Seeding your lawn in the spring is possible, but there are a few disadvantages that can affect the outcome of the newly established grass.
• Crabgrass and other weeds
In the spring, most weeds will begin germination, which will create watering competition. The germinating grass seed will need to be kept moist at all times, but with these weeds using up a lot of water, that can be tricky!
• Soil Temperature
The soil temperature in the spring is colder than it is in the fall. Because of this, the new grass seed will germinate slower than it would in the fall. Spring germination for turf grasses can take up to 8 weeks to become a mature grass plant.
• Summer Heat Stress
Once the new seed has germinated, the weather can turn warm and only get warmer for weeks on end. This heat can easily send an immature grass plant into heat stress, which can severely hurt the outcome of the seeding.
• Increased water requirements
If trying to establish new seed and grass in the spring, you will need to water more and for a longer period of time to keep up with the evaporation in the spring sun. This will increase your cost and amount of labor needed.
• Less effective broadleaf weed control
When putting down new seed, you must avoid all herbicide treatments to those areas. In the spring, without any herbicide applications, your lawn will get over run with weeds because there is nothing being put down to combat them. You must wait until the turf grass has matured before being able to apply herbicides.
• Uneven fertilization treatments
New turf grass and germinating seed will need a special starter fertilizer that tends to have less nitrogen that the regular applications. This can create an uneven color as the established grass begins to green up after its dormancy.
Seeding in the fall will definitely yield the best results. Some of the major advantages of fall seeding are:
• Annual weeds begin to die off (less competition)
Annual weeds will tend to die off in the fall due to the fact that the weather is not as warm. Most weeds, such as crabgrass, are warm season weeds. With these weeds dying off, there will be less competition for water and the grass seed will flourish.
• Warm soil temperatures
Coming out of august, the soil temperatures will be perfect for establishing new seed.
• Quicker germination
Because the soil is warmer, the seed will be able to mature much quicker than it would if the seed was put down on colder soil. This will create a much healthier matured plant.
• Less watering
Because the weather will not be getting warmer, you will not have to worry about heat stress. With this in mind, your watering requirements will be much less than it would be in the spring, saving you time and money!