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Begin Your Fall Seeding Projects With The Right Products

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Seeding Guide

Why should I overseed my lawn?

Overseeding is planting grass seed over an existing lawn.  Overseeding is usually done to correct thin lawns that have been damaged by environmental stresses.  The results from overseeding will only be maximized IF new and improved turfgrass varieties are seeded into your lawn.  Black Beauty grass seed guarantees your success!  Black Beauty will fill in bare spots quickly and create the green, lush, healthy lawn that you’ve always desired.

The best time for overseeding is in the late summer or early fall.  The seed will germinate better because temperatures are cooler, rainwater is plentiful, the ground is warm and weeds are less active.  You will also have several weeks for the grass to germinate before tree leaves start falling.

Begin your seeding project with the right products!

Before you begin preparing the seed bed, make sure that you have the following products:

First, as stated above, choose Black Beauty grass seed mixtures when seeding for a beautiful, dark-green look that will also give you outstanding drought, disease, and insect resistance.

Second, IF you have a pH that is low (below 6.2), then be sure that you have Mag-I-Cal to adjust it.  Your lawn’s pH should be between 6.2 and 7.  A pH tester, found in most garden centers and hardware stores, is an easy way to figure out your soil pH.  If you pH is fine, then skip to the next step.

Third, IF the soil is very hard, then be equipped with Love Your Soil to loosen it.  To test for soil compaction, push your finger into the soil.  If the soil doesn’t come up to the first knuckle, then you have a compaction problem.  Growing a lawn in such an area will be difficult because water and air will not be able to penetrate the root zone.  Of course, Love Your Soil will correct the problem.  If you soil is not hard, then skip to the next step.

Fourth, Green-Up for Seeding and Sodding is a lawn food that is specially formulated for seeding and sodding.  It is rich in potassium, an essential nutrient needed for grass seed to develop deep and dense roots.  You will use Green-Up for Seeding and Sodding with Black Beauty grass seed ON THE SAME day that you are seeding.  Of course, if you have a soil problem (pH and/or compaction), then you will use Mag-I-Cal and Love Your Soil ON THE SAME DAY, as well.  Let’s get started.

How do I plant and grow grass seed?

First, rake the soil with a metal tine rake to remove any dead grass, thatch, or residue build-up.  If you have a large area to rake, then a thatching rake (or “power rake”) can be rented from a tool rental center.  It is very important to create grooves in the soil for the grass seed to properly lodge into.  This is known as “seed-to-soil contact”.  Such contact is critical to achieving the maximum germination.

Second, apply the grass seed (Black Beauty) with a spreader.  Use the settings on the back of the bags for ALL products – grass seed, lawn foods, or soil conditioners – to secure the proper rate. If your spreader is not listed on the bag, then simply visit the Jonathan Green website (www.jonathangreen.com), click on the “Spreader Settings” icon, locate your spreader, and use the rate listed for it.

Third, apply the seeding lawn food (Green-Up for Seeding & Sodding).

Fourth, if your soil needs a pH adjustment, then apply Mag-I-Cal.

Fifth, if your soil is hard and not crumbly, then apply Love Your Soil.

Watering the lawn of a private house with the help of irrigation sprinkler

Last, keep the seed bed moist.  The seed bed should be wet for a few weeks while the grass seed is germinating.  Light waterings, 2 to 3 times per day (early morning, early afternoon, late afternoon), are of benefit during the early days when the newly sown seed is establishing.  Within a few weeks, after the newly formed grass is mowed, you can decrease the watering schedule.  NEVER water it at night.  Excessive moisture on established grass leaves can lead to fungal problems down the road.

When will my grass seed sprout?

Black Beauty grass seed takes about 10 to 14 days to germinate.  As a general rule, perennial ryegrass germinates the quickest (about 7 days).  Fine fescues – including the creeping, chewing, and hard types – usually take about 10 to 20 days. Tall Fescue usually takes 10 to 14 days, but can be slow to establish under very cold temperatures.  Kentucky bluegrass is the slowest germinator, usually in 20 to 30 days, but even longer with cold temperatures.  Remember, “germinate” means a start to grow.  You can’t expect a filled in lawn in 10 days!

Mow the new grass once it reaches a height of 4”.  Keep the mowing height at 3”, except for the last cut of the year which should be 2 inches in height.  This is very important for your lawn during the winter months. The shorter mowing height helps the grass plant roots survive winter stress.

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Lawn Seeding Tips

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patton-lawn (1)

Even in well maintained lawns, spot or general lawn seeding is sometimes needed. Lawns can thin because of weather, a result of damage caused by insects, or grass diseases. Some badly damaged lawns need to be completely “rebuilt” before regular maintenance can do much good.

There are three general categories of seeding: spot seeding, lawn renovation and overseeding a lawn, and renovation. What type is right for growing grass on your lawn depends on the condition of your turf. Spring-Green professionals can help with all of your lawn seeding questions and needs.

Whatever type of seeding is done, there are three important rules to follow when seeding a lawn:

  1. High quality seed should always be used
  2. The seed has to make good contact with the soil
  3. Enough water has to be supplied to assure germination and establishment.

Tip #1: Choose the lawn seeding system that’s right for you and your turf.

Spot seeding is a quick and easy way to repair things like ruts along driveways, areas worn by foot traffic, and small areas that have died for any reason. When spot seeding a lawn, use a stiff rake or potato hoe to cultivate the soil and break open the surface. Apply seed to the open seedbed and gently tamp down.

Overseeding a lawn broadcasts the seed over a large area. This works well when the lawn just needs a general “thickening up.” Overseeding can be done along with lawn aeration or by itself, but doesn’t work too well when there is a heavy thatch layer.

Lawn renovation is for lawns that have excessive thatch, or are so thin, that only a complete rebuild will get the lawn back on its feet. Lawn renovation can be done several ways: old sod can be removed with a sod cutter; the lawn can be de-thatched and seeded; or slice-seeding can be used. Slice-seeding (or verticut seeding) is probably the best for growing grass because it “drills” the seed into the soil without having to remove a large amount of thatch.

Tip #2: Before you begin seeding a lawn, consider the current season.

It’s true that seeding can be successful any time of year, but spring and summer lawn seeding require more care and water, and weeds and crabgrass cause a lot more competition. Seeding a lawn in late summer or fall is ideal. Early fall is preferred because seeds can germinate faster in the warm soil and continue to establish itself through the cooler weather of fall and winter. There’s also more natural water in the fall so less sprinkling is needed.

Tip #3: Whatever time of year you choose for seeding your lawn, remember to keep the seed moist until you have good germination.

Tip #4: Sprinkle lightly several times a day during hot weather until the grass is 1” tall.

Tip #5: Avoid any type of weed control until the new grass has been mowed 4 or 5 times.