Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Each year a lot of grass seed is planted on new lawns and to repair damaged lawn areas. There seems to be a misunderstanding from homeowners as to how fast the new seed should appear. Let’s explore where the problems lie.
Air is an important part of the plants growth. What temperature is the air? Depending on where you live this can greatly vary, particularly the nighttime temperatures in northern areas. Grass seed does not start to germinate until the soil temperatures reach around 50-55 degrees for a week or longer. In order for this to happen, air temperatures need to reach 50-60 degrees for a week or longer. What if air temperatures go down to 30-40 degrees at night? This will further delay the germination of grass seed. By germination I mean, “start to grow”, this does not mean you will have a completely filled in lawn.
Water is very precious. Grass seed needs moisture to penetrate the seed shell and start the germination process, whether this comes from natural rainfall or is supplemented by your irrigation. Remember, even when you water your newly seeded Jonathan Green grass, if the temperature is not warm enough, no amount of water will speed up the germination process. Would you rather swim in the ocean in April or August? Unless you are part of the Polar Bear Club, I hope you said August because warmer water and soil temperatures are much more desirable to encourage grass seed germination.
Watering the grass seed about every day during the few weeks of germination is beneficial. Once the seed has germinated and grown enough to be mowed, reduce your watering schedule to once or twice a week as needed.
Let there be light! All plants need natural sunlight to grow through photosynthesis and produce chlorophyll. When this light is reduced in shaded areas, this process slows down. What is the degree of shade you are dealing with? 1-2 hours a day or 5-6 hours? The quickness of grass seed germination will differ greatly based on the amount of sunlight available. Do not expect grass seed to sprout quickly from the ground when seeding in shady areas.
Some levels of nutrients are necessary for grass seed to survive. Usually there are enough naturally occurring nutrients in the soil to allow newly planted Jonathan Green grass seed to grow. Many lawns are seeded without the help of a fertilizer application; however, the addition of Jonathan Green New Seeding Lawn Fertilizer will definitely hasten seed establishment. Lawns need food just as people do!
Soil quality, like our blood, is the lifeline of plants existence. Healthy soil produces healthy plants. Many times people may re-seed or renovate a lawn area that was neglected for many years. Was the area overrun with weeds? Perhaps these weeds thrived because the soil was not conducive to supporting grass seed growth. If you do not perform a Jonathan Green pH Soil Test to check pH values when you re-seed the area, you may fail to successfully grow a lawn again. Grass seed may germinate on poor soils, but after a few months the lawn will become thin and spindly if the soil condition is not addressed.
Lastly, be sure to not apply grass seed too soon after any weed control applications. If you apply Jonathan Green Organic Weed Control plus Fertilizer, which contains corn gluten, you must delay seeding for 60-90 days. Do not apply the wrong pre-emergent herbicide to control crabgrass in the spring and apply seed at the same time. If applying a pre-emergent herbicide, be sure to use Jonathan Green Crabgrass Preventer plus New Seeding Lawn Fertilizer. It contains siduron (Tupersan), which allows you to sow seed at the same time.
Keep these conditions in mind the next time you plant grass seed and it germinates slowly. You may think it must be the seeds fault, when it isn’t. Good seeding!Back