February brings into my mind many things. Groundhog day, the Superbowl, Valentines day, more snow, cold, Presidents day, lawn care. Yes, I said it, lawn care in February. February happens to be one of the very best times to seed your lawn – especially if you are dealing with a shady lawn or a very thin lawn. Shady lawns will benefit from a seeding now as the new seedlings wont be competing with heavy fall leaf cleanups, as well as this is one of the only times the shady ground sees the sun as the leaves are not yet present.
Picture the ground in February during the freeze thaw cycle, I often describe it as a crystal forest and I get a blank stare (I have included a picture for those blank stares). During the freeze thaw cycle, the ground heaves and all those voids becomes a wonderful place to use up that bag of seed hiding in the shed. The freeze thaw cycle will naturally and gently pull the seed into the soil providing ideal seed/soil contact that is needed for germination. Contact our lawn care experts at Portage Turf Specialists LLC by calling (330) 296-8873
Choose Frost Seeding This February
We have seen great results with frost seeding as it is non-invasive and will not tear up any existing turf as a slit seeder or aeration would. Say you have a 30% coverage of a thin lawn, we slit seed destroying the existing lawn and have a 50% germination rate. You only gained 20% at what cost. Now take your 30% thin lawn, have a frost seeding with a 50% germination (typically much better results than that) you are ahead with a lawn with over 80% coverage, which if you have a shady lawn you know is quite good.
Some neighborhoods we service in the Ravenna, Kent, Stow, Tallmadge, and Hudson neighborhoods are particularly good candidates for frost seeding due to the massive shade tree canopy. In a heavily shaded area frost seeding is typically needed every spring due to the heavy competition from trees due to the trees simply out competing for resources such as sunlight, oxygen, water, mineral nutrition and soil porosity for roots.
Tips For Success in Your Spring Lawn Seeding
- Seed is typically run from 2-10 lbs per 1000 square feet depending on seed type, thinness of turf, and overall conditions. We typically run either a shade tolerant fine or tall fescue seed.
- Seeding may be spread with a clean (no chemical weed control residue) spreader, or for more precise control of a small amount of seed by hand (think feeding the chickens).
- Do not get a single seed in the mulch beds or ground cover as any seeds finding these nice crevices are certain to germinate and cause you a real problem right around memorial day when you had better plans than weeding your gardens!
- Spring overseeding is as successful as the moisture received, which spring in Ohio is generally helpful with this. For optimum germination begin supplementing watering as night time temperatures begin to stabilize in 55 degree range. Watering too soon will only rot the seed, not watering during hot dry afternoons will cause the newly germinated seed to dry out and die.
- ABSOLUTELY CRITICAL! No weed control, or pre-emergent crabgrass control for minimum of 8 weeks after a spring seeding. Contact your trusted local lawn care provider, such as Portage Turf Specialists, to let them know you have seeded and mark these areas off. We will run a premium organic based starter fertilizer in these areas to promote germination and help with lawn establishment.
- Timing is critical. February is ideal as you are ensured several frost freeze/thaw cycles will pull seed into the soil and it will be just in time to take advantage of those warm spring rains.
- Did I mention timing/communication is important? This is an easy task that can save you big money on lawn renovations.
We Can Help!
Many individuals elect to hire a lawn care professional such as Portage Turf Specialists to handle all facets of their lawn care to ensure a thick, health lawn. We have perfected the timing of all these operations, and would be happy to take your lawn to the next level by adding frost seeding to your regularly scheduled service. Contact us by calling (330) 296-8873, and receive a free quote on your frost seeding.