Today, we will be sharing valuable insights from Bruce Jump's video on the This is Turfgrass channel, covering the essentials of turf grass seeding and care. Bruce offers practical advice on when to seed and overseed your lawn, how to handle new turf, control weeds, and how best to store your seed. Let's dive in!
When to Seed
You can seed your turf anytime from spring until fall. However, the most opportune period is typically late summer, from late July through Labor Day weekend. This period is ideal because of the warm soil temperatures, cool air, and typical moisture in the fall. Of course, spring seeding is possible too, when soil temperatures are above 55 to 60 degrees. However, extra care should be taken in summer to ensure the young seedlings have adequate moisture.
When to Overseed
Overseeding is an essential part of maintaining a lush lawn. The key factor here is seed-soil contact. How do you achieve that? The answer is cultivation. Utilize tools like aerifiers, verticutters, slicers, or dethatchers to help the seeds reach the soil. This ensures that the seeds have something to anchor themselves to.
Mowing New Turf
When dealing with new turf, whether it's a brand new lawn or you've overseeded an existing one, always follow the one-third rule. If your target mowing height is three inches and your grass grows an additional one inch during the week, it's time to mow. This rule prevents negative impacts on your turf grass, such as leaving clippings on top of the soil.
Watering New Turf
New seedlings do not have deep roots, so the key to watering new turf is light, frequent watering. The focus should be on ensuring that the roots and root hairs get enough moisture for establishment and growth. Once the seed is established, shift to a deep and infrequent watering cycle. Also, remember that not all seeds germinate the same day, so continue watering even after you spot the first few sprouts.
Weeding is an inevitable part of lawn care, especially when seeding in late spring or summertime. Most of these summer weeds are annuals, dying off with the first frost. While these can be bothersome, keep your focus on the turf grass you've seeded. Perennial weeds like Canada thistle or quackgrass should be taken care of with a non-selective herbicide before seeding, as they are more challenging to control.
When storing seeds, remember the mantra: cool and dry. Avoid moisture seeping in as this can cause premature germination. Store the seeds in a cool place, and avoid hot areas like attics. Most seed has a shelf life of about a year. After this time, while the seed may still germinate, it's best to purchase fresh seed.
Remember these tips the next time you're seeding or caring for your lawn, and experience the difference. For more insightful tips on lawn care, don't forget to check out Summer Seed Essentials: 6 Tips for Turf Seed Success on the This is Turfgrass channel.