Seeding: should I overseed? what type of seed?

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Many questions arise when the topic of seeding a lawn arises. Why should I overseed, what type of seed should I use, when is the best time to seed, how often should my lawn be seeded, which method of seeding is best for my lawn, do I need to aerate, and how will crabgrass and weed control affect my seed, are just a few? Finally, what should I do about seeding?

Why should I overseed?

The area in which ProLawn operates is called the transition zone. The specific types of seed best utilized in the transition zone do not have the genetic ability to spread and fill in bare areas. Because of this regular overseeding is necessary to ensure a dense beautiful lawn. A side benefit of this beautiful dense lawn include having less problems with weeds. Many environmental benefits are also realized with a dense beautiful lawn. Tons of dust and dirt released into the atmosphere are captured in turf, root mass and microbes purify water as it reaches the water table, and university studies have proven the benefit of reduced sediment runoff due to a dense turf.

What type of seed should I use?

There are two basic types of grass, cool season and warm season. Warm season grasses are typically grown in more southern areas of the United States. They thrive in hot areas and normally have a shortened “green time” in cooler climates. In our area warm season grasses normally are green for the 4 ½ – 5 ½ warmest months of the year. Cool season grasses actually can be subdivided. Bluegrasses are the choice for northern climates from Pennsylvania north. They can be grown in our area but normally need more irrigation and attention to disease control than preferred varieties.

Turf type fescues are the best choice for this area. They thrive in the transition zone and have many benefits over bluegrass and warm season grasses. Always use a blend of turf type fescues. ProLawn uses specially selected cultivars in our Premium Turf Blend to provide the best turf seed available.
Special considerations should be taken for shadier areas. Turf must have some direct sunlight. When receiving only a few hours of sunlight different varieties of seed must be used.

When is the best time to seed?

Don’t be fooled by the advertising to seed your lawn in the spring. Fall is the best time to seed for turf type fescues. Roots grow best in fall as the temperatures are cooling and there is normally more rain. Seeding can be done as early as mid-August and into October, dependent on weather. A newly seeded lawn must be watered if adequate rain has not fallen.

How often should my lawn be seeded?

Turf type fescues do not have the ability to spread and therefore the lawn will thin out over time. Because of this regular overseeding is necessary. At ProLawn we recommend annual overseeding.

Which method of seeding is best for my lawn?

Turf density is the determining factor as to what type of seeding is needed. Broadcast seeding is adequate for turf where bare soil is not exposed. For a lawn that has a few areas that bare soil is evident, broadcast seeding should be combined with other methods of seeding to attain a thick lush lawn. For turf that is very thin or that shows many bare spots throughout the lawn, slit seeding is the preferred method. A slit or slice seeder is a mechanical seeder that cuts slits into the soil and places the seed into the slit. Many factors can determine other needs such as slope and texture of soil and should be considered in a seeding program.

Do I need to aerate?

Aeration is a critical component of the seeding process. Aeration reduces soil compaction for healthier root systems, enhances thatch breakdown, increases soil water uptake, increases air exchange in the soil, and prepares the soil for seeding.

How will crabgrass and weed control affect my seed?

Seeding should not be done in conjunction or during the period of the application of normal crabgrass pre-emergent control or weed control. Application of these types of products can prevent seed from germinating or kill young seedlings. If seeding has been done, weed control must not be applied until the new grass has been mowed at least twice. (approximately 6 weeks after germinating) Four months must pass in order to seed after applying many pre-emergent crabgrass controls.

What should I do about seeding?

Contact ProLawn for the answers to your questions. Your ProLawn professional can answer your questions and do what it takes to get your lawn looking great.