Installation of an irrigation system gets you the really nice lawn. Face it, summers are hot and dry here. There are times your lawn needs a drink. You can say you’re going to drag your sprinkler around…..but face it, you won’t. Don’t believe me? Don’t worry, you can always install the system later, but then you have to tear up your nice lawn.
Two options…sod or seed. Sod…two options, zoysia (doesn’t tolerate shade) or fescue. Either gives you instant satisfaction, at a price. Why would you spend this amount of money without having an irrigation system?
Grass seed…5 Way Blend of Fescue. Grows in shade or full sun, is disease resistant, and can handle high traffic. Apply 10 pounds of seed per 1,000 sq ft. for a new lawn or overseed with 4 lbs. per 1,000 sq. feet. Use Fertilome Yard Starter Fertilizer when putting down seed.
When To Seed
The Spring and the Fall are the best times to seed here in the Ozarks. Warm (not 95 degrees) days and cool nights are ideal for seed germination.
Feed The Beast
Rule #1: Never apply more than 1 pound of nitrogen/1,000 sq. ft. at one time and no more than 4 pounds/1,000 sq. ft. per year.
All products are formulated so that if they are applied appropriately, they will deliver nutrients to your lawn according to the rule above. Below is the program that I use on my lawn, and it works for me. Believe me, it has taken me time to figure this out, so please learn from my mistakes.
Rule #2: Four feedings a year are enough. Don’t let someone talk you into doing more.
Rule #3: Don’t plan on placing any herbicide (keeps seeds from germinating) if you plan on seeding grass. You can use Round-Up to clear an area prior to seeding, but wait 2 weeks, at least, before seeding.
This is easy…so don’t think too hard. Our spring and summer holidays happen to fall about 8 weeks apart which is about how long the fertilizer is effective. Here we go.
Memorial Day: Fertilome Crabgrass Preventer With Fertilizer
Labor Day: Hi-Yield Weed and Feed
Thanksgiving: Fertilome Winterizer For Established Yards
You don’t have to put the fertilizer down right on those dates; this is just a guide! You may have to put your Easter application on earlier if the weather is extremely warm.
We carry all of the products listed above because we believe in them as we use them ourselves. Questions? Please call us at 573-346-2264. Want us to come up with a program for you? Simply give us your square footage of your lawn and we’ll keep it all right here until you need it!