Are you anxious to seed your lawn to fill in bare spots? The truth is, seeding in the spring is not a good idea. Read these tips on when to plant grass seed and how to achieve the best results. If you want your property to look fully finished and well tended, a well-kept lawn can help complete that image. Sowing a lawn and keeping it thriving in Florida, like most anywhere, can be challenging. By making the right decisions before and during the planting, however, you can eliminate some of the difficulties … Your access to this site has been limited by the site owner If you think you have been blocked in error, contact the owner of this site for assistance. If you are a WordPress user with
3 Things to do Before and After Yard Pest Control Treatments
If you have bare or thin spots in your lawn then you might be thinking about seeding. Seeding can be a great way to solve these problems, however, homeowners often mistakenly assume that it’s something they can have performed any time during the year. For optimal results, that’s simply not the case.
Because we want the best for your lawn, we’ll explain when to plant grass seed in spring or fall and how to achieve the best results.
Can I Seed my Lawn in the Spring?
This is a question that we receive quite often. If you have a lawn that has bare spots or thin areas, then you might be anxious to seed in order to fill them in. But the truth is, seeding in the spring is not a good idea for two key reasons that we’ll explain.
You Can’t Put Down Some Lawn Care Materials
If you’ve seeded in the spring, then you can’t put down crabgrass preventer for approximately 3 months afterward, and at that time, it will be too late to prevent crabgrass.
The material being applied will not know the difference between a desired turfgrass seed and a crabgrass seed, and will ultimately prevent both from growing.
Sometimes people ask us about just skipping crabgrass control but in our opinion, this is risky. Skipping crabgrass control can become a potentially serious concern because of how quickly the pesky weeds can spread. Crabgrass also grows most freely in the thinner areas of your lawn, such as the ones you may have seeded, which makes seeding a bad idea.
Likewise, broadleaf weed control cannot be applied until your new grass seed begins to grow and has matured enough to mow it a couple times. Again, that time frame will end up being very late in the spring to early summer and at that time, your lawn will have also developed quite a crop of weeds along the way.
The Upcoming Weather is Not Ideal
While the springtime weather may be fine for growing grass seed, it won’t be long until the hot summer sun impacts growing conditions. Most people assume that winter is the most challenging time for grass but it’s actually the summer. It’s very difficult to keep brand-new grass seedlings alive with the heat of the summer sun beating down.
The Best Time to Plant Grass in Virginia
You might be wondering when is the best time to plant grass in Virginia if it’s not the spring. Ideally, seeding should always be performed in the fall. Not only does this allow you to get through the spring season utilizing the professional weed control products that your lawn will need to look its best, but weather conditions in the fall are ideal for new seedling growth.
The weather is cool, the ground is moist, and the soil is still warm. In these conditions, your lawn will develop a healthy root system that will allow it to become established in plenty of time before the summer stress sets in.
When it comes to broadleaf weed control, you can apply a late summer or early fall application of this material and then wait approximately a week and seed your lawn. This allows for getting rid of most of the weeds in the lawn prior to seeding and then not having to worry about them for the rest of the fall.
Of course, you might also be wondering specifically when to plant grass seed in fall? The optimal time is anywhere between late August (technically late summer) through the end of October or possibly even early November. It’s not so much the exact time as it is the weather conditions.
Is There Ever a Time to Plant Grass Seed in Spring?
Even though we tell homeowners that seeding the lawn in the spring is not ideal, we occasionally still have people who really want it done. This is usually the case for homeowners who just bought a home and have no grass at all or have so many bare spots that they’re desperate for at least some new grass.
In these circumstances, it’s all about expectations.
We are honest with homeowners that we can seed their lawn in the spring but chances are only about half of it may survive, if they’re lucky. They may also have to deal with weeds in their lawn since we can’t put product down. Then we’ll still need to re-seed in the fall and perform aeration or power seeding. Once homeowners look at it this way and recognize that they’ll be paying for seeding twice (without much luck on the first go-around), they usually just choose to wait.
Of course, another option, for the homeowner who is truly desperate for grass, is laying sod. This is another service that we can offer should you not be able to wait for seeding in the fall (plus the process of nurturing and growing that new grass).
Laying down sod is basically like getting an “instant lawn” and some homeowners decide to do it if they have a party coming up or just can’t wait for the grass to grow. However, you should know that it can be costly and the bigger the yard you have, the more it will be. For that reason, this is something we perform for townhomes or small sections of lawns more often than the entirety of expansive properties.
Wanting the Best for You
We have no doubt that there are lawn care companies in Northern Virginia that will agree to seed your lawn in the spring even though they know it’s not the ideal timing. Companies like these do not have your best interest at heart and would rather just get paid for the work.
At Kingstowne, you can always count on us to give you the honest truth, even when we know it’s not always what you would prefer to hear. Though it can be hard to wait when you really want to seed sooner, waiting until the optimum time to seed your lawn will pay off with better results (and a wiser investment on your behalf).
