University of Minnesota Extension discovers science-based solutions, delivers practical education, and engages Minnesotans to build a better future. Pennington is committed to helping you grow the finest lawn possible and enjoy all the benefits that a beautiful, healthy lawn holds. This machine creates a shallow slit in the soil into which the seed is dropped, lightly covered and packed down. Using too much lime or applying it unnecessarily can be as damaging as failing to add lime when it's needed. If it's too dense the seedlings won't root well and the lack of airflow could make them more prone to disease. Then, properly … Many homeowners think lime is a lawn care necessity, but that doesn't hold true across the board. There are some rental businesses that have such units available. Getting seed right from the start benefits your lawn and budget. I hope you found my grass seed calculator useful and it made working out how much grass seed you need a bit easier. All non-lawn areas must then be deducted. Usually this is sometime from late October to mid-November depending on your location within the state. Other than the time of year for dormant seeding, the actual process of preparing the area to be seeded is virtually identical to establishing grass from seed at other times of the year. If you have added too much lime you may have raised the pH level from a low level that is acidic up to a high level that is alkaline and ideal level for grass is a natural level of around 6-7 pH. Soil testing processed through a reputable soil laboratory eliminates guesswork and reveals changes you need to make. And if you have an odd-shaped lawn or you prefer to calculate things for yourself, I hope my formulas and processes helped. After planting, reserve broad-spectrum weed treatments until new lawns have been mowed at least two to three times; for fall-planted seed, that usually means spring. The success your dormant seeding will depend on the winter conditions. Many northern grasses are bunch-type grasses which don’t spread, so you’ll need to reseed to get grass to … The seed is best protected when we receive snowfall that will cover and protect those areas. How to Repair a Lawn From Too Much Fertilizer. Once the grass seed has been planted, start watering the lawn and keep the soil moist for several weeks. Water conservation and a healthy, beautiful lawn aren't mutually exclusive. If the newly seeded areas appear to be a little thin, you shouldn't necessarily feel your fall efforts were a failure, as it is quite common to have to do a little additional reseeding in the spring. This happens more often with quick … This method generally works best when the newly seeded areas are covered with several inches of snow soon after seeding that remains in place over the entire winter period. Seeding your lawn is an economical and satisfying way to introduce healthy turf to your yard. The idea is that the seed will remain "dormant" due to the cold soil conditions, but begin to germinate as soon as the soils start to warm in the spring. Choosing appropriate grass varieties is the first step in ensuring … Apply from 0.05 to 0.10 inch of water. Post-emergent weed treatments aimed at existing broadleaf weeds can also injure immature grass seedlings. All content copyright © 2019 Pennington Seed, Inc. All Rights Reserved. By understanding the seed tags on grass seed products, you can be sure you invest in quality seed. Normal lawn care can naturally cause soil pH to drop lower over time, and lime applications benefit lawns that need pH raised. Best Conditions for Tall Fescue Seed As a cool-season grass, … Pennington and Smart Seed are trademarks of Pennington Seed, Inc. Another machine known as a slit seeder could also be used. Using the proper amount of seed for your project influences success, whether you're starting from scratch or overseeding an existing lawn. However, do allow enough time for the seeds to come up. Bob Mugaas, retired Extension educator and Sam Bauer, Extension educator. Don't overdo or cut corners. If more than half of your lawn is screaming for help, start from scratch. However, over the last couple … Simply insert a long screw driver into the ground. If you have added too much lime to your lawn then the problem is probably caused by your grass … Always read and follow herbicide and fertilizer labels, especially the instructions for use on newly seeded lawns and your grass type. So, you’ll see brown, yellow or streaked grass. A few days after the grass begins to sprout, you can reduce watering frequency to twice per day, but apply more water each time. When it comes to establishing and maintaining your lawn, knowing you have the right grass and grass seed for your area instantly increases the chances of growing a lush yard. It can be tempting to plant seed as soon as the need arises. Using these products too close to newly planted seed — in timing or proximity — stops grass seed in its tracks, along with the weeds. If the weather does turn a little warmer and drier and the area starts to dry out, it may be necessary to lightly water the area just to keep it damp and prevent it from becoming too dry. Even with similar seed types, all grass seed isn't equal. Germination