Archive for February, 2013

Spring Seeding

Grass seed can be applied to a lawn during any time of the year.  Cool season grasses are best planed in the fall, although the second best time to seed cool season grass is in the spring.  Fall is when cool season grasses naturally germinate due to the ideal growing conditions.  Moisture and soil temperature are two of the main factors for natural germination.  Many times after seed has been applied in the fall, some seedlings do not make it due to traffic, leaves falling, and varying weather conditions.  


Spring seeding coupled with lawn aeration can have an excellent affect on the fullness and thickness of your lawn.  It allows the soil to absorb additional oxygen which helps moderate moisture levels in the soil.  If there are areas in a lawn that have more compacted soil than in other areas of the lawn, then the compacted areas will not absorb moisture as well as the areas of the lawn that have more oxygen in the soil.  By a lawn having consistent soil pack allows moisture to absorb more evenly resulting in a uniform thick green look.  Apply seed after the aeration process is complete to fill in weak spots and holes, because that is why we are doing this to begin with, and water.  Soon your lawn will become increasingly thicker.


There are a few issues in spring seeding that can be overcome with time and care.  The first issue is soil temperature.  Ideal soil temperature is above 65 degrees and below 80 degrees.  It takes time for the soil to thaw from the winter freeze, and just because the air temperature is ideal does not necessarily mean the soil temperature has become ideal.  You can seed before the soil temperature reaches an ideal germination point.  It will simply take longer to see seedlings.  This is not something that will dramatically affect the long term outcome of your lawn.  Although it does increase the chances of seed to travel off site due to traffic or wind.  


Another issue with spring seeding is the air temperature.  In the spring, especially in the Midwest, weather can vary dramatically from 70’s one day to snow the next.  This means seed can begin to germinate then receive a flash freeze.  The grass can withstand these changes, although the baby grass is more susceptible to weather change.  Additionally, there is the other side of the air temperature issue, summer heat.  It is important to establish the new grass before the summer heat begins to put cool season grasses into summer dormancy.  It is very difficult to grow grass while it is naturally dormant.  If the seedlings have not matured, then they will probably not make it through the summer.  With a proper water schedule. and timing of seed these obstetrical can easily be over come.


Seeding cool season lawns is generally best done during the fall.  Although sometimes there are wholes or weak spots from fall seeding, so spring seeding is important and should not be over looked.  It is generally not best to do large renovations on your lawn in the spring, although that does not mean it can not be accomplished.  The spring is the second best time to seed your lawn.  The temperature reaches an ideal window for germination and there is plenty of water falling from the sky.  Of course fertilizer is important to promote growth and discourage weeds.  Having a quality lawn care professional to assist you can improve the success of your lawn dramatically.  Even if you are a do-it-yourself-er, you can ask questions and find out the processes and products the professionals use, and you can do it yourself.  Contact SK Lawn Care in the Kansas City area, and we would be happy to assist you in improving your lawn.