Uncle's Playbook for Lawn Coaches

Taking care of your lawn is a lot like being a coach and every successful coach has a playbook filled with game plans for any opponent. Just like the coach on your favorite sports team, the first thing a good lawn coach will need to know are the rules of the game so he can use his brain to take every advantage against his opponent. Secondly, a good lawn coach will choose the right players for the right position. The best lawn coaches will condition their players to be more successful and perform at their best. And third, greatest lawn coaches will study their opponents. They learn their habits and weaknesses to take an advantage. They stay cool, calm and collected under stressful situations, knowing eventually with a little blood, sweat and tears making the right choices will lead him to victory.

Learn the Rule Book.  Mother Nature wrote the rules; you just have to play by them. Every year natures grass plants reseed the earth as part of their natural rejuvenation cycle. Each grass seed is a real engineering marvel that is designed to wiggle its way into the soil and sprout. Uncle's secret play in lawn care is to imitate Mother Nature. Grass seed planted now will root and establish in warm September soils and be ready for explosive growth in spring. 

Choose the right players. If you favor explosive offense, the long pass and succulent green grass that drives your neighbors wild with lawn envy, you are a prototypical bluegrass aficionado.  You prefer red wine and crusty French bread. You appreciate bluegrass as Mother Nature’s masterpiece.  It provides dark color, vigorous rhizomes and produces a thick, dense turf that is a soft delight for bare feet. You should look for Blue Wave. Bluegrass will always cost a little more per pound because it contains more seeds per pound (over one million).  Per seed, bluegrass is the best value.

If you prefer an off-tackle running game you are probably a turf fescue kind of guy. You prefer draft beer, ribs, and pepperoni pizza and want your lawn care project completed before the second half starts.  You should look for turf fescue seed varieties such as Heat Wave or Macho MixThese provide drought tolerant, good looks and can take the wear and tear of turf use in both commercial and home lawns.

If you are more excited about the kick offs and punt returns of the special teams, then using Estate Mix or Heat Wave Plus will be a perfect pick. A perfect balance of aggressive bluegrasses and sports turf perennial ryes, Estate Mix will fill in routine damage and stand up to heavy traffic between the hash marks. Estate Mix will give your lawn that soft, well manicured look of a golf course fairway. Heat Wave Plus will give you the heat and drought tolerance of improved turf-type fescues with the self repairing abilities of bluegrass. A mixture of 95% Heat Wave plus 5% elite bluegrass, Heat Wave Plus is Uncle's most popular special team player.

Know Your Opponents.  Summer weed grasses like crabgrass and foxtail will begin to turn yellow and die with the first frost. If your lawn has a serious densely matted weed problem, a close mowing and verticutting will quickly prepare a ready seed bed.  Rake off the worst trash and plant the new grass seed directly into the old weed stubble. It will hold moisture and nurture the new grass plants.  Grass seed planted now will be strong enough in the spring to tolerate a full strength weed prevention program. 

Follow the Playbook. Once your team has been chosen, the rules of the game are the same for every team. Seed, feed and water it's just that simple, or is it? If you want your lawn to be in Uncle's Hall of Fame, you need to call the right play. Steal a page from Uncle's Playbook, he's the Vince Lombardi of lawn coaches.

Uncle's secret play in lawn care has always been to imitate Mother Nature. September 21 marks the autumn solstice and the beginning of the grass plant growing cycle. Grass seed planted now can root down in warm fall soils and be ready for explosive growth in the spring.

Keep it Idiot Proof:
1.    Lightly rake bare spots.
2.    Overseed the lawn using extra seed over bare spots
3.    Fertilize with Golf Course Starter or Renovator
4.    Topdress bare spots with weed free PrimeraFC or sphagnum peat. (Never use topsoil or composts containing weed seeds.)

Don't Fall Behind! The biggest enemy of a successful fall lawn program is procrastination. Get off your duff and do it now. Two half days work this fall will save a week's work in the spring. Read Uncle's Playbook and learn the Post Route or what he calls his Idiot Proof Program for Fall Renovation and if all else has failed, try the Hail Mary or his Tips to a Total Lawn Restoration at Grasspad.com

Download Uncle's Tips on Fall Seeding