Spring Grass Seeding May Fill In Bare Areas – Return to Lawn Agent Articles Spring is typically not the best time to overseed a cool season bluegrass or fescue lawn due to the shorter establishment period before summer and the increased weed problems.
Spring could be a viable option, however, if executed correctly and maintained with care. Mid-March through early April is the optimal time to attempt spring grass seeding. Similar to fall planting, the soil must be prepared before planting. The suggested method is vertical slicing. A verticut is a soil-slicing tool that creates the necessary seed-to-soil contact for germination.
Typically, simply scattering the seed on the ground results in a poor stand and a waste of time and resources. A garden rake can be used to scuff up very small areas. After preparing the soil, seed can be broadcast. The fun of overseeding then begins, as the soil must be kept moist during germination and early establishment.
This necessitates light, frequent water applications based on weather conditions. The good news is that spring temperatures are cooler and more cloudy, and rainy days are likely to reduce the watering needs that are typically observed during September’s hot days. Spring grass seeding germination times The length of time it will take for grass seed to germinate will depend on the temperature.
Expect emergence to take at least two to three weeks, if not longer. Once the seed has germinated, reduce watering frequency to as needed. That is, water the seedling grass when it exhibits signs of stress, such as wilting or a bluish hue. Care following the germination of spring grass seed Spring-seeded turf has a very limited root system.
- My recommendation is to not attempt spring seeding unless you are committed to summer watering.
- Without regular summer applications, the spring grass is likely to die during the dog days of summer, leaving you back at square one and out of pocket.
- Additionally, spring-seeded grass will need a bit more fertilizer to sprout and grow.
At the time of sowing, apply a starter fertilizer. Four weeks after germination, apply a second application of fertilizer with a high nitrogen content, such as 30-0-0, and, if possible, find a formulation with a percentage of slow release nutrients. This helps to spread out the feeding and reduces summer stress by limiting the nitrogen application.
Historically, excessive crabgrass germination has been one of the problems associated with spring grass seed germination. This pesky weed thrives in areas with insufficient turf coverage and disturbed soil. Thankfully, newer crabgrass control products can assist us in overcoming this issue. The active ingredient Dithiopyr is recommended for spring seeding because it can be applied later in the season and still provide effective control.
This product is effective both as a pre-emergent and on crabgrass seedlings that have already germinated. In the majority of seasons, it can be applied between the beginning and middle of May and still provide excellent season-long control. In fact, some product labels indicate that it can be applied as early as two weeks after germination, or when the new grass is two inches tall.
May I sow grass seed in March?
– March is too soon to plant the majority of grass seeds. This time of year, temperatures will be too low unless you live in a warm region. Plant grass only when the average daily temperature is around 80 degrees Fahrenheit.