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Green Grass, Year Round

by Dawn West, All About Lawns Columnist

If you live in certain parts of the country--southern California for example--a green lawn year-round is no big deal. For other parts of the country, it's a little more challenging. Year-round green in Minnesota?

If you live far enough south that you have a warm-season grass, say Bermuda grass, but far enough north that your Bermuda grass goes dormant and turns brown when the winter temperatures dip just a little too low, I've got your answer: over-seeding.

Come fall, spread some grass seed for a cool season over your warm-season grass and see what happens. As the warm season grass checks out for winter, the cool season grass will check in. The result will be year-round green. But over-seeding takes more than just sprinkling grass seed. Here are a few over-seeding pointers.
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Tip #1 -- Cut Your Grass Short

Cutting your lawn short will give your new grass seeds easy access to the soil. This makes it easier for them to take hold and grow.

Tip #2 -- Rake Your Soil

Sure, cutting your lawn short helps get the seeds down to the soil, but if the soil they find is rock hard, they don't stand a chance. The looser the soil, the more contact the new grass seeds will have.

Tip #3 -- Treat Your Lawn like a New Lawn

Your over-seeded grass is like any new grass. It needs a starter fertilizer, and it needs to be watered frequently. You should avoid walking on it for a few weeks or treating it with herbicide until about the third mowing. Bottom line, treat it like the baby it is.

If you're tired of looking out over your brown Bermuda grass all winter long, a little over-seeding can turn things green again.

About the Author
Dawn West B.A. holds a B.A. in English from Harvard University and teaches writing at Oregon State University.

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