Every year, we get a lot of questions about seeding grass in the spring. Once the weather starts warming up and the grass begins to grow actively, you might notice bare spots or thin areas that cause you frustration.
But seeding a yard in spring is not a good idea for a couple of reasons. As much as you want to start seeding grass in spring, it is definitely better to hold off.
In this article, we’ll dive into the reasons why it’s in your best interest to wait to seed until the fall. Seeding in the spring can lead to problems that just aren’t worth it.
Each year, there are homeowners who ask us, Should I seed my lawn in the spring?
We understand why you’re anxious to fill in those bare spots or thin areas. If the rest of your lawn is looking great, those spots can be a frustration.
You’re also spending more time on your lawn now and you’re noticing them more than you did in the winter.
The big seed companies also don’t help matters. They start pushing their products on radio and television ads in the spring. Seeding the lawn is likely to be on your mind because the big seed companies are pushing it!
But this big push for seeding grass in spring can set you up for false expectations and failure.
Here are the reasons why seeding the yard in spring can be a mistake.
If you seed in the spring, you’ll likely have no trouble getting the lawn to initially germinate. Grass needs ample moisture and a soil temperature of 50 degrees Fahrenheit to grow…and the early springtime will provide that.
The trouble is, hot dry weather is just around the corner. While your new grass will likely sprout and even look good for a bit, the undeveloped root system is going to really struggle with the hot dry climate of summer.
It takes around 9 to 10 months of ideal conditions for new grass to grow a strong and mature root system.
Mature lawns are much better able to survive drought conditions because of their fibrous roots. Mature root systems can grow as deep as 12 inches into the soil. That allows them to access moisture resources that brand-new grass cannot.
This is why the fall is truly the best time of the year to seed your lawn. We’ll talk more about that further down.
So, even though you could seed your lawn in the spring, you really shouldn’t. You very easily could end up wasting your time and money on grass that doesn’t survive. Then, you’ll just find yourself seeding in the fall anyway.
The other significant problem with seeding grass in spring is that it impacts your efforts to control crabgrass in your lawn.
A big part of the crabgrass control strategy involves preventing it in the first place. This can be achieved with a product called pre-emergent. Some people also refer to this as “crabgrass preventer.”
Crabgrass preventer works by forming a barrier at the surface of the soil that intercepts crabgrass germination. When the germinating seeds come into contact with that barrier, they stop growing.
The trouble is that crabgrass preventer will also stop grass seed from germinating.
If you seed in the spring, you cannot apply crabgrass pre-emergent or you’ll just be shooting yourself in the foot.
Some homeowners might just say, I’ll skip crabgrass control this year.
That might not seem like a big deal but it’s going to be a significant setback. Crabgrass is one of the most aggressive weeds we deal with and when you skip a season of controlling it, it can spread like crazy.
Crabgrass also grows more easily in thinner areas of the lawn, like the ones that you might be trying to seed. The crabgrass might start to choke out your newly growing grass, defeating your efforts.
For the two key reasons we’ve talked about above, you should not be seeding your yard in spring. Instead, plan to seed your lawn in the fall, when the conditions are just right for ongoing growth. This also allows you to still apply crabgrass preventer in the spring.
While most lawn care companies pair fall seeding with a service called aeration, at Limbwalker, we offer a service called power seeding, which is more effective.
The article linked above will go into detail as to what makes power seeding superior but to sum it up, with power seeding, we are actually cutting rows into the soil and planting the seed there.
Since seeds require “seed-to-soil-contact” in order to grow, you get a much higher germination rate with power seeding than you do aeration.
We seed lawns anywhere between late August through October. By waiting until this time, you are providing your grass with ample time to mature before having to deal with the harsh conditions of the summer.
Summer is truly the most difficult time for lawns. While homeowners sometimes assume that’s winter, grass often does just fine in the winter because it goes into a state of dormancy (rest), where it is not actively growing.
In the summer, the grass is still trying to actively grow while also having to deal with extremely harsh conditions including intense heat and drought.
But in the fall, the weather is cool, the ground is still moist, and the soil is still warm. These are the best possible conditions for your new grass to start growing. It’s also plenty of time for the lawn to develop a root system and mature before summer stress sets in.
Even though we aren’t seeding your yard in spring does not mean that other important lawn care services aren’t happening.
In fact, the spring is a really critical time for lawn care to get underway.
During the spring we are focusing on weed control (including preventing crabgrass) and fertilization. We’re also keeping a watchful eye on disease and pest problems that may pop up, particularly as we go into the summer.
At Limbwalker, we’re truly focused on doing what’s best for your lawn (at the right time). You might find companies that don’t utilize best practices and aren’t so committed to getting things right.
But at Limbwalker, we want to do everything we can to make you as successful as possible. Even though homeowners often really want to seed grass in spring we always explain why they’ll be in better shape if they wait.
At the end of the day, our focus is on doing what’s best for you. We know that spring does not provide optimal growing conditions and that grass will have a tough chance of survival. But we’re always available to answer questions that you have about this. We truly want to see you happy and enjoying your lawn.
Are you ready to have a thick and healthy lawn that’s getting everything it needs at your Louisville, KY home? Get in touch with us to get a quote for our lawn care programs, which include three lawn care pricing options, and about adding power seeding to one of those programs.