What Is Dormant Seeding
Dormant seeding is the collective term for overseeding lawns in late fall and winter, when soil temperatures are too cold to allow grass seed to germinate. In the mid-west, the opportunity for dormant seeding is best from mid-November through early March, while soil temperatures remain below 50 degrees.
In The Cooler Areas When Is The Best Time To Water
When it comes to watering your plants in the fall and winter, there are a few things to keep in mind.
During the growth season, the temperature is usually rather hot, but the dormant season is usually fairly chilly. If you reside in one of these places , you may be wondering when the best time is to water your plants.
When the temps are quite cold, you wont need to water your grass at all. Even in locations with substantially less rainfall, there is usually enough water available to sustain the roots, so thats all you actually need during this period.
If you attempt to add additional water, youll only end up with other issues like root rot on your plants.
When watering the soil, you must aim to maintain a balance.
Another key factor to consider is the soils compaction and aeration.
If the soil is very compact and hasnt been aerated in a long time, it would be a good idea to start aerating it now. Water will not be able to reach the roots adequately if this is not done, and this might become a significant issue over time.
These are only a few pointers on how to irrigate and maintain efficient soil lawn care.
The how often should i water new grass seed in hot weather is a question that has been asked many times. The answer to the question is: watering new grass seed at night is not recommended because it can cause the roots to dry out and die.
Spring Seeding Leads To More Crabgrass
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.
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The 5 Tips For Germinating Grass Seed
1. When is the best time of year to germinate grass seed?
The best time to germinate grass seed is between 60-80F. Thats why spring and fall are the best times to germinate grass seed.
2. Is spring or fall better to germinate seed?
It really depends on your lawn needs. For maintaining a nice lawn, fall is recommended. For establishing a damaged or new lawn, spring or fall are both fine. A lawn program must be altered if the seed is applied in the spring. The main changes are:
3. How long does it take to germinate grass seed?
It really depends on the type of seed used. Take a look at the diagram below:
4. How much water does it take to germinate grass seed?
5. When can I mow my new grass?
How To Overseed Or Reseed Your Lawn
There’s a secret behind achieving a beautiful, lush lawn. Landscape professionals know what it is, but many homeowners don’t. Overseedingas part of a comprehensive, proactive plankeeps lawns looking great. Whether you’re tending your first lawn or have years of experience, learning how to overseed your lawn can improve your results.
Overseeding is spreading grass seed over an existing lawn. Done right, it’s a straightforward process that gets results. As grasses mature, thinning is normalespecially if you enjoy your lawn and use it often. Overseeding keeps your lawn competitive and steeped in youth and vigor, without starting over from scratch.
The basics of overseeding are the same everywhere, but goals and timing vary based on geography and the type of grass grown. For success with overseeding your lawn, follow this basic guide:
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Federal Seed Act Guarantees Accurate Labeling
When it comes to selecting seeds, you have an ally the Federal Seed Act. First enacted in 1939 and amended five times since, the Seed Act requires seed sellers to provide consumers with valuable information on the seeds labels.
Under the law, the label must tell you:
- The name of the grass variety .
- Its purity, that is, the weight by percentage of each type of seed.
- Germination percentage. The percentage of the seeds that you can expect to germinate. This is not a number the seed companies can fudge. The federal government expects seed producers to run regular germination tests and keep careful records.
- Weed seed percentage. Look for a seed that has less than 0.5 percent weeds.
How Long Does It Take For Grass Seed To Germinate
Some varieties of turfgrass take longer to germinate than others. For example, perennial rye grass germinates in as little as 3 to 5 days, fescues take more like 10 days, Kentucky bluegrass takes 2 to 3 weeks, and warm-season grasses like centipede, Bermuda, and zoysia grasses can take over a month. If your grass seed is a mixture of varieties, know that not all of them will germinate at the same time. To encourage good germination and a healthy start no matter which type of grass seed you planted, its critical that you keep the seeded area and the young plants well-watered until they are established. See the section below on watering for more info on how and when to water new grass.
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Know Your Grass Growing Region
Your location provides the first clue to your grass type. Just like landscape shrubs and flowers, lawn grasses have climate limits. For your grass to survive winters and summers year after year, it must suit your grass-growing region.
