How to Grow Fairway Grass in My Backyard
Fairway grass is golf course grass. Specifically, it is the section of the golf course between a tee and the green, where the grass is mowed short. Bermudagrass is one species that is widely used as ground cover on golf courses. The warm-season African native is resilient and recovers well from high traffic. It requires full sun and winter temperatures above 10 F. The “U-3” bermudagrass variety is used for golf courses and homes. It grows from seed -- an inexpensive way of starting a new lawn.
Remove weeds, rocks and all debris from the site of the new lawn. Plan to seed the plot sometime between March and August if you are planting bermudagrass.
Gather soil samples from different areas where you intend to broadcast the seeds. Get about 2 cups of dirt. Mix it all in a plastic bag. Submit the sample to your local county extension office for testing. The lab results tell you which nutrients and how much of each you should add to the ground.
Incorporate the recommended fertilizers 4 inches deep into the soil with a shovel. In addition, create adequate drainage by blending 2 inches of compost into the planting bed. Rent a rototiller to amend a large area. Rake the surface to smooth it out. Run a lawn roller over it to remove air pockets.
Add half of your grass seeds into a spreader. You need 1 to 2 lbs. of bermudagrass seeds per 1,000 square feet. Broadcast the first half north to south. Pour the rest of the seeds in the hopper. Sow them east to west, walking with a perpendicular slant to cover all spots that are still bare with seeds.
Irrigate the newly seeded grass two or three times daily for a few minutes to keep the seeds moist. After germination, begin to let the water run longer as the seedlings develop. That encourages the roots to gain length as they go for the moisture stored deep. The established lawn needs 1 inch of water every time the blades begin to wilt.
Mow bermudagrass to maintain the blades at a height of three-fourths to 1 1/2 inches. Spread the grass clippings over the lawn with a rake. They add nitrogen to the soil. A local nursery and your county extension office can make height recommendations for other fairway grasses.
Feed bermudagrass after it greens up in spring and once monthly through the growing season. Generally, apply 1 lbs. of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet. Water the lawn to release the product into the soil. For your lawn's specific nutrient requirements, submit soil samples to the county extension office for testing every other year. Talk to your county extension office or the staff at a nursery about the feeding requirements of other types of fairway grasses.
Emma Watkins writes on finance, fitness and gardening. Her articles and essays have appeared in "Writer's Digest," "The Writer," "From House to Home," "Big Apple Parent" and other online and print venues. Watkins holds a Master of Arts in psychology.