Excessive heat and drought will sometimes damage a lawn beyond what can easily be remedied by a traditional fertilization program. In these cases, we suggest that overseeding your lawn as an effective tactic for getting your lawn back into shape. However, seeding a lawn in spring brings with it a host of complications due to increasing heat and weather stress in the summer months to come, and much higher weed pressure than we see in the fall. Therefore, unless absolutely needed, we suggest waiting until fall to seed your lawn. The best time to seed in our area is mid September.
There are several keys to effective seeding, and by paying attention to these three things you will increase your results dramatically.
In order for grass seed to germinate it must be in contact with the soil. Many damaged lawns have a heavy layer of thatch, which will keep your seed from reaching the soil. It is strongly suggested that you make use of some mechanical means to expose and break up the soil in your lawn. This could be as simple (but tiring) as taking a stiff rake to certain areas, or you can choose to rent a core aerator, which will break up soil compaction, expose your soil and generally provide a more hospitable condition for germination. You can also have us to do the aeration in the fall. Just click on the SIGN UP NOW! Tab.
It is always very tempting to buy cheap seed, but it is not a good idea. All commercially available seed is labeled to let buyers know the proportion of each grass seed variety – but the labels are also required to disclose the percentage of “crop”, “weed” or “other” seed in the bag. If you compare more and less expensive seed blends, you’ll notice that you pay more for something you’re NOT getting – namely weeds! If you’re trying to re-establish a damaged lawn, use good seed with little to no weed seeds.
After Seeding Care
Now that your lawn has been seeded, you may be wondering what you can do to help the new grass along. The first step is to provide water, and plenty of it! With new seed, you should use light, frequent watering (at least once a day). You should water enough to keepthe top 1″ to 2″ of soil continuously moist. if seedbeds are allowed to dry out, germination can be reduced considerably.
Keep up the frequent watering even after you see the first grass. if your seed mixture contained several kinds of grasses, you may be seeing the first kind. The other grasses will continue to germinate for three to four more weeks. Plus, young grass seedlings without many roots still need your help with water.
Other than watering, here are some important points to keep in mind:
- Weed controls should be avoided until the lawn has been mowed three to five times.
- Mowing at normal height (removing no more than 1/3 of the grass blade at a time) will help the new grass to fill in.
- Regular fertilization with a balanced starter fertilizer is a great way to give young grass plants an extra boost.
Enjoy your new turf, and if you have any questions about caring for your newly seeded lawn, please give us a call.