Spring Has Sprung

 

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Spring Has Sprung

Spring Turf Awareness 

Timing is Everything   

 

Spring has sprung as we turn our focus to the outdoors and prepare our landscapes for the new growing season. Landscape professionals follow specific guidelines and recommendations relating to the care of turf areas. We have prepared a basic list of guidelines for you to consider relating to spring turf awareness.

Even though the fall planting season is preferred over the spring for turf seeding, there are times when we are just not willing to accept a summer with thin, bare, unhealthy lawn areas. Spring seeding can still be successful, as long as the timing and other success factors are strictly adhered to. 

 
 Spring seeding timing factors:
  1. Do not apply a pre-emergent herbicide (designed to control crabgrass) in the areas where you will be planting turf seed. This herbicide will prevent the new turf seeds from germinating.
  2. Spring seeding should be completed early (April 15th - May 1st target) which will allow for complete germination (2-4 weeks) and increased plant establishment prior to summer heat. Turf seed will begin germinating after the ‘soil’ temperatures reach at least 60 degrees.
  3. A consistently moist seed bed will increase the germination process resulting in a stronger plant sooner (to withstand the upcoming summer heat). Most turf varieties need 6-12 weeks of ideal growing conditions to produce an adult stand. – U of I Extension
 
                                
 Spring seeding success factors:
  1. Soil-to-seed contact is an important factor in seed germination. Lightly cultivating the soil prior to sowing and lightly raking the seed after sowing will increase this soil-to-seed contact.
  2. Add organic matter (compost, peat moss, leaf mulch) as soil amendments to help improve the soil structure and increase the nutrients in the soil.
  3. Increase the germination percentage by lightly covering the newly planted seed with straw blanket or paper mulch designed to help retain moisture, reduce evaporation, and discourage birds from feeding.
  4. Select a seed blend that is appropriate for the lawn establishment. Light exposure, disease resistance, stress tolerance, and use factors should be considered when selecting varieties.
  5. Newly seeded lawn areas need Nitrogen, Phosphorous and Potassium in a much different combination than an already established turf area. Make sure to select a “starter” fertilizer. Remember, do not use ....

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