Most common perennial lawn grasses grown in the northern half of the United States are cool-season grasses. They get that name because their peak growth happens during the cool seasons of fall and spring. These common lawn grasses flourish in cool northern climates and die out in hot southern lawns.
Common lawn grasses in the country’s southern half are warm-season grasses, which peak in growth during hot summer months. The cold temperatures found in northern lawns cause these grasses to die over winter.
If your lawn grass survives from year to year, identification starts with cool- or warm-season. In the transition zone, the region where northern and southern grasses hit their limits, your lawn may have cool- or warm-season grasses.
The following are some of the most common cool-season grasses found in U.S. lawns. These characteristics and features can help you identify your grass:
The most shade-tolerant common cool-season lawn grass, fine fescues grow well even in heavy shade. The finely textured grasses are key components in seed mixes designed for yards with dense shade. Fine fescues include creeping, spreading types and types with upright, clumping growth.
Traditional tall fescue:
Consider Dormant Seeding Your Lawn This Fall
Ive received many questions from homeowners recently regarding fall seeding options if theyve missed the optimal seeding window from mid-August to mid-September. If youve missed that window, but you still want to conduct seeding practices this fall, my recommendation is to wait until November to seed. This practice is called dormant seeding and is certainly an effective way to introduce new species and/or varieties of turf into your existing lawn.
If you havent kept up with watering during the fall drought, you are right to expect the worst next spring. In this case a fall dormant seeding might help you to sleep better during the winter months knowing that your lawn has seed ready to start growing next spring.
I have re-posted an article written by retired Extension Turfgrass Educator Bob Mugaas, which was previously published in the University of Minnesota Extension Yard and Garden News publication: This is a great article that applies well to this fall and should be considered. In it, Bob mentions that seed to soil contact is a very important aspect that will ensure a higher success rate from the dormant seeding process. My only caution is that if you have existing grass you want to preserve, consider being less aggressive with the your practices.choose the hand rake versus a power rake if this is a concern to you.
As always, call or email with questions.
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Why Is Tilling Bad For The Soil
Tillage can break up soil structure, speed the decomposition and loss of organic matter, increase the threat of erosion, destroy the habitat of helpful organisms and cause compaction. Each of these potential outcomes negatively impact soil quality. A soils performance is directly related to a soils quality or health.
Time To Overseed Or Reseed Your Lawn
The best time to overseed or reseed your lawn is in the early fall. The soil is still warm from the summer sun, and the days are getting shorter, which means your lawn will have time to establish before winter. However, if you live in a colder climate, you may want to wait until late fall or early winter so that the new seedlings wont suffer from frostbite.
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Seeding In Spring Or Fall A Common Question From Homeowners
One common question I am asked every Spring is, Should I seed my lawn in Spring or Fall? Many homeowners are eager to start thickening up their lawn as soon as they get a glimpse of good weather in early Spring. We sometimes still have a late March snow on the ground when the calls start coming in. My answer to their question is the ever-popular It depends. After explaining the pros and cons to many homeowners over the years, Ive put my recommendation in writing on this page.
After Your Lawn Is Established
Watering Different lawn grass species require different amounts of water as does different soil textures affects the amount of water needed. How hot the climate is and how much rainfall comes all factors in to how much you will have to water your grass to keep it green. Usually it is best to water less frequent but for longer duration so the water penetrates 6-8 inches down to the deep roots. Do not over water but all grass needs water to stay green. Watering in the night is best to minimize evaporation.
Fertilizers To keep your lawn at its best requires a good fertilizer. Again the amount depends on your grass species and other factors. An application after your lawn becomes established is recommended and then 2-3 application per year. A good lawn fertilizer of nitrogen-potassium and phosphorus should be used. Do not over fertilize.
Weed Control Most new lawns will have some weeds in them. Usually from the fact that most soil has weed seed in it. Usually this is no problem. As your lawn establishes and thickens it will crowd most weeds out over time. Also a broadleaf weed killer can be used to speed up the process but wait until your lawn is well established before a herbicide is used to prevent injury to a young lawn. In some cases a pre-emergent weed herbicide may be useful after a lawn is established to control crab grass or other weeds.
