Precautions for Spring Seeding
Every spring, the internal debate begins. Do we seed in the spring, or can it wait until fall? If it can wait, the job will be much easier and most likely have better results. We’ll have conditions that create a more suitable environment for seeding. But we all fall victim to the rogue snowplow or the significant other who just won’t stay in the confines of the driveway. Sometimes we must accept situations (and people) and realize that spring seedings are necessary.
First, do not use a traditional crabgrass pre-emergent where you want to seed. If you have a lawn care company, tell them where you plan to seed. Using prodiamine or dithiopyr will hinder your seed from germinating properly, most likely at all. Apply your seed as early as possible in coordination with air temperatures around 60–75°F. This timing will give you enough time to develop a good root system to stand strong through summer conditions. But we also must use the proper products to fight against crabgrass and other weeds, which we’ll discuss more later.
Second, decide what seed will work best for your lawn’s conditions and what is currently there. Reach out to your ATS sales rep for help making a decision. We will help you find a quality seed that will best suit your needs. Consider using XCD-coated products for faster germination and less water required.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves here. Preparation is an essential part of the process. The chicken feeding seed method onto compacted soil is a recipe for failure. Cultivate, slit seed, and use fresh topsoil. We must do something to get a seedbed to make good seed-soil contact. Make sure to get an even, uniform coating of seed at the proper seeding rate. More seed is not always better. And yes, there is such a thing as too much. My college self would be very disappointed in my current self for saying such a thing, but it’s true.
If we were to stop there and pray for the best, I would be pretty confident that we are well on our way to having the most magnificent, beautiful stand of … crabgrass and weeds. Maybe some grass, if you’re lucky. To negate these challenges that we face with spring seedings, we should use every tool at our disposal to create the highest chance of success. Use a starter fertilizer, such as 21-22-4 with Mesotrione. This will give our seedlings enough protection against competing weeds and crabgrass and supply them with a great package of nutrients.
We could probably get some pretty good results if we stopped here. But keep in mind, the longer that canopy stays thin and the more that dirt is exposed to the sun and rising temperatures, the more at risk we are for inviting crabgrass and weeds. Adding in Foliar-Pak Grow-In at seeding and repeat applications every 7 to 14 days will have that turf mature with a solid root system in no time. Also, an insulator of some type may be needed to help with grade washout and cooler night temperatures. Keep track of rainfall as well. We want to keep the soil moist but not soggy.
At this point, we have addressed most of the problems that spring seedings bring. Once we have a mature stand of turf, it can handle other herbicides if need be. Get in touch with us to figure out the best route for what is currently giving you trouble.