Read about the reasons you shouldn’t seed your lawn in the spring, and why going with the most trusted lawn care company in Sioux Falls, SD and Sioux City, IA is your best option. Weed Control in Spring Seedings The recent warm weather means its time to started on lawn and landscape projects. You may have plans to seed bare spots in the lawn that you didn’t get to in the Tired of fighting with your lawn? Transform your lawn into a weed-free zone this spring using the best weed control for lawn care.
The Problems with Spring Seeding
As winter reaches its welcome end, you begin to have visions of a lovely lawn all the neighbors will envy. Both literally and symbolically, spring is a time of renewal and fresh growth, and you are feeling the spirit. This year, you are going to have that lawn that you vowed you would every previous year. It’s finally time.
And it’s the perfect time, right? Temperatures are warming, and a long growing season lies ahead. It’s time to get out there and reseed all those bare spots and shore up the healthy-looking areas.
Well, maybe not. Yes to the warming temperatures and the long growing season, but no to the perfect time. Actually, two key factors make spring a very difficult time for seeding. More accurately, spring is not a difficult time to seed, but it is difficult for spring-seeded grass to survive. All that time and money you put into the lawn could very well go to waste.
Cool-weather grasses like those we have in the Sioux City and Sioux Falls metro areas are happiest and grow best with warm days, cool nights, and regular rainfall. If that sounds just like spring, it is! Spring and fall are, truthfully, the best times for grass to grow because the conditions tend to be so good and consistent for it.
So then what is the problem?
The problem is that time of year when the days are long, friends and family gather to barbecue and socialize, and people lounge out back to admire the night sky: summer.
Sure, summer is a great time for kids and for families with vacation time, but it’s a pretty terrible time for grass to grow. This is because it’s just too hot.
Once temperatures approach 80 degrees F, most plant growth, including that of cool-weather grass, slows, though not to the point of threatening its survival. However, as temperatures near and exceed 90, which happens much of the summer, growth dramatically slows.
When that happens, a process called photorespiration begins. Put simply, a plant is consuming more energy than it is producing. Older, well-established grass with deeper root systems can endure, but this becomes too much for newer grass. Even new grass that looks strong and healthy is weaker than it appears. The combination of the heat and the reduced food (because photosynthesis slows as growth does) often causes spring-seeded grass to die. This results in the brown and bare patches you frequently see by late summer.
The other significant impediment to the survival of spring-seeded grass is weed growth, and this is a problem in both spring and summer.
Spring may be the perfect time for grass to grow, but it is also the perfect time for weeds such as crabgrass to grow. Crabgrass loves to grow in bare spots and where the grass is damaged or dying, so those spots you want to reseed as spring begins are the very places crabgrass is likely to grow.
No problem, you might think; I’ll just do some preventive weed control. Although pre-emergent herbicide applications are great ways to prevent crabgrass from growing, they present a couple of problems where growing new grass is concerned.
Early spring is the prime time for applying pre-emergents, but these herbicides are not species-specific. In other words, the pre-emergents will keep crabgrass away, but they also keep new grass seeds from growing.
The solution, then, might seem to be waiting a few weeks before planting new grass, but that has a catch, a serious one. Putting down a pre-emergent will prevent that grass seed from germinating for up to 90 days. That puts you into early or mid-summer, which means a loss of critical growing time, and now your grass faces the dual assault of heat and the lack of water for the seed to grow. That newly planted grass will have little chance of surviving.
Now let’s go back to what we said about the summer heat and bare or discolored patches in the lawn.
When that new grass dies, those spots are ripe for a takeover by crabgrass and other weeds, which can then start to spread to other areas. Yes, you can battle them with post-emergent herbicides, and you probably should, but that dead grass is still dead and not coming back.
And all of that time and money you spent since the start of spring turns out to be all for naught.
What to Do?
