Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Every year there are questions regarding the germination or establishment of grass seed. How do I plant it? How long until it germinates? Is it too late to apply seed? Too many people think that if you just throw grass seed down it will grow. There are many reasons why your planting may not have been as successful as you would have expected; let’s examine some of these reasons.
Grass seed needs the proper conditions to germinate. If the air and soil are cold the seed will take longer to germinate because water absorption is much slower. Once the air and soil temperatures are above 50 degrees, grass seed will start to germinate. During the springtime this fact is often forgotten. When there is not enough moisture present, the grass seed will not germinate. Proper watering during the first few weeks after planting is important to establish a healthy stand of grass. Too much water applied to a new or existing lawn can also greatly reduce your chances of success.
Having the proper soil balance is also important. It is important to correct your soil if there are some deficiencies. It is desirable to test the soil prior to planting. My Jonathan Green Soil pH Test Kit is available at lawn & garden and hardware stores in your area. Your local extension service can also help with soil testing. If there is something wrong with the soil, either too low or too high a pH value, chemical or gasoline spills, toxic materials in the soil or other considerations, your grass seed will have trouble growing.
All grass seed needs some sunlight to grow. Growing lawns under tree shade can present some problems. If you do not get at least 2-3 hours of sunlight on the lawn area it will be difficult to maintain turf grass. If little grass has survived in these shaded areas over the years, the chances are you may have trouble establishing a lawn in the long term.
All plants need proper nutrients to thrive. Did you apply any Jonathan Green New Seeding Lawn Fertilizer at the time you seeded? There is a far better chance of establishment and survival if you properly fertilize the lawn area prior to seeding. What about erosion or birds taking away much of the seed you planted? The use of netting or Jonathan Green Green Patch Seed Establishment Mulch provides better, more uniform coverage of grass seed and also can deter the birds from seeing and eating the seed.
Did you properly prepare the soil for the best results? Why would you just throw grass seed out on the ground and expect great results? If the soil is too hard, your drainage needs correcting, or any of the other problems listed above, address the problem prior to planting grass seed. Good seed-to-soil contact will help grass seed establish much better than just a random broadcasting by hand. Rent the proper equipment to help you do the job if you have larger areas to seed.
You need to understand what to expect concerning germination times for the various grasses that you plant. Perennial Ryegrass germinates the quickest, sometimes in 5 days, however it usually takes 10-14 days. Fine fescues including the creeping, chewing, and hard types usually take about 10-20 days. Tall Fescue usually takes 10-20 days but can be slow to establish under colder temperatures. Kentucky Bluegrass is the slowest to germinate, usually in 14-30 days and longer with cold temperatures. Remember, germinate means start to grow. You cannot expect a filled in lawn in 10 days!
Did you apply an herbicide during or too close to your seeding application? When applying Jonathan Green Crabgrass Preventer plus Green-Up Lawn Fertilizer, you must delay seeding for 3-4 months. If you use Jonathan Green Crabgrass Preventer plus New Seeding Lawn Fertilizer you can seed on the same day without injuring the new seedlings. When making an application of Jonathan Green Weed & Feed Fertilizer delay seeding for 3-4 weeks. After you apply Jonathan Green grass seed, it needs to be growing and mowed 2-3 times before you can apply any weed & feed products. Read and follow all label directions.
Wow, I bet you did not think there where so many things to consider in establishing grass seed, did you? Good luck and good seeding!Back