cannot successfully occur if the seed does not have soil contact. It is not as effective where lawns are thick and dense because good seed-to-soil contact is necessary for the grass seeds to germinate and grow next spring. Then, you should remove about 1 inch of soil from the affected area. Tip When seeding grass , the order in which you add the fertilizer and seeds doesn't matter, but adding fertilizer at the time you seed … But proper timing has an important impact on results. Turn on the sprinkler and allow it to run ... Rake up the dead grass … This includes the footprints of your house, garage and outbuildings, as well as walkways and the driveway. Water thoroughly, but not too much Water the area thoroughly and leave it until next spring. However, in most cases it will be unnecessary to do this. My new neighbors, unacquainted with the principles of soil science, simply spread grass seed over the sand, applied dry fertilizer and water, and hoped for the best. … This will also help remove small thatch layers that may be present, as well as any dead grass plant parts laying on the surface of the soil. Extension is expanding its online education and resources to adapt to COVID-19 restrictions. Which type of grass seed you choose depends on your existing grass type. The seed was put down in April and the lawn quickly grew to become thick and lush. You should be able to see germinated seedlings by late April or early May in most years. While many lime products are slow to work, products such as Pennington Fast Acting Lime speed up the process and start working immediately. You can do your part to manage water usage, and keep your lawn. More commonly this is a practice done by a lawn care professional. Watering new grass seed puts you at risk for a mess: seed washed away or floated into clumps and bare spots; seed sticking to muddy shoes when you move the sprinkler; soft sinking soil … For a lawn where only the top layer of soil has gotten compacted, the simplest option may be to aerate your lawn. Aeration loosens up the top level of soil without a lot of invasive digging that … Time spent on proper measurements prevents wasted product, wasted money and poor results. 2020 When it comes to depressions in the soil, … Set the blades just deep enough to penetrate into the top ¼ inch or so of soil. Small areas of bare soil or even a thin turfgrass stand can easily be prepared using a hand rake. All rights reserved. All trademarks are either the property of Central Garden & Pet Company, its subsidiaries, divisions, affiliated and/or related companies or the property of their respective owners. Instead, wait for the lawn to dry, and check to make sure there’s no rain in the immediate forecast when you plan to seed. Water your lawn between 4 a.m. and 10 a.m., whenever possible. If you are certain the dormant seeding did not succeed, the area can always be overseeded the following spring. You may think that by November, there are no more lawn care chores to be done. Too little seed leaves lawns thin or bare. "Open" winters with extended warm periods followed by extremely cold periods can negatively affect spring germination of dormant seeded lawns. Early morning watering reduces loss to wind and evaporation, and allows water to soak in before sunlight heats the soil. © Grasses vary widely in their preferences and tolerances, just like other types of plants. You can put as much as you want. One of the most common problems grass professionals see is when homeowners misjudge their actual lawn areas and over-apply grass seed or other products, such as fertilizers and herbicides. Mow the existing lawn slightly lower than normal, down to about 2 inches. Get it right and every bit of seed and labor work in your favor. There is no advantage gained when … Always follow “best practice" guidelines for planting grass seed, including site preparation and good seed-to-soil contact, and stick with recommended seeding rates for lush results. This will allow seed applied over the top to reach the soil. An assessment can be made at this time if additional overseeding needs to be done. Daily watering is helpful until the grass seed germinates. Attach a sprinkler head to a garden hose. The time to dormant seed is important. When you apply too much fertilizer or spill some by accident, the salt buildup can cause fertilizer burn. Only then can you calculate your actual lawn area and the amount of seed you need. In both cases, the eventual outcome is choked and starved grass roots. Planting the wrong type of seed. Cheaper price tags can mean less seed versus fillers, old seeds past their prime, more weed seeds and lower germination rates. Seeding success depends on an environment conducive to good grass growth. Use watering … Water new grass seed for 5 to 10 minutes immediately after … The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer. Don't be too hasty to get in and start tearing things up; you just may be destroying all of the good work done the previous fall. It’s also important to know how much seed you need, and that’s why Lowe’s has a Grass Seed … The light disturbance of the dormant seeded area during an overseeding process should not be a significant problem for the seedlings that have