DREAM LAWN SEEDING
It is possible to invest in fertilzation and weed control but still not have the dense, thick lawn you desire.
If your grass coverage has declined or was planted years ago with older varieties, it may be time to renovate. If you have more than 50% weeds and weedy grasses, it is definitely time to start over. Many improved grass varieties are now available that offer disease and insect resistance which older varieties did not have.
Determining whether to renovate or re-establish your lawn begins with an evaluation of why it has declined to begin with.
Possible Causes for Thinning Grass
- Poor soil conditions
- Weather factors
- Disease (fungus, blight, mold)
- Over fertilization
- Insect damage
- Excessive shade
- Weed infestation
- Improper mowing
Once the cause of causes have been identified, a plan for corrective action can be made. Soil problems should be corrected prior to seeding or new grass will most likely decline in a short period of time.
Renovating means adding seed to an existing lawn. It can be accomplished by one of two means:
1. Over Seeding
An appropriate choice if your lawn is just a little thin, over seeding is the process of broadcasting a quality seed over the lawn after core aerating. A seed starter fertilizer which contains high phosphorous levels for seed establishment is then applied. While this type of seeding is most cost effective, much of the seed can be lost as it never reaches the soil surface.
2. Slit Seeding
A much more effective means of seeding, a slit seeder is a machine that runs over the grass, cutting slits into the soil surface. It then drops seeds down into the slits and brushes soil over the seed. It is more costly than over seeding, however, slight seeding ensures that almost all of the seed comes into contact with the soil. Seed to soil contact is necessary for germination. A seed starter fertilizer is also applied following slit seeding.
Re-establishment is recommended when the condition of the lawn or soil underneath is so bad that killing it and starting over is the best solution.
At DREAM LAWN we spray glyphosate, which is a non-selective herbicide which will kill grasses and weeds, but becomes inactive when it contacts the soil. We then wait 7-10 days to ensure that stubborn plants are dead. Next, we core aerate the soil to loosen it and open air spaces for water.
If the soil is particularly poor or contains heavy clay, it may be necessary to top-dress and till in a layer or organic amendment such as peat moss, aged manure, compost or high quality topsoil. If tilling i sdone it is not necessary to core aerate.
Finally, we use the slit seeder to place a high quality seed blend into the soil then broadcast a seed starter fertilizer over the lawn.
The optimum time to perform any seeding project in our area is mid August to mid September. However, good results may also be achieved if seeding is done from April to early May. Occasionally we will perform a dormant seeding in November or December, but the results can be unpredictable, especially if we experience freeze/thaw periods through winter.
DREAM LAWN uses only the best seed varieties available to give you beautiful, green grass with a thick, dense coverage. For nothern Illinois lawns with adequate sun exposure, a blend of Kentucky bluegrass, creeping red fescue, and premium turf perennial ryegrass gives the best results. Seed is placed at a rate of 5-7 lbs per 1,000 square foot.