By this point, you may be thinking of just giving up. Maybe a “wild” lawn will have to do until next year (the neighbors are really going to love that). You might even start half-wondering if artificial turf or turning the lawn into a rock garden might be better. After all that effort and the results you got for them, no one could really blame you.
The good news is that there are some solutions and that you can have a healthy, beautiful lawn.
If your lawn isn’t extremely thin, and if it isn’t mostly bare, then seeding in the fall is the best option. Like in spring, conditions are typically excellent for plants to grow. Cool-weather grass can take around 9 months to establish itself. Planting in the early fall leaves ample time for grass to grow, and then growth resumes in the spring. This allows the grass more time to become strong enough to withstand the onslaught of summer.
Planting in the spring can still be an option, too. Although spring is not the ideal time to seed a lawn, that doesn’t mean you can’t seed a lawn then and see it thrive. But it’s going to take more work and more expertise. In that case, it’s probably best to consult a professional lawn-care service. The experts there will inspect your lawn, determine the right approach, and then commence doing what they do best.
The Sharp Solution
At Sharp Lawn Care, we are attuned to the Sioux City region’s climate and growth season, and we know exactly what works best here. There are two basic options.
If you decide to seed in the spring, it will be necessary to forgo a pre-emergent weed treatment and the first broadleaf weed-control application (a post-emergent treatment) because they occur in April and May, the times your grass is growing best.
You are still going to have the heat- and drought-related troubles come summer, there almost certainly will be an abundance of weeds as well. For the rest of the summer, then, we will focus on getting rid of the weeds, and then we will reseed in the fall.
What we think is the better option, as long as the lawn isn’t extremely thin, is to utilize a fertilization and weed-control program and include aeration in both spring and fall. Strengthening the grass already there is the goal of the fertilization, and the weed control provides not just aesthetic value but also creates bare spots where new grass seeds can germinate.
We have found that thorough cleanups in spring and in fall to remove grass-killing debris, spring and fall aeration, a well-inclusive fertilization/weed control program, and annual fall seeding result in thick, healthy grass. After the lawn is nice and thick, continue each service every year, although, fall seeding only needs to happen every subsequent two or three years.
Either option, if you need a hand, Sharp Lawn Care will get it right and will get your lawn into great shape. Get a free quote from our professional lawn care company today!
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Weed Control in Spring Seedings
The recent warm weather means its time to started on lawn and landscape projects. You may have plans to seed bare spots in the lawn that you didn’t get to in the autumn. These bare spots may be the result of fungal diseases, which were aplenty due to heavy rainfall in 2018. Summer annual weeds such as crabgrass or Japanese stiltgrass can out compete desirable species in the summertime and leave bare areas as well. While autumn is the ideal time to seed lawns in New Jersey, spring seedings can be successful if you have a plan to control summer annual weeds.
Crabgrass in a lawn
Weed competition from summer annual weeds is much more intense and is the main reason spring seedings are unsuccessful. In a mature lawn, you can apply a pre-emergence herbicide (crabgrass preventer) to manage weeds such as crabgrass and stiltgrass. If you recently seeded or have plans to, these crabgrass preventers are not an option.
If you are planning to seed this spring, using a starter fertilizer product that also contains the active ingredient mesotrione is an effective option when applied at seeding. It will control weed seedlings as they emerge without harming the grass you’ve seeded. One product for home lawns that contains mesotrione is Scotts® Turf Builder® Starter® Food for New Grass Plus Weed Preventer. Mesotrione is available for professional applicators as Tenacity® and other trade names. Products that contain siduron (Tupersan) are also an option for crabgrass control at seeding. Mesotrione and tupersan are not as effective as other pre-emergent herbicides such as pendimethalin, dithiopyr, and prodiamine that can be used on mature, well-established lawns.
