Now that the new grass has germinated and started growing, it needs the appropriate care to get the most out of it. First of all, it needs plant nutrients provided through fertilizer. The best way to determine fertilizer needs is by soil tests. Feel free to call us for information about soil testing, or in the absence of a soil test, we can talk with you about some general fertilizer recommendations. This fertilizer can be applied at planting time or after the grass starts growing, but it should be done soon, in most cases, before the weather gets a lot colder.
The next management issue is to prevent the new grass from being grazed too close or mowed too short. This is especially true during the first year, as it is getting established. Many stands of fescue are killed each year by cutting lawns too short and letting livestock graze pastures down to the ground. In most cases, fescue lawns should not be mowed or pastures grazed to less than three inches in height; four inches would be even better.
These are two very important management issues that can help get your newly planted grass off to a good start. For more information, call the Walker County Extension Office at 706-638-2548.
Norman Edwards is coordinator of Walker County Extension Service.