Lawn aeration, De-thatching and seeding: This month is prime time to seed your yard for a new lawn or fill in sparse areas in your current lawn. Lawn Seeding: Whether you are putting in a new lawn from scratch or repairing damaged areas in an established lawn, seeding success is just a matter of following four basic steps:
- Select quality seed.
- Prepare the seedbed or aerate.
- Sow the seed properly
- Keep it moist.
When to Seed:The best times for planting grass are early fall (late August through early October) and spring (late March through late April).
Early fall lawn seeding is best because the soil is still warm (faster germination), watering will not be as much of a problem, there are fewer weed problems, and the cool season grasses in the mix will have a better chance of getting established.
Lawn renovation, as a lawn technique, can be done in several ways: you can use a sod cutter to remove the damaged sod; you can remove the thatch and proceed with lawn seeding; aerate the lawn or you can try slice seeding, which is often the best solution because it cuts through the thatch layer and pushes the seed into the soil. Lawn seeding success is largely dependent on the weather and fall is generally the best time to do it.
A great lawn can only be grown from great grass seeds. The term “percentage of germination” means the percentage of seeds which are capable of producing normal seedlings under favorable conditions. The term “percentage of hard seed” means the percentage of seeds which are incapable of sprouting promptly because their outer structures are impermeable to water.
Double spreading provides for a more uniform broadcasting of your seeds and also insures that you get complete coverage of your lawn area. You don’t want to drown the seeds, nor do you want to wash them away.
Water seeds thoroughly with a fine mist. If you stop watering seeds that have just begun to germinate and establish themselves, you can really damage your new lawn. The water pressure should be low, because high-pressure watering will wash the seeds away. To ensure that the seeds will grow a healthy layer of grass, keep the lawn moist until the new grass grows to a height of a few inches. People have a hard time with this concept so it must be stressed: IF THE AREA SEEDED DRIES OUT COMPLETELY, THE SEEDS (sprouted or not) will DIE. Larger areas should have straw mulch applied to help hold the soil moisture for the seeds to germinate.
When putting down lawn food and grass seed the same day, always put down the fertilizer first so you’re not walking over the grass seed any more than you have to. Do not mix seed and fertilizer together in the same hopper. If you have a soil test, The test results will indicate the fertilizer analysis needed and at what rate. Choose a fertilizer with the proper ratio of each of the nutrients to correspond to the soil test results. A 50-pound bag of 25-5-11 fertilizer contains 12.5 pounds of actual nitrogen (50 lb x 25 percent nitrogen = 12.5 lb), 2.5 pounds of actual phosphorus (50 lb x 5 percent phosphorus = 2.5 lb), and 5.5 pounds of actual potassium (50 lb x 11 percent potassium = 5.5 lb). The amount of fertilizer product to apply is based on the percentage of nitrogen, the first number in the analysis. A fertilizer with N (nitrogen), P (phosphorus) and K (potassium) analysis ratios of 3-1-2 or 4-1-2 are acceptable for use on any lawn. Examples on the fertilizer bag that fit these ratios are 12-4-8, 25-5-11, 16-4-8 and 20-5-10. Apply 1 lb. nitrogen per 1000 sq.ft. A 25% nitrogen fertilizer would be applied a the rate of 4 lbs. per 1000 sq.ft.