After mesotrione is applied, weed seedlings and sometimes the turfgrass will appear bleached for 7 to 21 days after the application. The turfgrass will recover but most of the weed seedlings will not. Read the label carefully especially when using mesotrione and seeding fine fescue. Do not over apply mesotrione as it can damage grass you’ve seeded, especially perennial ryegrass. In areas of heavy weed pressure, mesotrione and siduron will likely not provide season-long crabgrass control. A second mesotrione application can be made 4-6 weeks after the initial or post-emergence herbicides that con i tain quinclorac or fenoxaprop are also options if crabgrass develops mid-summer. Sprayable products sold for crabgrass control usually contain quinclorac or fenoxaprop.
What’s the Best Weed Control for Lawn Care in the Spring?
If you are searching for the best weed control for lawn care, you must first know your lawn. The better you know your lawn, the better the results you will have. You also need to commit to a weed control routine. Unfortunately, weed control is not a one-time chore. It requires regular attention to your lawn and a commitment to creating a landscape that discourages weeds.
Spring is the ideal time to get started. Put in your best efforts to care for your lawn in the spring, and your lawn will be much more manageable come summertime. Our tips will help your master the best weed control for lawn care in the spring.
What Factors Contribute to the Care Your Lawn Needs?
Weed control depends on many factors. The advice given for lawns commonly found in the Northwest may be vastly different from the advice for lawns in the Southeast. If you know the factors most important to your lawn care, you can provide your yard with the proper attention.
What type of grass is on your lawn? Even if you don’t know whether you have Kentucky Bluegrass or St. Augustine, knowing if you have cold season, warm season or transition zone grass will help you determine the right way to administer spring weed control.
What types of weeds do you usually see? An online search will help you identify weeds. Annual weeds will be easier to get rid of, especially if you catch them before they go to seed. Perennial weeds are more challenging because they spread via seeds as well as extensive root systems.
Are weeds established or just starting? You will have the greatest success with new weeds, but it is possible to control those that have gone to seed or gotten a foothold underground. It just takes more work.
Know how often you must water your type of grass. While not enough water can cause many lawn problems, some weeds, like nutsedge, are actually encouraged by overwatering.
Thicker Grass Breeds Good Grass
A solid base of turfgrass provides natural weed control. Bare patches and thin lawns offer opportunities for weeds to take hold and flourish. By seeding your existing lawn with a high-quality seed, you have a good preventative strategy to help keep weeds away. It will not only build a lusher lawn, but those longer blades of healthy grass can deter weeds by preventing them from getting sunlight.
Aeration of your lawn in spring is also a good way to increase its vigor and make sure new seed can germinate. Applying a high-quality fertilizer to encourage growth of new grass and ensure the health of existing grass is an important springtime ritual. Regular mowing to the length recommended for your species of grass will also keep it in the best condition possible. Careful attention to building a thick lawn decreases the chances of opportunistic weeds popping up.
Get Ahead of the Problem
Pre-emergent weed control products are very helpful in keeping weeds from showing up on your lawn. You must apply these products in the spring, just as weeds are starting to rear their annoying heads. Using such products is an effective method of ridding your lawn of annual type weeds.
Consider Going Natural for Weed Control
While there are many weed control products on the market, going natural is a great way to get weeds under control. This is often the most labor-intensive way to get rid of weeds, as it means you need to get out there in the spring and manually pull the invaders. You can also use everyday household items, like a mixture of water and vinegar, or simply pour on boiling water to rid your lawn of weeds.
A solid weeding ritual is best started in the spring when your lawn is waking up from its winter nap. It is the ideal time to get rid of weeds before they have a chance to spread. This will also encourage new growth of healthy grass, which will leave little opportunity for new weeds to take hold. However, weeding your lawn is not a one-season activity. To keep your lawn in the best shape possible, continue to weed it as necessary throughout the growing season.
Your lawn needs attention now. Contact our team of experts at Think Green Lawn Service to get the solutions you need for the best weed control for lawn care in this spring. We make it our priority to ensure you have a beautiful lawn you can enjoy year-round.