Weed And Feed Or Seed In The Fall

Seeding of the lawn can be done at any time, although it is highly recommend to be done in the fall. The seeding process is all about timing in the pick or Think it's too late to seed your lawn? Don't worry, October is not too late to seed! A fall seeding is always preferable to waiting until next spring. Learn the most effective Fall Lawn Care and maintenance tips for keeping your grass and whole yard healthy and looking good.

The Seeding Process

Whether you are starting with an existing lawn or have some grass established, seeding is always a process that takes time and patience. The mix of weed control and seed is a very fine balance which usually involves picking one or the other. This process can go a couple different ways depending on the time of year that this process is set to start, it can also take several years to get the results expected.

Spring Start

Starting the process off in spring can be tricky. Spring is the time of year that weeds are most prevalent and the best time to control them or prevent them. Pre-emergent needs to be down in the spring before the soil temperatures reach a consistent 55 degrees to help prevent crab grass from germinating. In the spring months, we highly recommend using weed control over doing the seeding. A full season of the lawn care program will get the weeds under control before planning a fall seeding. The more weeds that are under control, the easier the seed will germinate and grow.

Spring Start – Fall Seeding

After the fall seeding has been completed, it is crucial to follow the recommendations given on caring for the newly seeded lawn. The quicker the seed germinates and begins to grow; the better off the lawn will be the next year. In the following year, TurfGator recommends continuing the lawn care program beginning with the pre-emergent barrier during the early spring application. Without mature enough grass, this barrier cannot go down until the second lawn application which could allow more crabgrass to germinate than if this barrier had gone down during the first lawn application.

Spring Start – Spring Seeding

While spring is a good time to seed, be aware that there will be a struggle with weeds throughout the year. With a spring seeding, weeds cannot be controlled at all until early summer. Our commercial grade weed control products will interfere with the new grass seedlings, as well as prevent seed from germinating. Once the grass is mature enough, our post-emergent weed control sprays can be used to help get the weeds under control.

Fall Start

First of all, we recommend doing the fall aeration and overseeding in the current year. We are not concerned as much with the weeds lingering from the summer such as crabgrass, spurge, and nutsedge because they are about to stress out and die from cool fall temperatures. These weeds are annual weeds meaning that just because they grew there this year, does not mean they will automatically grow there next year.

Also, if your home is a new build, the compacted bare dirt is a breeding ground for these summer weeds. The fall weeds that are present or popping up will only last a little while before the winter temperatures stress them out too. Also, by putting an aerator on the lawn our technicians will be puncturing and tearing up the weeds, which will also stress them out and kill them. Any “skeletons” left from dead weeds should be left where they lay, as they will act as a natural straw blanket and help protect your seed and new seedlings.

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Our technicians will leave you a care sheet on how to take care of your newly seeded lawn, we recommend following this sheet as closely as possible to get the best germination this year, rather than the seed germinating next year.

Fall Start – The Following Year

In the following year, the full 7-application lawn care program of fertilizer and weed control in will get the weeds more controlled throughout the year. For the first lawn application (March through early April) we will apply a pre-emergent barrier which helps prevent crabgrass and other grassy weeds from germinating. The sooner we can get this down the better; this is why it is so important to follow our seeding care sheet to get the grass to germinate this year, rather than next. If the grass is not mature enough at the 1 st application, we will need to wait until the second application (April through early June) to apply the pre-emergent or spray for any weeds. If the pre-emergent barrier is not down before crabgrass starts germinating, some may pop and grow within the lawn which is more difficult to treat rather than prevent.

Seed, Treat, Repeat

Regardless of when the first seeding was done, we recommend aerating and overseeding again the following fall to help thicken the lawn even more and introduce new life into it. This will also help fill any bare or thin areas in the lawn where weeds have died off. The thicker the lawn, the fewer weeds are present.

We would recommend following the lawncare program in the future years to continue to control weeds and fertilize the lawn, we then recommend assessing the lawn during the summer months to determine if the lawn will need the aeration & overseeding yet again that fall. At this point, it may not be completely necessary if all the thin & bare spots are pretty well filled in, but it would still be highly beneficial to the lawn to introduce the new life and continue the thickening process. Once the lawn is well established, we recommend aerating every year to keep the soil loose and highly recommend seeding every year, or at least every other year to build or maintain the thickness.

Expectations

The processes set out above should get you the results you are looking for over time, with care and patience. The owner of TurfGator has actually gone through this same process for their own personal lawn, as well as the lawns of their neighbors, and several other customers. Each of those processes averaged out to be about 3 years to get a full turn around.

