The most misunderstood factor in successfully seeding a new or existing lawn is proper timing. Poorly timed seeding can impede seed germination, allow weeds to outcompete the seed for space, and prove to be a bad investment. So when is the best time to apply seed to your lawn then?
Read more on lawn seeding here: https://greenteamct.com/2019/04/29/how-long-does-it-take-for-grass-seed-to-grow?/
Surprise! It’s NOT Spring.
Despite what your instincts might tell you when looking at your dead lawn after Winter’s destruction, Spring seeding usually yields very poor results. The reasons for this have to do with competition, soil temperatures and soil conditions.
Competition: Yes it’s true, Spring is considered the “growing” season. The fact is however that this also reigns true for all plants, especially for invasive weeds. New grass seed does not have the vigor to outcompete weed growth when planted in Spring. By the time it reaches maximum strength in Summer, viral weeds like Crabgrass, are already too established to be choked out by new grass growth.
That’s why Spring is considered the season for Pre-emergent application. Focusing on the prevention of weed seed germination in the early season will yield a better seeding environment.
Soil Temperatures: Soil in Spring is still going through a warming process after being frozen most of the winter. The air temperatures may reach germination threshold levels, but subterranean levels of your turf require extra time to reach temperatures ripe for seed germination. Ground temperatures should reach 68°F before attempting any seeding operations.
Soil Conditions: Soil conditions after winter are less than ideal for seeding your lawn. Road salt from plowing can cause a nutrient imbalance that will need to be remedied over time. Thatch build-up from debris and dead organic matter will create a barrier from sunlight and water. Lastly, compaction from snow cover will cause a tight soil structure that will favor weed seed germination over desirable varieties.
Read more on Spring lawn care tips here: https://greenteamct.com/2019/02/22/spring-gardening-tips-its-never-too-early-to-make-plans/
F-A-L-L Spells Seeding!
Well maybe our spelling is a little off, but Fall has plenty to offer when it comes to overseeding, repairing, or establishing a new lawn with seed. As discussed for Spring; it is all about competition, temperatures and soil conditions.
Competition: In this prime scenario we have spent Spring preventing weed germination with ore-emergents, maintaining escapes all summer with post-emergent, and maintained a healthy turf with proper mowing and watering. This should have promoted a low competition environment for new grass seed to flourish.
Soil Temperatures: Although the soil is essentially too hot to safely apply seed in mid-summer; Fall is the time when the ground is slowly beginning to cool just enough for seeding operations. If timed correctly, soil temperatures will remain sufficient for 2-3 months to allow for the complete establishment of seed.
Soil Conditioning: If taken care of properly, thatch and road salt should not be an issue this time of the year. pH levels can still be adjusted with lime or sulfur application, even during seeding. Compaction, however, has probably seen little improvement as Summer dries out soil and increases compaction factors. That is why you will see many homeowners performing aeration at this time. A perfect combination for seeding your lawn in Fall is lime/sulfur, seed, aeration.
Read more on Fall lawn care tips here: https://greenteamct.com/2019/10/13/when-should-I-clean-my-leaves-in-Fall?/
I hope this has shed some light on when is the best time to seed your lawn. Please feel free to visit our Blog for more posts on lawn care & maintenance topics like this. Also, if you have questions or need help with any lawn projects in Connecticut, Click Here to contact us anytime.
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