The Lawn Seeding Basics
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To achieve a beautiful and thriving garden, it all starts with proper seeding techniques. How is lawn seeding done, and what do you need to keep in mind to get a good start for your grass? Here are some of the basic steps and tips that you may want to know.
Before You Get Started
Always remember that a thriving garden requires good quality soil. This means, a soil test is an important process that must be done before you begin sowing the seeds. Once you have received the result of the test, you can already determine the type of soil you should use, or whether you need to adjust the soil pH level with the right products. In the case of turf grasses, these usually require neutral soil to thrive.
Since weed is a common issue with gardens, you may be wondering if you should use either a granular or liquid weed preventer. The best time to control weeds is after mowing new seedlings at a minimum of 4 times. If you decide to apply a weed preventer when sowing seeds, immature seedlings may be killed. Also, weed controls prevent germination of seeds, specifically when these products are used after sowing the seeds.
It is important to determine the type of turf presently found in your garden before you start seeding. For new lawns, you need to choose the best type of turf that is suitable in your region. Check labels on grass seeds to know more about moisture requirements, hardiness and sunlight needed.
If you plan to sow warm season grass seeds, the seeding must be from March to September, but it still depends on the weather pattern and location. These grasses have an active growth period during summer with temperatures over 80 degrees Fahrenheit, while the dormancy phase is in winter and fall. Since these varieties do not need much water, they can tolerate drought quite well. Common varieties of warm season grasses include centipede, Bermuda, Bahia, Zoysia and St. Augustine.
As for cool-season grasses, these are seeded during mid-August to October. These prefer cooler temperatures at about 60 degrees Fahrenheit, which means they thrive in areas where the climate can get below freezing level. Dormancy is during summer while growth period is in spring or fall. The blades of these grasses are finer and longer, and it is best to keep the mowing level higher. Among the varieties of cool season grasses include ryegrass, fine fescue, bentgrass and bluegrass.
Additional Tips to Remember
You will need to apply these seeds with either a hand spreader or broadcast spreader. The rate of coverage largely depends on the type of seeds sown. Make it a point to read instructions on lawn care products before use to achieve best results. If you need to use fertilizers and post or pre-emergent herbicides, you should make sure that these are suitable to the grass type in your garden. For areas that have higher foot traffic, a tougher turf is recommended as it can handle too much stress such as in play areas or locations with play equipment installed.
After you have spread the seed, mulch the area to prevent the seed from being blown or washed away. Frequent watering is also needed to maintain the right moisture on the seeds, but reduce watering times to only once daily when the grass has a height of 1 inch. Pre-emergent crabgrass control may be applied to prevent germination of any unwanted grass.
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