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Grass Seed: Overseeding Helps Revitalize Summer-Stressed Lawns

Overseeding in the fall helps revitalize existing lawns. The newest variety in the Turf Alive! family of grass seed is Turf Alive!® III with Rhizomes, which is specifically designed to spread — so it automatically fills in bare spots. (Photo courtesy of Gardens Alive!)
(HIT) - Between droughts, heat waves and lots of wear and tear, the perils of summertime can wreak havoc on a lawn. Just when you want your lawn to be lush and green, it is likely to be stressed-out. As the weather begins to cool off this autumn, it’s the perfect time to revitalize your lawn so it can once again become the envy of the neighborhood.

“What most people don’t realize is that a lawn is comprised of thousands of individual turfgrass plants,” said Niles Kinerk, ceo and founder of the Gardens Alive!® mailorder catalog and website (

“After years of growth and many seasons of harsh weather or even neglect, some of those turfgrass plants are not going to be as healthy and vibrant as they once were. That’s why overseeding an existing lawn is an important part of keeping a lawn green and healthy. Overseeding enables you to add new plants to your lawn to ensure that it’s lush and green.”

The key to successful overseeding is using high-quality seed and keeping it moist long enough to germinate. It’s best to cover grass seed with a thin layer of hay or straw to keep it from drying out while the new seed is sprouting. Kinerk recommends overseeding existing lawns with Turf Alive!® brand grass seed mixtures, developed by Gardens Alive!. Turf Alive! grasses resist drought because the roots reach down two to four feet deep, drawing moisture from the subsoil long after shallow-rooted grasses (such as Kentucky bluegrass) have dried up and gone dormant. Turf Alive! grasses stay lush and green with little watering, even in summer heat.

The deep roots of Turf Alive! grasses resist the development of thatch, which can foster disease and harbor insect pests. The deep roots also support thicker and more vigorous top growth, which helps to crowd out pesky weeds. Turf Alive! requires only 40 percent of the nitrogen needed by typical bluegrass, which means less money spent on fertilizer each year.

The newest product in the Turf Alive! line of grass seed mixtures from Gardens Alive! is Turf Alive!® III with Rhizomes. This new blend offers the same fine texture, deep green color, disease resistance and stress resistance as Turf Alive! brand grass seed with the additional advantage of a rhizome-enhanced growth habit. Rhizomes are rooted stems that plants send out horizontally. These spreading rhizomes create a lawn that quickly fills in to create a dense, lush carpet of green.

Turf Alive! III with Rhizomes maintains its green color year-round with less water and fertilizer than typical cool-season grasses. It recuperates well from stress and tolerates lots of foot traffic. The strong, deep root system can extend as deep as six feet into the ground, making for a very resilient and drought-resistant lawn.

Turf Alive! III with Rhizomes grows well in sun or shade. This mixture contains endophytes, nature’s own protective pesticide, and it is resistant to brown patch, pythium blight, pink patch and other diseases. Overseed existing lawns at a rate of one to two pounds of seed per 1,000 square feet of lawn. Seed new lawns and bare spots at a rate of six pounds per 1,000 square feet. Sprouting blades appear in seven to 10 days after seeding. Mowing can begin after 21 days.

Special Mixtures for Northern, Southern Lawns

A special grass seed mixture has been developed for hardy, beautiful grass in the northern United States (USDA zones 3-4). Northern Turf™ Brand contains fine-bladed grass varieties specially blended to survive tough northern winters. Northern Turf lawns offer shorter, slower growth habit, which means less mowing, less fertilizing and less watering. This mixture grows well in sun or shade, and it withstands heavy foot traffic. Overseed existing lawns at a rate of one to two pounds of seed per 1,000 square feet of lawn. Seed new lawns at a rate of four pounds per 1,000 square feet.

For the warmer climates of the southern U.S. (USDA zones 8-10), a special sun-loving Bermuda-type turf seed is available. Southern Turf™ Brand contains a slow-growing warm-season grass variety that needs less mowing than most Bermuda grasses. Southern Turf was bred to stay green most of the year in warm climates with sufficient watering. This variety weathers heavy foot traffic well, and its extensive root system helps it fill in bare spots.

The small Southern Turf Brand seeds are hulled and then organically coated to help retain seed moisture and boost germination rates. Seed new lawns and bare spots at a rate of two pounds per 1,000 square feet.

To order any of the Turf Alive! brand seed mixtures or request a free catalog, contact Gardens Alive!, 5100 Schenley Place, Dept. 141314, Lawrenceburg, IN 47025; phone 1-513-354-1482, Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., Saturday 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (Eastern Time). Or visit the website at for easy, secure on-line ordering 24 hours a day.

Turf Alive!, Northern Turf, Southern Turf and Gardens Alive! are trademarks of Gardens Alive!, Inc.

Courtesy: Home Improvement News and Information Center

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