6 min read
There are a lot of great reasons to seed a lawn. Whether repairing spots thinned out from summer stresses, or as a part of a proactive measure to regularly introduce improved grass species for a thicker and more resilient lawn, seeding remains a valuable lawn care task.
However, seeding is one of those lawn care practices that homeowners often mistakenly assume can be done any time of year. But the fact of the matter is, there is definitely a best time to seed your lawn.
Spring is one of those common times when you might be thinking about seeding. It’s possible that you’ve noticed some thin spots and are anxious to do something about it.
Seed companies also start pushing their product on radio and television ads or in big box stores, taking advantage of the fact that they know you’re going to be spending more time outside. And, as we make the welcome transition from winter to spring, you may be feeling motivated to get the lawn into shape.
Unfortunately this big push for marketing seed at the wrong time of year is setting you up for false expectations that the product is going to do well.
The truth is that the practice of seeding your lawn in the spring can lead to a host of problems and it simply isn’t worth it. If you’ve been thinking about spring aeration and overseeding, these are some important points to first consider.
Grass needs ample moisture and a soil temperature above 50 degrees Fahrenheit in order to grow, which makes it appear as though spring is the perfect time to plant grass seed.
While your new grass may spround and even look great for a short amount of time, it won't last. The seemingly preferable conditions of early spring quickly give way to the less conducive late spring and summer seasons, which can ultimately lead to the failure of your grass seed to grow, and open the door for other serious concerns.
There are two key reasons why seeding the lawn in spring is setting yourself up for disappointment.
The main reason why seeding in the spring is a mistake is because the crabgrass control product being put down at this time of year will not know the difference between a desired turfgrass seed and a crabgrass seed, and will ultimately prevent both from growing.
Though you might think about just forgoing a crabgrass treatment, that can be a big mistake. Skipping crabgrass control can become a potentially serious concern because of how quickly the pesky weeds can spread. Crabgrass also grows most freely in the thinner areas of your lawn, such as the ones you may have seeded, which makes seeding a bad idea.
While the springtime weather might seem ideal, the hot, dry season is just around the corner, sometimes beginning as early as late April in our region. The summer is the most difficult time for turfgrass and it takes a hearty and healthy lawn to survive and thrive through the heat.
Although your new seedlings will germinate, their tiny root systems simply won’t be able to survive the hot, dry climate. It takes about 9 to 10 months of ideal conditions for new grass to develop a substantial root system.
Mature lawns can survive drought more often because those fibrous and mature roots can go as much as 6 to 12 inches deep if the soil profile is ideal. Those established roots can access moisture resources that a tiny 3-month old seedling cannot. You’ll likely find you have to seed all over again when the time is right.
Fall is truly the best time to seed your lawn. This is typically anytime between late August through the end of October, though the exact timing it is dependent on weather. By waiting for the fall, you provide more than enough time for grass plants to mature, so that crabgrass control can be applied to your lawn the following spring.
Weather conditions in the fall are also the best of the year for creating the optimal, long-term environment you need for new seeds to germinate and continue to grow. The weather is cool, the ground is plenty moist, and the soil is still warm. Your lawn will develop a healthy root system that will allow it to become established in plenty of time before the summer stress sets in.
Holding off to seed until the fall may leave a few areas a bit thin in the spring, but it will allow your lawn care professional to better control weeds and focus on building the health and appearance of the rest of the turf by focusing on soil health.
With the rest of your lawn improved, all that will be left to address come fall will be the thin spots. With good, healthy soil, it should be no problem for your seeds to germinate and thrive.
Don’t delay and wait until the fall to set up your seeding and aeration. Schedule it earlier in the year and you’ll be all set by the time seeding season rolls around.
While there are certainly companies that will perform spring grass seeding in Ohio or Northern Kentucky, there is good reason why Oasis Turf & Tree will not perform these services at that time of year. We know that the spring does not provide optimal growing conditions and that new grass will have a tough chance at survival.
At the end of the day, our objective is to do what’s best for the customer, even if that means forgoing potential revenue we could earn that spring. In a perfect world, we would love to see all of our customers hold off on seeding until the fall. This is what is truly best for the success of your lawn.
If you have more questions about grass seeding, give us a call at 513-697-9090 or let us provide you with a free estimate.
Image Sources: crabgrass
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