By the time September rolls around, some homeowners just seem to give up on their lawn, But did you know it is probably the best time to repair and thicken a stressed and thin lawn? Many people have told me they are surprised we recommend doing seeding in the fall. Spring has such strong associations with new growth and renewal that I can understand the idea. But how many people who seed in spring wish the blazing heat of summer would hold off and give their young grass weeks or months more to grow? Or they struggle to keep the kids off a newly seeded lawn, after they were cooped up inside all winter? Those wished for weeks and months are available in the fall- free of charge!
What’s so great about fall?
Grass seed needs three things to germinate: It has to be in firm contact with soil, it has to be kept moist and the soil must be warm enough – between 7°c and 13°c at minimum. All of these conditions are met in the fall, so seed germinates and grows easily. It isn’t about the air temperature as much as it is about the soil temperature.
Fall is also when lawns usually need new seed the most. The lawn has come out of its most punishing season, facing heat, drought, disease, weeds and insect attacks not too mention infrequent or inconsistent mowing and watering stress. These stresses can thin a lawn or even leave areas of bare earth, making the lawn vulnerable to weed invasion and other problems. Why wait for the spring when you can fill the lawn in right away?
Fall is also the season when activity on lawns wind down, so the need to minimize traffic on a newly seeded lawn is no longer a worry.
How it is done
Discuss with your LawnSavers plant health specialist whether you are looking for thickening of a thin but otherwise healthy lawn or repair of an injured one. A combination of services can be tailored to your needs.
- Core Aeration – Pulling cores of earth from the ground improves soil by reducing compaction, and greatly increases the rate of seed germination
- Over seeding – a broadcast seeding of our blend of four certified seed varieties, including endophyte enhanced ryegrasses. Thickens thin lawns and introduces new, stronger ‘Certified’ seed varieties.
- Power seeding – by cutting the soil and pushing seed right into the ground, this technique (also known as slit seeding) results in four times the germination of a broadcast seeding making it ideal for repair of injured lawns.
- Top dressing – one quarter inch of premium, heat-treated organic compost brushed into the grass not only provides a boost of micro-nutrients and beneficial soil microbes, but also improves soil quality, soil contact and helps shelter the seed from drying sun and wind. Top dressing just makes lawns better.
Spring is also beneficial if you are just getting around to it. But if you are looking at your lawn and want a great head-start to get your lawn thicker and healthier than your neighbours, ask your LawnSavers professional for help now! Call 905-707-9994 or 1-888-503-LAWN(5296)