You probably treasure the lawn care “off season” as a time of rest and relaxation. Now, you get to gaze out the window and reflect on all you did this season to grow a more beautiful lawn and garden.
However, if you are planning to reseed certain areas of your lawn in spring, consider seeding now, or just before the ground freezes.
It’s called dormant seeding, because the seed remains dormant until spring. Then, as warmer weather begins, the seed is in the ground and ready to grow, and you can concentrate on other lawn and garden projects.
The benefit of dormant seeding is that as the soil heaves and cracks during the winter, crevices are created, which the seed settles into. These cracks provide ideal lodgings for seed. Dormant seeding can also help you avoid trying to seed a lawn during a rainy spring.
The best time for dormant seeding varies by location, and is generally from late November to March. Dormant seeding can be tricky, since an unexpected surge in temperatures will cause the seed to germinate. Also, don’t apply a pre-emergent crabgrass control in the spring until after the new grass plants have been mowed at least four times.
Taking your lawn to the “next level”
Do areas of your lawn seem to be stuck in neutral? No matter how you feed and water, these areas never seem to flourish. If so, you might need to do an easy assessment of your yards “growing conditions” and seed accordingly.
Some “grass types” grow better in shade than others. Some varieties, like fescues, prefer full sun. You should match your lawn type to match the shady, sunny or high-use conditions your lawn prefers.
A grass seed mixture is a combination of different types of grasses. Each has its own strengths and weaknesses. When they grow together in a lawn, the lawn can survive just about anything, be it heat, drought or heavy traffic.
Blends are combinations of different varieties of the same grass type. Blends will not adapt to certain stressful conditions as well as a mix will do, but they are generally more attractive because of their uniformity.
It is not uncommon to have two or three different mixes or blends throughout your yard. Observe where the shadiest areas are found in your yard, or where the lawn receives equal amounts of sun and shade. If you notice some areas are worn from heavy use, use a “heavy traffic” mix in those frequently used lawn areas.
Additionally, consider how you’ll treat the grass. Some grasses hold up to heavy traffic and some don’t. If you have kids and outdoor pets, you definitely need a resilient mixture. Remember, you don’t have to “settle” for a mediocre lawn. You can take your lawn to the “next level.”
And don’t forget the best method to a healthy, thick turf — and that is an annual program of regular feedings for your lawn. A lawn that is fed regularly is better suited to withstand heat, drought, insects, diseases and foot traffic.