It’s autumn – the best time of year for pumpkin pie, playoff baseball… and re-seeding your lawn. There’s no arguing that this is the optimum time to get your green space gorgeous again but without the right info, fall seeding can be a real pain in the grass. The following lawn care tips are guaranteed to make this chore much easier and your yard much, much greener come springtime…
Finding the right seed blend is key to growing killer turf. Some species perform better in the sun and others in the shade. Most manufacturers label their products like weather forecasts to make your life a little easier: Sun Mixture, Sun/Shade Mixture, Shade Mixture… and most of these are actually a mixture of several species to give them a better chance of succeeding in multiple growing conditions.
In the fall, soil and air temperatures are relatively warm while precipitation increases. Your optimum seeding window can start as early as mid-August and run until October, providing you don’t get hit by an early cold-snap but the earlier the better. The new seeds need as much time as possible to germinate and fully establish before things get frosty. If you get going too late into the fall, the poor little guys likely won’t make it through the winter.
Miss your window? Don’t lose sleep over it! Fall Dormant Seeding works when you beat the frost but the soil and air temperature are still too cold for pre-winter germination. Seeding in November? Just tell your smug neighbour it was the plan all along. Be sure to cover the seeds with mulch or a thin layer of soil and with any luck, you’ll have a golf course growing in your yard by springtime.
If it Dries, it Dies
Water is required for germination, so following a light but regular watering schedule is essential to the success of your lawn. Don’t overdo it, though! Heavy watering runs the risk of washing the seeds away… and right into your smug neighbour’s yard.
The speed of seed germination is determined by several factors: weather’s a big one but the species of seed is the most influential. Each species germinates at a different rate so assuming the weather doesn’t throw you a curveball, you’re looking at germination anywhere between four days and three weeks. Case in point:
Establishment & Aftercare
Depending on species, grass can take anywhere from weeks to months to establish new seedlings. As they mature, seedlings grow root systems that protect them from the rigors of the environment. That’s why aftercare is so important – things like mowing frequency and blade height can even make a difference. Give it four to six weeks after full generation before firing up the ride-on. And watch your watering, too! A deep and infrequent schedule is completely acceptable once you’re certain that the seeds aren’t stressed.
Doing some cosmetic touch-ups? Small problem spots can be remedied with spotseeding. Grab a handful of seeds, sprinkle as required and presto! You’ll get the best results by lightly raking away the dead grass from the problematic area before seeding. Dealing with bare soil? Lightly score the surface enough to break the surface and throw a light layer of high-quality soil on top of the seeds for good measure.
Dealing with a thin, weak lawn? Broadcast overseeding might be the answer. This involves introducing new seeds to an existing lawn with the objective of thickening up the problematic areas. It’s a pretty common practice that requires a manual push-spreader similar to the kind used for fertilizing. It’s an excellent tool for precision seeding around flowerbeds, garden plots and sun-tanning spouses.
A more aggressive option, slitseeding is performed with a specialized machine that slices vertical rows into the soil then deposits seeds directly into them. We’re talking optimum germination and maximized establishment. It’s a much longer process than laying sod but it’s effective – and hey… the price is right.
Looking for extra tips and guidance? Contact us today!