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Spring Overseeding

Renovating Spring Lawns

In early spring, Thin areas aphotos/CrabGrass.4.jpgnd bare spots show up quickly as the rest of the lawn begins to turn green.  Winter injury to newly seeded areas is apparent.  Dead crabgrass and foxtail form brown patches and bare spots in the otherwise green turf.  Heavily shaded areas look particularly forlorn and muddy. New construction around patios and driveways, as well as larger open areas are barren and in danger of erosion.  All these areas need prompt attention if they are to be seeded and well-established before hot summer weather arrives.

The good news is that Mother Nature wants to give you some help in greening up your lan and filling in those unsightly bare spots.  Grass plants have a biological clock and will beging to sprout and fill as the weather warms.  The bad news is that common lawn weeds will also begin almost as fast.  The secret to a successful spring seeding project on your lawn is to start early and get the good turf grasses to fill the bare spots before the weeds do.

Can I seed now?  The question is always the same.  The answer is almost always: YES.  Although fall is considered the best time to plant, 70 percent of all grass seed sold in the United States is sold for spring seeding.  Today’s lawn problem needs attention today. photos/speed_zone_62x141.gif Waiting for August is simply not acceptable.

Broadleaf Weed Control.  Weed control problems can raise the frustration level associated with spring seeding.  But patience and timing will help guaranteed success.  First, you must distinguish between broadleaf type weeds and annual grass weeds.  Broadleaf weeds are the leafy flower type weeds like dandelions and clover that are common in April and May.

If they are a serious problem, broadleafs should be treated once before starting to seed.  Weed control products containing Trimec do an excellent job in cool weather.  Readily available products include liquid Trimec, Speed Zone, or granular Loveland Weed and Feed.  A single application will not kill all your broadleaf weeds, but it will slow them down enough to begin seeding. 

Wait five days after weed treatment, water the lawn once and then begin your seeding program.  Although some seed may be lost by seeding so quickly, the greater risk is summer’s approaching hot weather.

  • Step 1- Mow the lawn to a height of 1 ½” to 2”.
  • Step 2- Rake or sweep the lawn to remove heavy clippings or other debris.  Rough the surface of the soil giving special attention to bare spots.
  • Step 3- Apply Golf Course Starter™ or Loveland Renovator™ fertilizer
  • Step 4- Spread the seed with a rotary or hand cranked “whirlwind” spreader.  Special attention should be given to spots where the ground is bare.  Extra seed should be applied by hand to these spots.
  • Step 5- On bare spots; apply a light mulch of sphagnum peat or PrimeraFC grass dressing.  Topsoil and black peats contain weed seeds and should not be used.
  • Step 6- Water the seedbed lightly so the soil surface is moist. Continue watering lightly so the soil does not become hard or baked.
  • Step 7- When the seedlings reach a height of 2-3 inches, mow to a height of 3 inches with a sharp mower at a time when the grass is now wet.
  • Step 8- Mid-April: Apply Tupersan or Siduron based crabgrass pre emergent safe for new seeding
  • Step 9- Late May: Apply full strength PREVENT! crabgrass control to all areas that have been mowed at least twic

 

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