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Unfortunately, there is no seeding method that will give the lawn a sod-like appearance just from doing it once, seeding is a process rather than a one-time result so unless you are willing to pay the money for sod, growing a new lawn from scratch is a process, no matter which method is taken.

To Sum It Up

Seeding of the lawn can be done at any time, although it is highly recommend to be done in the fall. Timing is everything in the pick or choose balancing game of weed control and seeding. These recommendations are valid for new lawns, as well as for the reseeding established lawns.

It is always a good idea to consult with a lawn care professional and ask any questions you may have. Look around, ask friends or family, and research companies on the Better Business Bureau to find a company that you can trust.

It’s Not Too Late to Seed: Your October Lawn Care Guide

Have you been debating whether or not to reseed or overseed your lawn this fall? Well, we’ve got great news: it’s not too late!

Seeding early in the fall is always best, but there is still time to develop a thicker, greener lawn if you seed now. It is always better to do so in the fall than waiting for next spring when weeds and cold weather can hinder your efforts. Despite evening temperatures dropping below 60ºF, the soil temperature is about 5º to 10ºF higher. Newly planted grass seed likes warm soil which is one of the reasons why fall is the best time to seed. In warmer soil, grass roots reach down deep to establish the plant before winter weather sets in.

If you’re reseeding or overseeding this fall, follow these steps:

1. Test and Amend Soil pH

If you haven’t tested your soil pH , do so now. Your soil pH is critical to growing a healthy lawn. If your pH is not balanced, it can cause weeds to thrive, and limit the amount of nutrients available to your grass plants. Cool-season grasses thrive in soil pH values between 6.2 to 7.0. If your pH is below or above 7 add Mag-I-Cal Plus , which comes in both acidic and alkaline versions to balance your soil pH. The calcium in this product also helps to strengthen cell walls and prepare grass plants for winter, while reducing disease potential.

2. Prepare Soil and Seed

Proper soil preparation is key to growing a successful lawn. Although some of the seeds may germinate if you were to simply throw the seed onto your lawn, you will not see great results without preparing your soil.

First, vigorously rake the areas that will be seeded to loosen the soil. Alternatively, rent a power rake or slit seeding machine for the best results. If needed, level the ground. Next, apply the seed with a spreader to ensure even coverage. Be sure not to bury newly planted grass seed more than ¼ inch in depth. Once seed is applied, turn your rake over and gently swish it back and forth to barely cover the seed. Seed to soil contact is very important and enhances germination.

See also  Green Crack Weed Seeds

By this time of year, we may experience the first frost, but lawns will still grow with sunny days ahead. The first frost also will kill any existing crabgrass, which is another reason fall seeding is preferred to spring. If you notice bare spots in your lawn after crabgrass has died, you can fill them in with new grass seed.

3. Fertilize

Fall is a great time to grow grass, and thus is also a great time to feed your lawn! An application of Winter Survival Fall Lawn Food is great at this time. Fertilizing twice in the fall, once in late August and once in late October, will keep your lawn green throughout the rest of the year. Winter Survival is not too high in Nitrogen, as excess Nitrogen can lead to snow mold disease problems later in winter and spring.

4. Control Weeds

Another reason fall is ideal for seeding is that there are less weeds! This means that weed control in lawns at this time of year is generally limited to broadleaf weeds. Provided weeds are actively growing and soil temperatures are above 55ºF, you can successfully control many types of broadleaf weeds.

If you only have a few weeds throughout your lawn, spot spraying is most effective. However, if you have a lot of weeds, a broadcast application of Green-Up Weed & Feed is best. Why not give your lawn its last feeding for the season and clean out as many weeds as you can before next year?

Note: Do not apply weed control for at least four weeks after seeding. If you do, it will hurt the new seedling’s development. Before four weeks or up until the second mowing the new grass will not be able to handle the effects of the herbicide.

5. Mow

One last tip before you go: keep mowing your lawn as long as it needs it into late fall! Be sure your mower blades are sharp and in good working order. You can leave clippings on the lawn provided they are not wet or developing clumps which may kill existing grass.

In conclusion, it is not too late to seed your lawn in October and it always better to seed a lawn in the fall, than waiting until next spring. Wondering why? Check out our 5 Reasons It’s Best to Seed in The Fall blog post!

Weed And Feed Or Seed In The Fall

Please be sure to read the product label of any insecticide you choose to use to get information on the personal protective safety gear you will need. In most situations, it is recommended that you wear long pants, a long sleeved shirt, closed toe shoes with socks, chemical resistant gloves, and goggles. In areas where ventilation is poor, a manufacturer may recommend you wear a mask or a respirator. We have put together two different safety kits that will make selecting the correct safety gear easier for you.