Q: I have some bare areas in my yard that I want to get grass to grow in. Is it too late now that we are into summer?
A: It may be too late to get the grass in your bare areas to mature fully before the end of the season, depending on what type of grass seed you sow, but this doesn't mean you shouldn't even try. Try to purchase seed that has a mixture of several grass types, such as fescue, perennial ryegrass and Kentucky bluegrass.
Perennial ryegrass usually germinates in 7 to 14 days, and matures in 2 to 4 months. It can be used to fill in some areas quickly, even throughout summer if you tend to it carefully. When included in a seed mixture, it acts as a quick "pick-me-up" while the slower-to-germinate-and-mature grasses start on their trek.
The fescues typically germinate in 1 to 2 weeks, and take 4 to 6 months to mature. Kentucky bluegrass usually germinates in 14 to 21 days, and takes 6 to 9 months to mature. Once sown, be sure to keep the soil temperature cool through regular watering (seedlings required cool soil temps to develop a good root system).
Limit foot traffic (and any other kind of traffic, for that matter) for at least a few weeks after germination. The only foot traffic that should occur then is to mow the lawn after the new grass blades are a few inches high. Any sooner, and your mower may "pull" the seedlings out by the roots, negating what work you've done to that point.
Starting this late in the year may not get you a nice thick lawn by summer's end, but it'll get you off to a good start for next year. A good fall fertilization of your new lawn this year will encourage root growth, and next spring you should see the results.