With a winter season that had a late arrival and an early exit (from a snow standpoint) -- you've been looking at your turf longer than usual & may be scratching your head. The condition your lawn is in may be leaving you with more questions and we're here to answer those for you! Seeding is always a part of mother nature's timeline, but we're here to provide you insight on how to reach your lawn's full potential!
fun facts about seeding
The type of environment, conditions & techniques that impact your seeding
- In 90% of turf areas right now, soil temperatures aren't even close to seed germination points
- Southern sides of buildings might have enough warm soil -- with full sun exposure and the building reflects/radiates a little heat for the soil as well.
- Sod is grown from seed & it takes two years of growth and maturity before it is harvested out of a field with full sun, ideal nutrients, great soil conditions, and perfectly timed watering.
- Seed takes at least two full seasons to fully establish and even then with most properties there are some areas that need some extra help or overseeding to become what sod would be.
- It takes Ryegrass 3-4 days, Fescues 10-14 days, Bluegrasses 21+ days with ideal conditions for seeds to beak their shells & start the germination process
- 3 full weeks of watering, before the turfgrass you really want to have germinated and mature (Bluegrass) even can be seen coming through the soil!!!
- Don't quit watering around that time because “the grass wasn’t coming in”. New seeding is a nutrient and watering COMMITMENT!!
- Seedbeds must be kept moist all day long once soils reach the proper temperature
- Short syringes of water multiple times during the day are best
- DO NOT allow the seedbed to dry out during the day
- Once a seed has cracked the shell – if it dries out, it will die & that plant is gone!
- We seed with top quality tested and certified seed at rates that take some loss into consideration – not enough for neglected seedbeds though.
- Start the next cycle of watering BEFORE the place you first began the previous watering cycle dries out.
- Watering by hand in the morning and evening doesn’t typically keep a seedbed moist all day long – it dries out mid-day.
- Golf courses have a thicker and lusher turf where there is full sun, the shaded areas usually have a thinner turf.
how to help your Seeding & what you should know
There are many practices & techniques to ensure your seeding reaches its full potential
- A properly designed, installed, and programmed Lawn Sprinkler System – this is your lawn’s insurance policy for a lifetime and critical for the establishment!
- Some shade & heavier soils are good (too much of either isn’t great for quality turf though)
- Straw, erosion matting, hydro-mulch all help hold moisture
- Fertilizer applications – It’s an old myth that you don’t fertilize new seeding, use the CORRECT fertilizer though.
- Check the PH level – turf does not like a PH below 6.5 and at 6.8. Stay ahead of acidic soils with a lime application to have great turf.
- Weeds are a fact of life with seedbeds – the goal is to germinate seeds, but weed seeds are part of the soil and will germinate along with desirable turfgrass seeds.
- Nurture the seedbed – weeds can be dealt with down the road, germinate and grow as much as possible.
- PROPERLY SUITED broadleaf weed control in the liquid form can be applied in the PROPER manner after about the third mowing.
- Mow as you normally would – cutting the turf get too tall then cutting too much of the leaf blade will put the turf into stress.
- Stop watering TEMPORARILY the day you mow so the mower and your footprints don’t sink into or disturb the moist seedbed soil.
- Sharpen your mower blades – dull blades damage turf and can pull out shallow-rooted, new seedlings.