When planting grass seed it is not enough to properly prepare the soil, fertilize, choose a premium site specific grass seed, cover large seedbed areas to protect/retain moisture and routinely water. In addition to each of the critical steps mentioned above, grass seed must be planted when soil temperatures are expected to reach/remain at 50 degrees or above to successfully germinate.
Ideally, grass seed should be planted in late summer/early fall (late August thru September) for best results. Late summer/early fall is a great time of the year for planting grass seed (non-shade areas in particular) due to cooler air temperatures, lawns are coming out of dormancy, soil temperatures remain warm and there is very little chance of frost or prolonged freezing temperatures. In addition, rainfall becomes more routine and we experience less weed seed proliferation/competition for open exposed soil areas at this time.
Spring grass seed planting (late March through mid-May) is great for shade tree covered lawn areas (below large and dense deciduous trees in particular). It is only at this time of the year that you can really enhance the seed germination/root development process by taking advantage of additional sun exposure that happens to make it’s way through the early spring leafless tree canopies above.
Regardless of the season you decide to plant grass seed, you will need at least 4 hours of sunlight per day, soil temperature of at least 50 degrees and routine irrigation to successfully grow turfgrass from seed.
Please be sure to contact Pacocha Landscaping Services, Inc. for all of your grass seed planting and lawn care related needs. Thank you for visiting and have a great day!
If you are looking for a lawn that can tolerate extreme heat, drought and even heavy foot traffic, than turf-type tall fescue is for you! Tall fescue is a cool-season grass that loves sunny or even partially shaded areas. Tall fescue is commonly mixed with other turf grass varieties when planting a durable high-traffic lawn. Tall fescue grows in dense patches, is deeply rooted, dark green in color and is commonly viewed as a weed grass to many discerning residential turf management professionals. In comparison to desirable blue grass and rye grass, tall fescue has very wide leaf blades and is very coarse in it’s overall appearance (especially older tall fescue varieties). Older tall fescue varieties can be routinely found in mature residential lawns, along roadsides and parks.
Quackgrass is a perennial grassy weed that is very difficult to eradicate from a lawn. This persistent grassy weed can take over your lawn or invade open soil spaces rather quickly if left alone. Quackgrass grows from seed and underground rhizomes (roots) that lie dormant overwinter but quickly revive each and every spring. In the spring time (in particular) this problem weed grass usually grows faster and taller than other surrounding grass plants. The reason this weed is so difficult to control is due to its resistance to selective herbicides that are routinely used in seasonal lawn care programs. Even though we can quickly eliminate other unwanted grassy and grass-like weeds in lawns like crabgrass, barnyardgrass, foxtail, nutsedge, etc….. just not quackgrass – It lives on! The best way to eliminate quackgrass is by applying a non-selective liquid herbicide like Round-Up (glyphosate) directly to the unwanted weed grass when it is actively growing (spring or fall). Please keep in mind that this non-selective herbicide needed to eliminate quackgrass will also kill any/all desirable grass, plants, etc. that are allowed to come in contact with the herbicide. It is a good idea to choose the right applicator (small paint brush, hand sprayer, back pack sprayer, etc.) that you can easily control to lessen the amount of excess turf damage. If the quackgrass outbreak is very small in overall size than a paint brush (very tedious) or small hand sprayer (faster but expect grass damage as well) will do the trick. However, if quackgrass has spread across your entire lawn than a larger back pack or tank sprayer should be utilized to make the application (please consult a professional for best results). As you can imagine a lawn replacement/repair plan must be in place before making the decision to apply Round-Up to your quackgrass plagued lawn. After waiting generally 14 days or so (post round-up application) you can repair the dead previously treated lawn areas by seed or sod to complete.
A great way to increase air, water and nutrient flow to your lawn’s root zone is by performing core aeration. Core aeration is a mechanical lawn improvement process where motor driven cylinder-like spoons are plunged into and shatter the soil thereby relieving compaction and reducing thatch build up. Half inch diameter or so plugs of thatch and soil are actually pulled from the ground during this process. The soil cores are normally left atop the lawn to simply decompose over time and to return great organic material back into the soil. It is very common to core aerate heavily trafficked lawn areas twice per growing season (spring and late summer/early fall are recommended). Plan on aerating your lawn before over-seeding for improved grass seed to soil contact. Promote deeper and healthier turf grass roots by incorporating core aeration into your seasonal lawn management program.
Lawn renovation is the process of rebuilding your lawn’s density by mechanical and manual means. To begin we normally core aerate all lawn areas to relieve soil compaction and allow for improved air-water-nutrient flow to the existing lawn’s root system. After all lawn areas have been aerated, we will mechanically slit-seed across all existing thin/stressed lawn areas. Mechanical slit-seeding is the process of planting site specific premium grass seed directly into the soil by slicing through a weakened stand of turf grass. This service ensures great seed to soil contact which translates into excellent germination rates. After all existing lawn areas have been mechanically slit-seeded, we will apply a granular seed starter fertilizer that is especially high in phosphorus to all lawn areas to further enhance the seed germination process. Next we will repair all remaining completely bare (little or no grass) areas by delivering and installing additional top soil (1/2”- 1”), plant premium grass seed and install seed germination blanket or peat moss covering to complete the bare area repairs. The absolute best time (in my opinion) to perform these services will be from mid-August through September. Actually, it is only during this time of the growing season that we have optimum seed growing conditions (warm soil temperatures, less weed competition, little chance of frost or freezing temperatures, adequate natural rainfall and cooling temperatures). The spring season will be the next best time of the year to renovate a lawn, especially for lawns partially covered by shade tree canopies. It is only in the spring season that trees have not yet fully grown their leaves and greater seed germination/plant vigor can be derived from this short term abundant sun light. Lawn renovation services in addition to properly scheduled mechanical maintenance, lawn fertilization, weed control and insect management will greatly enhance any failing stand of turf grass over a short period of time.
My professional opinion on the use of sod is that I will recommend it only when absolutely necessary. The reason we like growing a lawn from seed over sod is that we can choose the best blend of turf grass seed for the specific site/conditions at hand. Please keep in mind that most commercially grown Kentucky Bluegrass blend sod is meant to be installed in areas that have 70% + sun exposure throughout a given day. One important factor rarely exposed by most sod resellers. When the choice is made to grow a new lawn by seed you will need to intentionally “over prepare” the soil and nurture the seed for optimum germination and deep root establishment to ensure great long term results. Sod on the other hand can be simply laid on a “sub-par” soil surface and kept alive as long as there is adequate and routine irrigation available. Other factors that can easily stress poorly rooted sod are everyday foot traffic, pet waste, intense heat, insect activity, minimal watering, excessive watering, fungus, sub-par mechanical maintenance, etc. Even though seed will take a growing season or two to fully establish and reach the density levels you are looking for, you will have great long term results with lower maintenance costs thereafter. Sod on the other hand will look great instantly and usually require a greater initial financial investment, but will also continue to cost more over time to maintain (rebuild fading sod density due to limited initial grass variety selection, avoiding constant fungal related threats, continual need to break through dense thatch layer, etc.). The average sodded lawn retains a non-native soil layer that routinely causes poor air/water/nutrient flow to the lawn’s root zone below. In many cases we are forced to break down this “soil barrier” by performing multiple core aerations, mechanical slit-seeding, power raking/dethatching, etc. each and every growing season to maintain acceptable turf density.