You’ve Got to Sow if You Want to Grow

Not happy with the way your lawn looks? Is it too thin, bare in spots, damaged by summer weather or lawn games, the victim of insects or disease? Does it have the wrong type of turf?

Mother Nature will be ready to help solve your lawn woes soon. Cooler temperatures and increasing rainfall mean that if grass seed is put down, germination and seedling development will be optimal. New grass plants will be able to start developing a root system over the next couple of months. Next spring, your lawn will green up promptly and be off and growing.

For a complete lawn renovation, the entire lawn should be sprayed with a non-selective herbicide to eliminate both weeds and grass. If you want a different type of grass or need to get rid of problems or correct extensive damage, you may want to go for this type of renovation.

Be sure that new seed used is top quality. You can find out a lot by reading the label, but basically, you get what you pay for. Always demand certified seed with low “weed” and “crop” content.

Many lawns don’t need to be killed completely. Spreading seed over an existing but thin lawn may be the right answer for you. A slice seeder can put seed in direct contact with soil so that it gets off to a good start. Still other properties may need only some spot seeding to fill in bare spots. Seed can be put down onto soil roughed up by hand, but the newly seeded areas should be covered with a light mulch of straw to conserve moisture, especially if the weather is still warm.

Water the seeded lawn daily if possible to keep the seedbed moist until germination takes place and seedlings begin to get established. Failing to keep new seedlings moist lets them die, and seed only germinates once, so for the best return on your investment, be prepared to keep the seedbed moist.

Call us for advice on improving your lawn with fall seeding. We’ll help you decide what your lawn needs to look its best next year and for years to come.

Aeration: Creating Room for Growth

Aeration is one of the best things you can do for your lawn. It is the process of making thousands of holes in the turf to open the soil and break up thatch. The cores removed by aeration “melt” into the lawn and improve thatch breakdown.

Very wet weather is one of the conditions which makes aeration extremely important to the good health of your lawn.

Soil saturated with water forces air out. When this happens, soil becomes very compacted. Aeration is the best cure, because it removes part of the soil so that air and fertilizer can easily enter the root zone.

The root system of your lawn is constantly renewing itself by sending out new shoots. This new growth needs loose and open soil. If your lawn soil is heavy and compacted, the new roots stay near the surface or even in the thatch layer itself. This leads to a lawn that dries out too quickly and builds up thatch much faster than a deeply rooted lawn.

New root development is much greater in the fall than during any other time of year and continues through most of the winter. Your lawn can recover from many kinds of stress during these fall months. Aeration creates the growth zone new roots need to take the fullest advantage of the season.

Another big advantage of aeration is thatch control. Thatch is the layer of living and dead stems, roots and other grass parts above the soil. When it exceeds about one-half inch, it becomes a breeding and incubation area for all sorts of nasty lawn diseases and insects. It is very difficult to grow healthy turf through a heavy thatch layer.

Aeration mixes soil cores above the thatch to speed up natural decomposition. By attacking thatch on a regular basis with aeration, you can often prevent the need for extensive renovation.

Questions? Please call anytime.

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