Occasionally a customer will ask if they can seed their lawn in the spring. For those who live in the south, the grasses that grow in your area are usually not started from seed. Therefore this article is mainly directed at areas where cool-season grasses grow.
In most cases, seeding your lawn in the spring is not a good idea. The main reason for this is that weed control cannot be applied before or after the lawn is seeded. This is true for the pre-emergent weed control products that are designed to inhibit annual grassy weeds from germinating. Likewise, it will keep desired grass seed from germinating as well.
Sometimes a lawn is just in bad shape and needs help to get going again. If your lawn is thin and weedy, it is better to get the weeds under control. Try to increase the density of the grass that is growing by fertilizing it then try seeding it and hopefully your new grass will out-compete the stronger, more established weeds. Keep in mind that it is better to get weeds in check in summer and fertilize your lawn to get it healthy and then re-seed in late August to early September.
Choose a product that has a crabgrass preventer included with the granular fertilizer. Be sure to follow the directions on the label as to the amount of product to apply per 1,000 sq. ft. Determining the size of your lawn care can be difficult, but it can be done using a plat of survey. Be sure to make allowances for landscape beds, pool and decks or patios.
I suggest using a liquid weed control product to control the weeds in your lawn. Be sure to read and follow the directions before using the product. Also, make sure you choose a product that only controls broadleaf weeds, and not weeds and grasses.
Depending on the species of turf in your lawn, you should continue making applications of fertilizer throughout the summer. Bluegrass and perennial ryegrass should receive about 3 to 4 pounds of nitrogen per year whereas tall fescue should receive about 2 to 2.5 pounds of nitrogen per year. All of these grasses do better when higher amounts are applied in early spring and fall and less in the summer.
When late August rolls around, it is time to core aerate your lawn. After doing so, spread grass seed across your lawn after aerating. Here are the recommended amounts of grass seed to sow per 1,000 square feet:
After you have seeded, make another application of fertilizer at the ¾ pound N rate after seeding. Be sure to keep the new seed watered for 3 to 4 weeks. Make a late season fertilizer application in October through November, depending on where you live. But of course, the easiest way of caring for your lawn is to contact your local Spring-Green office.