Of all the lawn care decisions you make, how you seed is arguably one of the most important. The way you go about seeding affects not just the thickness of your grass, but also how vulnerable it is to herbicide, grub damage, and a range of other factors.
It is essential that you time your seeding carefully and go about it in a way that will give the grass seeds all the nutrients and protection they need to get off to a strong start. Lush Lawn offers professional lawn care services which include spring seeding and lawn fertilizer service to homeowners all over Michigan. With our aid, you’ll have no trouble laying a strong foundation for growth and beauty all over your yard.
How to Tell if Your Grass Needs to be Reseeded
When Michigan’s snowy winters melt away and spring returns, you may notice signs of damage on your lawn. The larger and more extensive the damage is, the more likely it is that you will need to reseed. Common forms of damage that warrant spring seeding include:
- Grub Damage– If grubs and other pests eat away at your lawn, they will leave dead or dying patches that may not be able to recover on their own. You will need to reseed, though wait to do this until after you have gotten rid of the grubs.
- Winter Damage– Michigan’s frigid conditions can sometimes cause serious damage to grass, as can the tactics that homeowners use to keep those conditions at bay. If you use salt to de-ice, for example, that salt may harm your grass to the point that it isn’t able to grow back in certain areas. Spring seeding reverses this damage.
- Animal Damage– Domestic and wild animals both cause damage to your grass. If your dog urinates on the lawn, for example, the grass that has been affected may wilt or die entirely. The more severe the damage, the more likely it is that you need to reseed.
- Snow Mold– Snow mold is a fungus that attacks your grass during the winter. As with grubs, make sure you have fully removed the mold before you reseed.
The best time to reseed is when the soil has warmed up, but there still isn’t much competition from crabgrass and weeds. By seeding at this time, you ensure that the grass seeds can germinate early and grow into lush, sturdy grass.
Lawn Seeding Tips
In addition to seeding or reseeding at the right time, you should make sure to:
- Match Lawn & Method– It’s important to choose a seeding method that matches the unique features of your lawn. If you’re just repairing a few damaged areas of your lawn, it’s best to use soft seeding. This method involves breaking open the soil in those areas, applying grass seed, and tamping that seed down. But if you’re trying to generally thicken your grass rather than repairing specific areas, you should use overseeding, which entails spreading seed over a broad area. For lawns that are severely and widely damaged or that have a thick layer of thatch, you may need to perform lawn renovation, or removing the old sod and thatch before laying down seeds.
- Maintain High Moisture– Seeds need a copious amount of moisture in order to germinate and start growing strong. It is critical that you keep the soil around the seeds highly moist until those seeds have begun to germinate. You should also administer a starter fertilizer when you first seed. Such fertilizers typically contain a 1 to 1 or 1 to 1.5 ratio of nitrogen to phosphorus, though you should make sure you have the right fertilizer for your particular turf. After seeds and fertilizer have been applied, it is important that you begin watering your lawn regularly to ensure successful germination.
- Hold Off on Herbicides– If you seed your lawn during the spring, wait to use herbicides until the following season. Young seeds do not tolerate herbicide well, so even if you use a product that is specifically designed to kill crabgrass and weeds, you could end up severely damaging the grass. As a rule of thumb, you should not apply herbicides until at least 60 days have elapsed; this will give your grass time to grow strong enough to resist and survive.
Lush Lawn provides professional seeding services and advice all over Michigan. For more information or to start seeding your lawn, contact us today.