Aerating Can also help water and nutrients get to the roots as well as reduce soil compaction and promote new root growth.
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The Grass Seed Also Matters When Overseeding The Lawn
In addition to ensuring that the soil conditions are optimal with a lawn aeration service, you also want to make sure that you are putting down a high-quality grass seed if youre expecting great results. We find that most homeowners arent aware how dramatically grass seed can differ. To get the best results, you need the best seed.The best grass seed for Tennessee is a blend. At Master Lawn, we are seeding with a premium blend that is 80 percent Tall Fescue and 20 percent Ryegrass to provide the best of what each of those grasses has to offer.You also want to make sure that youre overseeding the lawn at the right time. By late summer, most lawns in Memphis TN and Northern MS are struggling due to the intense heat. Lawn aeration is best performed in the fall as the temperatures begin to drop a bit. The soil is still warm but the air temperature is cooler, providing better growing conditions for your new grass.The grass will thrive through winter but really start to perform its best in the spring, growing quickly and steadily.While some people ask about lawn aeration in the spring, the problem with this timing is that it starts to heat up too quickly. Ultimately, the summer sun can fry your brand-new and fragile grass. Thats why we recommend aeration and overseeding a lawn in the fall.
Professional Lawn Care Help
After you overseed your lawn, your grass will be thicker and healthier. If you want to keep it that way, you have to put in the work to maintain it consistently.
Proper lawn maintenance includes cutting the grass every one or two weeks during its growing season. Mowing the lawn on a regular schedule encourages the grass to grow in a dense mat.
Dont have time for all that mowing? Dont sweat it weekly service from LawnStarters local lawn care pros is only a click away.
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Is Watering Grass Seed At Night Bad For Your Lawn
Lawns typically require watering at least twice a week, but some experts say you should only water them once every three weeks to extend their life span. Still unsure if its best for your lawn? Check out this article from the University of Florida and decide on how often to water your grass.
The when to stop watering new grass seed is a question that has been asked many times. The answer is that it is not recommended to water your lawn during the night because it could cause damage.
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Your lawns grass requires a significant amount of care and maintenance.
Most people neglect their lawns, which has a negative impact on the landscaping across the yard.
If you like spending time in the garden or yard, you should ensure that the grass is well irrigated. However, if you believe you can water the grass whenever you want, you are mistaken.
Watering properly is critical for maintaining a clean and green environment, and it is essential that you stick to a timetable.
If you dont water your grass on a regular basis, it wont be long until it shrivels and dies.
Similarly, if you water the grass too much, it will get oversaturated and eventually die.
Most people dont think about it, but when it comes to watering, the time is quite essential.
Create A Healthy Lawn By Starting Over
Lets get this straight right from the get-go: A healthy lawn doesnt get taken over by weeds. So if it looks like youre raising weeds instead of grass, thats a sign of a more serious problem. And that may mean killing off the grass and starting over. Its a big reseeding lawn project thatll take several weekends and may cost you up to 25¢ per sq. ft. for equipment rentals, soil conditioners and seed. If youre willing to spend more, you can lay sodinstead of planting seed, but dont skip the soil testing and remediation steps. Heres how to balance your soils pH level properly.
Are you ready for a fresh start? Just follow our guide for how to plant grass seed on an existing lawn and youll be the happiest gnomeowner on your block.
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The Dormant Seeding Process
Dormant seeding involves putting down seed while the ground is not frozen, yet cold enough so germination of the grass seed will not occur until next spring when the soils begin to warm. In fact, seeds that do germinate late in the season often do not survive the winter because the very young, immature seedlings have a difficult time surviving those harsh conditions. Other than the time of year of dormant seeding, the actual process of preparing the area to be seeded is virtually identical to establishing grass from seed at other times of the year.
What Happens If You Dont Rake In Grass Seed
If you do not rake the area or cover it thickly with soil, the grass seeds fail to grow from erosion issues and suffocation, respectively. You should be able to see some seeds poking out of the soil with a proper raking. In addition, your watering regimen should not erode the seeds from the area if they are raked in.
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