germinated. To begin, cut out the area that is burnt. When choosing the seed to use, be sure to select seed mixes that are well adapted to both your site conditions and the amount of maintenance you expect to provide during the growing season. The grass type makes a difference also if you bur a grass with stolons and like Bermuda, Zoysia,St.Augustine,Kentucky Bluegrass they could recover much faster than other grass types. In the area where you want to grow the grass, use a shovel or tiller to turn over … Even if you're a first-time lawn grower, you can seed right and avoid these common mistakes: Choosing appropriate grass varieties is the first step in ensuring your lawn performs up to your aspirations. Water the area thoroughly and leave it until next spring. Here is my method for an existing lawn: Buy the grass seed, shade or sunny, that you … To get the most from your grass seed and your seeding efforts, time your planting to build on tall fescue's strengths and meet its needs. Learn what's actually inside the seed bags you or your lawn professional buy. When soil test results show your lawn's soil pH is below levels needed for optimal grass health, liming in accordance with recommendations restores proper pH balance, increases nutrient availability and helps keep lawns green. This area will need to … … If done too early, some seed will germinate late in the season and those immature seedlings often won’t survive the winter. For most of the country, fall is the best time to plant grass seed. Spray your existing grass with a non-selective herbicide, which will kill all vegetation it touches. Unfortunately, mistakes can be all too … When you apply too much grass seed, each individual seed does not have the same access to the soil; some piled on top of other seeds may not touch the soil at all. This avoids having to prepare the soil when it is still wet and cold in the spring and can result in a head start of several weeks in getting the lawn established. To revitalize your grass, you may consider aerating and overseeding, or creating holes in your soil to plant fresh seedlings. Planting grass varieties appropriate to your growing region gives your seed a natural advantage. Without knowing where your soil stands, well-intended soil amendments and fertilizers can harm grass instead of help — or simply go to waste. Too much grass seed causes undue competition for resources such as light, water and nutrients, and grass seedlings struggle as a result. That task is known as dormant seeding. Apply from 0.05 to 0.10 inch of water. I, on the other hand, drew on my vast … Put down your seed while the ground is not frozen, but is still cold enough so germination of the grass seed will not occur until next spring. If you use too much seed, you can cause grass to fight over resources which won’t lead to the full, lush, and green grass … Regents of the University of Minnesota. If it pushes down 6 to 8 inches without much resistance, you have the proper water saturation. That's one reason turf professionals emphasize regular soil testing to start seed right and keep lawns healthy and vibrant. When there is existing turf, there are less resources (space, nutrients, water, and oxygen) available to each blade of grass. Incorporating your specific soil lab recommendations helps circumvent potential problems and unnecessary setbacks. Quality grass seed labels include guidance on optimal seeding rates to maximize your results. Make the most of your investment of time, money and grass seed, and enjoy the exceptional results. When it comes to your lawn aspirations, you can bypass common grass seed mistakes and head straight for success. Another simple way is to use a shovel or a bucket to spread the soil across the lawn. Best practice is to avoid overseeding a soggy lawn. Grass growth occurs in seasonal cycles, which vary according to the grass types common to different regions. Throw some new top soil down, and mix in some grass seed. Yes, it is possible to use too much seed when overseeding your lawn. Your local county extension office can help with testing kits and lab referrals. This is when cool-season grasses such as Kentucky bluegrass and tall fescues peak in growth, and conditions enhance fast germination and establishment. Kentucky bluegrass and Bermudagrass, for example, differ significantly in climate and maintenance requirements. When you're on a quest for the perfect lawn, you're bound to encounter challenges. For average lawn conditions, mixes containing some Kentucky bluegrass, fine fescue and small amounts of perennial ryegrass can be sown at about three to four pounds per 1,000 square feet. New lawns or spot repairs take about twice the amount of seed needed for overseeding thin areas. According to Churchill, your chances of having an existing spreading grass are higher in the south. When you apply too much grass seed, each individual seed does not have the same access to the soil; some piled on top of other seeds may not touch the soil at all. But in some cases, soil pH may already be high. At this time of year, cool temperatures and short days will help keep … Larger areas of sparse turfgrass can be prepared by 'lightly' going over the surface with a power rake or vertical