Secrets of Seeding
If you want a completely organic lawn, you can over-seed or lay new sod on your lawn. Organic or native grass seed is the most water efficient and drought tolerant.
Native Grass Seeding
Native grasses, like fescue or rtf fescue, are indigenous to a particular region's soil conditions and rainfall, which makes this type of grass seed more naturally resistant to diseases and pests. Native grasses need less water than non-native grasses such as Kentucky bluegrass. Kentucky bluegrass originates from Europe and St. Augustine grass comes from Africa. For best results look for species that are native to your region for best results.
Grasses used in Nebraska are cool-season grasses (Kentucky Bluegrass, Tall Fescue, Fine Fescues) with the exception of the southern parts of the state where Bermuda, zoysia and Buffalo grass grow natively.
Cool Season Grasses:
Kentucky Blue Grass - The use of Kentucky bluegrass should be limited to the cooler parts of Nebraska. Kentucky bluegrass spreads by rhizomes and withstands moderate traffic. On athletic fields, it can be used in mixtures with perennial ryegrass and/or tall fescue.
RTF Fescue - RTF Fescue (rhizomatous tall fescue) or Plantation SRP Fescue is a self repairing turf that fills in open areas by rhizomes and shoots of grass. Strong deep roots allow the grass to get moisture deep in the soil. RTF is a drought tolerant grass and disease resistant. For more information go to http://www.toddvalleyfarms.com/
Bermuda Grass – Bermuda grass is the species most adapted to areas of southern Nebraska. Bermuda grass spreads aggressively by stolons (aboveground runners) and rhizomes (below ground runners) and can become a nuisance when it invades flowerbeds and gardens.
Zoysiagrass - Zoysiagrass is a dense grass that establishes slower than Bermuda grass.
Buffalograss - This species is drought tolerant and may need special care while being established, especially in order to control weeds.
Erosion Control Grasses
For erosion control it is best to use a mixture of stiff grasses throughout the slope. Erosion control grasses have different root systems that help prevent runoff.
Try a mixture of these stiff grasses to help prevent erosion:
- Switch grass
- Tall Fescue
- Little and Big Bluestem
- Ornamental Silver Grass
- Feather Reed Grass
In addition to these grasses, consider planting landscape beds: deep-rooted shrubs, flowers, and ornamental trees in the area of erosion.
Erosion Netting can also help the seed germinate and not to get washed out.
Seeding versus Sod
Seeding can take awhile to get going due to moisture, soil and climate. Seeding is a much cheaper process, but also takes a lot longer to germinate than sod. Sod is an instant lawn that does not have many weeds and easier to establish.