High-quality grass seed is essential for a strong, healthy lawn. For information about the best grass seed to plant in Iowa, the best time to plant, and how to care for your lawn, look no further than Jonathan Green. How to Grow Grass in a Weeded Area. Trying to grow grass in a weeded area is a frustrating task that generally provides undesirable results. Weeds are aggressive and invasive plants that choke out grass and flowers. They quickly take over an area and are notoriously hard to get rid of. When you choose to grow grass in … For beautiful, healthy grass, it’s important that you apply the correct seed. Learn the best grass seed to use in northern Virginia, along with professional tips on seeding your lawn.
Best Grass Seed for Iowa
High-quality grass seed is essential for a strong, healthy lawn. For information about the best grass seed to plant in Iowa, the best time to plant, and how to care for your lawn, look no further than Jonathan Green.
Grass Seed Recommendations
Three of Jonathan Green’s most popular grass seed mixtures are:
is most similar to what is found on sod farms. The mixture possesses species diversity and contains exclusive, elite varieties of tall fescue, Kentucky bluegrass, and perennial ryegrass. These grasses grow a naturally dark-green and beautiful lawn with excellent heat and drought tolerance. Black Beauty Ultra® grass seed germinates in about 14 days. is formulated for successful fall seeding and contains several grass types, including Black Beauty ® tall fescues. It is ideal for planting a brand new lawn or repairing a sparse, damaged lawn. Black Beauty® Fall Magic™ can be used in sunny and shady lawn areas and germinates in 10 to 14 days. is an excellent choice if you want a new lawn fast. Thanks to the annual ryegrass included in this mixture, which is the fastest germinating grass seed variety, you can expect this seed to germinate in 7 days. It is designed to fill in troubled areas in lawns or grow an entirely new lawn quickly.
The Best Time to Plant
The best time to seed cool-season grasses in Iowa is late summer/early fall (ideally mid-August to mid-September). The soil temperatures and moisture at this time of year promote optimum seed germination, and the cooler air temperatures are better for grass growth.
When you choose Black Beauty turfgrasses that are so deeply rooted (up to four feet deep) and drought tolerant, you can still enjoy great success by planting grass seed in the spring (March to mid-June) but may have to contend with crabgrass and other weeds.
Fortunately, Jonathan Green Green-Up Weed and Feed kills dandelions, clovers, chickweed, and over 250 other broadleaf weed varieties, as well as smaller, less leafy weeds. It has a three-way action that kills weeds down to the root and feeds desirable grasses for up to three months, while weeds gradually disappear from the lawn.
Prepare the Soil
Before you lay any seed down, the soil must be at the correct pH and be aerated and loosened to allow for proper root growth.
MAG-I-CAL® Plus is specially formulated to quickly raise or lower your soil to the ideal pH range of between 6.2 and 7.0. For pH that falls below 6.2, use MAG-I-CAL® Plus for acidic lawns. For pH that is above 7, use MAG-I-CAL® Plus for alkaline lawns. (You can purchase a pH tester from us or any local hardware or garden supply store.) MAG-I-CAL® can be applied the same day as the grass seed is spread.
Once you’ve corrected the soil pH, loosen and aerate it for best root growth. This can be done with Love Your Soil®. This innovative soil treatment activates the microbes within the soil. Once activated, the microbes allow for nutrients to be easily absorbed by the grass roots, resulting in stronger, heartier grass. Both of these products can be applied right before laying down new seed.
Discover the best grass seed to plant in Iowa, as well as lawn care tips for growing a thick, dense, dark green lawn. Visit Jonathan Green online or your nearest independent retail store for advice.
How to Grow Grass in a Weeded Area
Trying to grow grass in a weeded area is a frustrating task that generally provides undesirable results. Weeds are aggressive and invasive plants that choke out grass and flowers. They quickly take over an area and are notoriously hard to get rid of. When you choose to grow grass in an area overrun by weeds, you essentially have to start fresh by establishing new turf.
Remove the weeds from the area by either manually pulling them out of the ground or applying weed killer to the area. Hand-pulling weeds is safer for the soil, but removing all the roots can be difficult. Chemical weed killer kills the weeds and their roots, but may damage grass seed and leave pesticide residue in the soil, if you plant the seeds too soon after the herbicide application. If you choose to use weed killer, wait 2 to 3 weeks before planting new grass seed.
Till the top 6 inches of soil with a soil tiller. You can rent or purchase soil tillers at home improvement centers and rental yards. After the tiller turns under the dead weeds and soil, rake the soil with a garden rake to level the area as much as possible. Remove large rocks and break up clumps of soil.
Cover the soil with the correct grass seed for your location and the amount needed to cover the area. For example, some parts of the San Francisco Bay area work best with warm-season grasses — such as St. Augustine, buffalo or zoysia grass — while other Bay areas thrive with cool-season grasses such as tall fescue and perennial rye. Use your gloved hands to distribute the seeds evenly over areas smaller than 150 square feet. For larger areas, use a seed spreader.
Apply a thin layer – about 1/4 inch – of high-quality topsoil over the grass seed. Applying too thick and the seeds have a hard time germinating. Attach a garden hose sprayer with a mist option to a water hose. Dampen the top 6 inches of the soil with the water hose set on mist. Using a mist of water instead of a stream will prevent the seeds from washing away.
Continue watering the soil two to three times a day until the seeds have germinated and the grass is about 1/2-inch high. After germination occurs, you can cut back watering to once every day or two. Never let the seeds dry out.
What’s the Best Grass Seed for My Lawn in Northern Virginia?
When you picture the lawn of your dreams, you certainly aren’t picturing one with thinned out areas, discoloration, or weeds popping up. You’re imagining a lawn that the neighbors envy—that is, one that is thick, green, and weed-free.