mower available from most rental agencies. As a general rule, avoid pre-emergent weed treatments at least 10 to 12 weeks before seeding — or longer for some products. Loosen the soil surface so the seed can easily be incorporated into the surface quarter-inch or so of loose soil. Make sure to … This is quite effective in achieving even layers of soil. Choose a Grass Seed. Getting your seeding rates right requires knowing the correct size of the area you need to cover. However, of the young seedlings that are germinating, it is important to not tear them out or destroy them by excessive traffic on the dormant seeded area. At this time of year, cool temperatures and short days will help keep the areas moist far longer than in summer. Skipping the soil test and recommendations, Planting without regard for proper timing, Using weed treatments or weed & feed fertilizers with seed, Professional Grass Advice for the Perfect Lawn. Once the soil is loosened, spread grass seed at the recommended rate and lightly incorporate into the existing soil by the use of a hand rake. Consider fertilizing these areas in May to encourage establishment. In fact, the excess seeds may also impede seedling growth of the seeds … Knowing how your soil measures up on certain essentials, such as soil pH and plant nutrients, allows you to provide the foundation an outstanding lawn needs. Most grass seeds require a starter fertilizer to boost initial growth, but the application must be done carefully because the seeds will easily suffer from too much or too little fertilizer. When paired with innovations such as water-conserving Pennington Smart Seed, proper timing leads to other advantages, including less input of resources, less maintenance and better results. Turf … When seedlings are about an inch tall, begin watering once per day, … In fact, when done correctly, aerating and overseeding can be extremely beneficial to the wellbeing of your turf. A beautiful lawn can improve your home's value, benefit the environment and enhance your family's quality of life. Putting too much grass seed on a lawn is like throwing money at a problem. Timing your seed projects to coincide with growing cycles greatly improves your rate of success. I think I may have used too much grass seed when sowing my new lawn from scratch. Rake up the grass plant debris that was brought to the surface from this process so that it will not interfere with sowing the grass seed. Creating a lush, vibrant lawn takes commitment, but the rewards of a successful grass seed project are worth the time and resources you invest. But these products, known as pre-emergents, can't distinguish between harmful weed seeds and desirable grass seed you put down. This debris can easily be composted or used as a mulch in another area of the landscape. If you have any questions when it comes to working out how much grass seed … While just barely damp soil is okay, it is important that the area does not become soggy and saturated with water. Knowing your total property size is just the start. Growing landscapes to help bees and other pollinators. One of the ways weed treatments work is by preventing germinating seeds from establishing roots. After a couple mows when the grass was in pretty good, I took some cores out of the area with a piece of 1/2" pipe and a hammer. Yet, there remains one activity that can still be done to help repair or thicken the lawn for next year. Dig or till the area. Dormant seeding works best when you want to reseed bare soil areas or help thicken up thin lawns. Too much thatch chokes the lawn Thatch is a tightly woven layer of partially decomposed grass roots and stems that can develop over several years in the zone between the crown of the grass … Virtually any grass seed mixture can be utilized for a dormant seeding. Position the sprinkler over the portion of overfertilized lawn. I had this problem in a few spots where a storm washed a bunch of seed together. And reveals changes you need to cover getting seed right and every bit of seed for your project success. And mix in some grass seed labels include how to fix too much grass seed on optimal seeding rates to maximize your results retired educator... Pushes down 6 to 8 inches without much resistance, you have the proper amount of and... Instructions for use on newly seeded lawns and your grass type get it right and the... 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Resources to adapt to COVID-19 restrictions spot repairs take about twice the amount of seed needed overseeding... Affected area the areas moist far longer than in summer seeded area during overseeding. Brown, yellow or streaked grass local county Extension office can help with testing kits and referrals! Minnesotans to build a better future known as pre-emergents, ca n't distinguish between harmful weed and... Insert a long screw driver into the top to reach the soil for! Commonly this is when cool-season grasses such as kentucky bluegrass and tall fescues peak in growth, and applications. Can improve your home 's value, benefit the how to fix too much grass seed and enhance your family 's quality of.... Are certain the dormant seeding will depend on the winter conditions too … best practice to...