While the best time to seed your lawn is most certainly late Summer or early Fall, there are those of us who don’t necessarily have the foresight to fit this into our hectic schedules. Spring seeding isn’t ideal, but perhaps there is just enough winter damage or poor turf density from last Summers lawn enemies (grubs, moles, drought, etc.) that you just have to do it (side note; these suggestions apply to cool-season grasses, while warm-season grasses are best planted in late Spring).
To set yourself up for the best chance at success, you’ll want to seed as early in the season as possible to increase the odds of your turf grass growing ahead of any crabgrass you might have. Early April is your best bet to get this started.
Additionally, try to keep in mind that a beautiful & lush lawn is a well cared for lawn. There is no “set it and forget it” when it comes to lawn care. Just like a vegetable garden needs regular care and attention, so does grass.
Spring Seeding Care; a hands on approach
- Create as much seed to soil contact as possible by prepping your soil & irrigating regularly (as soon as your soil temperatures get above 55 degrees). Germination likelihood increases as soil temps rise, so you’ll want to continue the irrigation until root systems develop and then taper off frequency. You’ll still want to water, but with a goal of duration as opposed to frequency. Continue this throughout the summer until sufficient root systems have developed.
- Top-Dress your newly planted seed with a very thin layer of peat moss or other organic matter to help regulate temperature and prevent seed run-off during watering.
- Mow the new lawn when your mower can get a “bite”, set about 2″ high. This is where a well sharpened blade is your key to success. Be sure to rake away any grass clumps or clippings. Cut any broadleaf weeds at this point as well to the same 2″ height. Doing so will allow for continued sun & air exposure, very important for newly rooted grass. Be sure to mow regularly!
- Weed control is going to be important, as competing spring-germinating weeds will outgrow and stunt any desirable turf grass, possibly even killing it. The rule of thumb is to either seed and wait 6-8 weeks (or 3 cuttings) before applying a weed and feed product or apply a weed and feed product on an existing lawn and wait 6-8 weeks to seed.
As mentioned previously, look at your lawn as a long term project in need of TLC. In addition to the steps above, regular applications of products like our dryRoots Fertilizer for Grass, irrigation with our diverse selection of Watering Supplies and summer strategies for Pest & Weed control will set your lawn up for success for seasons to come.
Do you have any tried & true methods for achieving that perfect lawn? Tell us about it!