Seeding Secrets for a Sensational Lawn
(ARA) - Watering, fertilizing and proper mowing are all important aspects of lawn care. But to maintain that healthy, lush lawn you also need to be smart about seeding.
Fixing some bare spots on the lawn or filling out thinning grass requires the right type of seed, a little know-how and the patience to, literally, watch grass grow.
"Even the most well-cared-for lawn can develop a bald patch here or there over the winter," says John Marshall, manager of The Scotts Training Institute for The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company. "And if your turf has multiple bare spots or is just thin all over, proper seeding can be the solution for your lackluster lawn."
Paying attention to four factors when seeding can help turn your lawn from flop to fabulous:
Timing is Everything
Many people wait until warm weather to turn a critical eye on their lawn, even though the very best time to seed is in the fall. But seeding can successfully spruce up your spring lawn -- if you start early enough.
Even if you suspect your region may experience one or two more frosts before spring, go ahead and seed. "Cold will not hurt grass seed," Marshall says. "Better to seed too early than too late."
If you're unsure of proper timing for your area, check with a local lawn expert or university extension program for advice.
Prepare the Ground
Failing to prepare the ground to receive seed is one of the top mistakes homeowners make, Marshall says. If you are seeding bare spots or dead areas, take a rake and scratch the spot until you see more dirt than dead grass. In order to take root, grass seeds must be in direct contact with soil.
If you're overseeding an entire thin lawn, rent a core aerator or slit seeder and go over the lawn first in order to achieve the best possible seed/soil contact.
Choosing the Right Seed
Watering deeply and infrequently is the usual recommendation for an established lawn, but a newly seeded lawn requires more watering than usual because grass seed dies when it dries out.
In order to get the most out of your grass seed, opt for a seed, such as Scotts Turf Builder Grass Seed with Water Smart, that helps create a good looking lawn with less water. The seed is wrapped in a super absorbent coating that actually holds water to keep the seed moist even if a day of watering is missed. The coated seed will require water once a day and possibly even every other day depending on the climate where you live. Hotter regions may need more frequent watering.
Non-coated seed, by contrast, requires watering multiple times each day in order to keep the seed wet. "When grass seed dries, it dies," Marshall says.
Caring for Your Grass Seedlings
Once your grass seedlings appear, some simple steps can help you care for your growing lawn, including:
* Fertilize the lawn - Remember to fertilize the same day you seed. After that, for most areas of the country, it's OK to fertilize your lawn every two months during warm weather.
* Keeping off the grass - Contrary to popular belief, simply walking on grass seedlings isn't likely to do much harm, but it's a good idea to avoid walking on them if possible. If you've seeded in a high-traffic area it's a good idea to rope off the spot until the seed is well established -- usually after the first mowing.
* Mowing is good for your grass seedlings - Once grass seedlings reach 2 to 3 inches in height, it's time to mow them. Marshall recommends setting your mower on one of the two highest settings. Trimming the top off new grass actually encourages it to grow laterally, spreading out to fill thin areas.
For more tips on successful seeding and general lawn care help, visit www.scotts.com or call Scott's consumer help line at (888) 270-3714.
Courtesy of ARAcontent
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