Spring Lawn Seeding (Part One)

Can I seed my lawn in the spring? (Part 1)

Maybe. There are a couple of things to consider before deciding to seed a lawn in the spring. First, what type of grass is growing in your lawn? Most warm-season grasses are not propagated or established by seed, but by sodding or sprigging. Seed for Bermuda, St. Augustine, Centipede or Zoysia are usually not easily available. Cool-season or Transition Zone grasses are grown from seed, so it is possible to purchase seed for areas where these grasses grow.

Second, how much do you have to seed? Unless your lawn has a lot of perennial ryegrass or Tall Fescue, any spots that are less than the size of a dinner plate will quickly fill in on their own. Ryegrass and Tall Fescue generally grow as a clump, so these grasses don’t fill-in bare spots as quickly as those grasses with aggressive root systems.

Third, does your area have a problem with crabgrass germination in the summer? Except for the Pacific Northwest, most of the US has a problem with crabgrass germination in the summer. The normal method of control is through an application of a pre-emergent crabgrass control material applied before the crabgrass germinates. This material will also keep grass seed from germinating as well. The new seed may germinate, but it could be crowded out by crabgrass later in the summer. Broadleaf weed control cannot be applied until the new seed has been mowed three or four times, so the newly seeded area will also have to compete with dandelions, clover and many other weeds.

I will continue this posting with some other concerns about seeding in the spring next week. A lawn can be seeded in the spring, but it requires some careful consideration before doing so.