Earlier this week I received a phone call from a new customer asking me about seeding and fertilizing his lawn. After talking with the customer I decided I should see his property. Upon arrival I seen a few weeds already present in the lawn. He had a pretty good amount of grass growing, so I didn't recommend tearing apart the lawn and starting over. The customer went on telling me that he just moved into the home and wanted his lawn to look good. He seemed very interested in seeding his lawn this spring, so he could have the thick green lawn of his dreams by the summer. I went on to recommend holding off the seeding until fall. I know some of you are reading this and thinking, "why in the world would he say that?" Well, here is my reasoning. Our goal at Turf Masters is ta create a healthy, beautiful lawn and landscape. And the fact is, the healthier the lawn's root system the thicker, greener and stronger the lawn will be. So our goal in this customers situation was to focus on getting rid of the weed problem, and to focus on strengthening the existing lawn. If we were to apply a seed early in the spring, we would miss the window of opportunity to apply our pre-emergent fertilizer treatment. The pre-emergent treatment helps battle future weeds, such as your broad-leaf weeds and crabgrass. Unfortunately it would also kill the new grass seed.
If your lawn consist of mainly grass and a few weeds. The best thing to do is focus on killing the weeds and strengthening your existing lawn. It may also be a good idea to aerate your lawn in the spring before the fertilizer. Aeration is process where a machine pulls "plugs" or "cores" from the lawn. This simple technique will allow for air, water, nutrients and fertilizer to reach the lawns root system quicker, and like I said before: the heather the roots the better the lawn. When falls comes around is when I recommend applying your seed. A good idea when applying seed to apply a seed starter afterwards to help the process of the seed germination.
If your lawn consist of mostly weeds, I would recommend a few things. The first is a technique called slice seeding. This is kind of like what the farmers do when planting crops. A blade runs across the ground leaving a small seem where seed is dropped into it. The great thing about slice seeding is that the seed is placed in the soil, and can better resist erosion form rain. The second option is start over. I have had times where we applied a weed killer to the entire lawn, killing everything. We would come back 2-3 weeks later after it has had time to kill the weeds, and remove the top layer of soil that consisted of the weeds. We would apply a fresh layer of topsoil and either hydro-seed or over seed and apply stray. This would be your last option, becuase there is a chance that you could underwater and have a poor germination, and end up with a spotty lawn.
Just remember that anytime you seed you want to make for sure the seed and soil stay moist. Once seed dries out it can die, and dead seed will not do you any good. This is why fall is a great time for this. The temperatures are lower which leads to the soil staying moist longer. Which also can lead to you having to water your seed less.
If you are concerned about your lawn and would like to receive a Free Estimate, simply call your local office and you'll be one step closer to a healthier lawn.