While you likely know that various lawn care efforts go into making a lawn look that way (great lawns don’t just happen, they’re created), what you may not know is just how much impact the seed being used will have. In fact, you might even assume that all lawn care companies are using the same type of seed—but this just isn’t the case.
For beautiful, healthy grass, it is important that you make your seed selection wisely, which may mean turning to a professional for guidance. When it comes to choosing the best grass seed for Northern Virginia, we are here to guide you.
Choosing the Best Grass Seed for Northern Virginia
It’s very important to recognize that choosing grass seed is much more complex than just heading to the nearest box store and picking up a bag of seed. If you’ve been to a big box store and looked at seed, you already know there are an overwhelming number of types and brands of seeds.
A poor choice could leave you with more hassle than you started with. That’s because some seed blends contain filler (which can produce untreatable weeds). In addition, some turf types don’t work well in our region and yet they are still available to buy around here.
We understand how confusing these options can be for you.
But purchasing high-quality grass seed is really important. You don’t want to end up with weeds in your lawn due to using a low-quality product that has weed seeds mixed in. When homeowners see one or two bare spots in their yard, sometimes the inclination is just to grab a bag of seed and quickly take care of it themselves. But this really could do more harm than good by introducing unwanted weeds into your yard that will only spread.
Unfortunately, the grass seed purchased in big box stores is simply not going to be of the same high quality as that which is used by a reputable landscape professional.
The word “reputable” is important there. While we’d like to say that no so-called professional would ever use low-quality grass seed, the fact is, many do it to cut cost. This is certainly taking advantage of homeowners who don’t recognize that there is a difference between seed quality and it, unfortunately, happens all the time.
Even professionals get what they pay for. And the products available to them vary in price and quality as well.
The Best Northern Virginia Grass Types
So what type of grass should be used for Northern Virginia lawns?
Without a doubt, turf-type tall fescue is the best-adapted turfgrass for Northern Virginia lawns. That’s because it tends to have the deepest root system of the different types of cool-season grasses. It can use water from deeper within the soil and therefore resist drought and continue to perform well in a variety of weather conditions.
But with more than 100 cultivars of tall fescue, there are even choices within this category.
To dig even deeper, you specifically want to know, what is the best grass seed for Northern Virginia?
At Turf’s Up, we are using a top-rated blue-tag fescue, which is ideally suited to our region. The seed selection that we’ve made is based on years of studies performed by researchers like those at Virginia Tech. This particular grass seed has been studied and proven to be a top performer.
The specific commercial-grade product that we’ve chosen is a blended turf-type tall fescue, meaning that it is not a single cultivar, but instead, several in order to provide the best possible performance.
The blue tag certification means that it contains no weed filler.
In addition, this particular seed is also special because it is coated in starter fertilizer in order to provide faster germination. Our grass is usually growing in a third of the time of most grass seeds—often times as quickly as within a week. Average grass seed is going to take as long as 3 weeks to even start growing.
Encouraging Grass to Grow with Supporting Services
Of course, actually getting your grass off to the best possible start requires more than just tossing down some seed. Your professional lawn care company should also perform valuable services like lawn aeration and topdressing to start your lawn the right way.
A lawn aeration service is performed by running a commercial-grade aerator across your lawn. At Turf’s Up, we always do a double pass giving you the best possible results. We find that a lot of our competitors do not perform a double pass when aerating.
The best time to seed the lawn is immediately following lawn aeration when the seeds can fall into the holes that we created in the lawn.
The fall weather provides the ideal conditions for seed germination, increasing the odds that your new grass will survive and mature. To perform a lawn seeding service, we use push spreaders that are correctly set to properly seed your lawn at five pounds per thousand square feet.
Finally, in order to achieve the best possible results, topdressing the lawn with compost is a lawn service best-performed right after aeration and overseeding. The idea is for the compost to mix with the existing clay soil.
Topdressing is a lawn care secret that many haven’t heard of, but it has long been a standard practice in the golf course industry. These days many more homeowners are using a topdressing service to achieve the lush green lawn they desire.
Topdressing is a great way to build a healthy balance in your soil by increasing healthy soil microorganisms, all while improving soil structure.
When is the Best Time to Plant Grass in Northern Virginia?
Seeding is best done in the fall because the weather conditions are ideal for new grass growth. While the soil is still warm, the air is cool. This provides the best possible growing conditions for seed germination which, in turn, improves the chance of new grass survival.
To be even more specific, the best time to plant grass in Virginia is between September 1 and October 31, but that’s not to say that we wouldn’t go a little later. The trouble is, as we get into November, the temperatures begin to drop more rapidly.
If we were to perform seeding after October 31, we’d likely use a process called slit seeding (or “slice seeding”).
This method utilizes a piece of machinery called a slit seeder to make ½ inch to 1-inch deep slices in the ground with its vertical blades. Grass seed is then dropped into these slices. By creating these deep slices, the seed ends up in contact with the soil, where it will germinate best. With slit seeding, the new grass seed will be more protected from the colder temperatures.
Achieving the Lawn of Your Dreams
The best lawns begin with the best seed—and the specialized attention of a professional who knows how to grow grass as well as care for it as it grows and matures.
By choosing Turf’s Up for seeding and other lawn care needs at your Northern Virginia home, you can ensure that you’re getting the best possible seed on the market for our region. You can also be sure that your lawn is getting the care and attention that it needs to thrive. When it comes to having the lawn of your dreams, you need nothing less than the best.
If you’re ready to have the lawn of your dreams at your Ashburn, Aldie, or Leesburg, VA home, talk to an expert, choose a solution, and get ready to watch that dream take shape today.