Our objective is to do what’s best for you, even when it means forgoing potential revenue we could earn in the spring. Ideally, we would love to see all of our customers hold off on seeding until the fall so that you can have the best possible outcome.
If you’re ready to work with an honest company who is committed to doing what’s best for your lawn, then request a quote and relax while we get to work.
How to Weed, Feed & Seed a Lawn in Florida
If you want your property to look fully finished and well tended, a well-kept lawn can help complete that image. Sowing a lawn and keeping it thriving in Florida, like most anywhere, can be challenging. By making the right decisions before and during the planting, however, you can eliminate some of the difficulties throughout the rest of the year. After the grass is up, proper care, such as feeding and weeding, keeps your lawn looking at its best.
Choose a drought-resistant grass, such as Bahiagrass, to make maintenance easier. According to the University of Florida, grasses like Bahiagrass do well in sandy soil, which is a plus in Florida, do not need a lot of fertilizing and have few problems with disease. The University of Florida also recommends buying scarified seed, if it’s available, which germinates faster.
- If you want your property to look fully finished and well tended, a well-kept lawn can help complete that image.
- Sowing a lawn and keeping it thriving in Florida, like most anywhere, can be challenging.
Seed your lawn during the spring or in the early summer. By planting early and giving the grass the entire summer to root, the lawn fully fills in before the fall and winter, when cold weather slows growth.
Till and rake the lawn area. Till until 1 to 2 inches of the top soil looks soft and rich, and rake to remove any debris pulled up during tilling, such as rocks and roots, which can interfere with seeding.
Use the correct amount of seed for your lawn area. According to the University of Florida, you should plant Bahiagrass at a rate of 10 lbs. per each 1,000 square feet. Other grass types vary greatly in the amount of seed needed, with centipedegrass requiring only 4 oz. of seed for every 1,000 square feet.
- Seed your lawn during the spring or in the early summer.
- Till until 1 to 2 inches of the top soil looks soft and rich, and rake to remove any debris pulled up during tilling, such as rocks and roots, which can interfere with seeding.
Spread the seed evenly around the lawn area. Throw the seed by hand or use a mechanical seeder to spread the seed. A mechanical seeder more evenly distributes the seed, according to the University of Florida.
Rake the lawn area lightly after seeding. Rake just enough to work the seed down into the soil, so 1/4 to 1/2 inch of soil is on top.
Roll the entire lawn area to press the seed into the soil. Mulch with hay or straw to keep the seed from being washed away before it starts to root.
- Spread the seed evenly around the lawn area.
- Roll the entire lawn area to press the seed into the soil.
Wait to apply fertilizer to a newly seeded lawn until the grass establishes a root system. Fertilize for the first time after the grass has fully established and the lawn appears full.
Use a complete fertilizer to feed your newly planted lawn. The University of Florida recommends a 16-4-8 fertilizer.
Figure the amount of fertilizer needed for your lawn. The University of Florida recommends using ½ lb. of nitrogen if using water-soluble fertilizer or 1 lb. of nitrogen if using slow-release fertilizer for every 1,000 square feet of lawn.
- Wait to apply fertilizer to a newly seeded lawn until the grass establishes a root system.
- of nitrogen if using slow-release fertilizer for every 1,000 square feet of lawn.
Fertilize the lawn in the spring, after grass establishment, and again in the late summer or early fall. If the lawn is not thriving, fertilize up to four times in a summer.
Avoid mowing a newly seeded lawn until it is well established. Once it reaches a normal mowing height of 3 to 4 inches, mow the lawn to a height of 2 to 3 inches, depending on your personal preference.
Don’t use chemicals for weed control if the lawn hasn’t shown previous signs of weeds. With proper seeding and fertilization, many lawns never form weeds and the chemicals used to keep them at bay do more harm than good.
Create a barrier to prevent weed growth with pre-emergence herbicides in areas where weeds have been troublesome in the past. Pre-emergence herbicides prevent the weeds from coming up if applied at the right time of year. The University of Florida recommends an application date of February 1st for lawns in southern Florida, February 15th for lawns in central Florida and March 1st for lawns in northern Florida.
- Fertilize the lawn in the spring, after grass establishment, and again in the late summer or early fall.
- Once it reaches a normal mowing height of 3 to 4 inches, mow the lawn to a height of 2 to 3 inches, depending on your personal preference.
Pull weeds by hand throughout the growing season, or control weeds with post-emergence herbicides if they come up. Be careful when using post-emergence herbicides on lawns. Some types of grass, including Bahiagrass, suffer damage from post-emergence herbicides.
To determine the amount of nitrogen in a fertilizer bag, multiply the percentage of nitrogen by the total weight of the bag. Since 16-4-8 fertilizer has 16 percent nitrogen, a 100 lb. bag of the fertilizer contains 16 lbs. of nitrogen. With 1 lb. for every 1,000 square feet, the fertilizer should cover 1,600 square feet of lawn.
Stay away from fertilizers with added chemicals to reduce weeds. These can damage some lawn grasses.
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