Why You Should Seed Your Lawn in the Spring
Traditionally, we seed our lawns in the fall. But if you’re looking to grow in thick, healthy grass, it’s worth it to seed in the spring as well. Seeding in the spring is especially smart in an area of your lawn that gets dense shade during the summer. You can use the sunlight that sneaks through the bare trees in early spring to give the lawn a much-needed dose of sunlight before the leaves have time to shade the area.
The right timing and practices for spring seeding can give your lawn a boost. Here’s how to do it.
Measure soil temperature
In the spring, cool season grasses will only germinate when the soil temps average 55 degrees for a few days in a row. This is GO time for your lawn. It’s the signal that warmer temps are ahead. You’ll want to consider the soil temps in your seeding strategy. Seed too early in the spring and you risk a cold stretch dropping the soil temps, and killing off your newly germinated lawn.
Apply pre-emergent to fight crabgrass
Crabgrass is one of the primary reasons why a lot of people will tell you to wait until the fall to seed. It grows quickly, and will outrun just about other types of grasses. But it has two weaknesses you can exploit: it only grows in areas that get a lot of sun, and it only lives one season. By fall it’s dying off, and no longer competing with your newly seeded turf. This is why most people will tell you to seed during the fall.
If you want to seed in the spring, it’s important to treat these areas with pre-emergent like Weed Wipeout, which creates a barrier in your soil that prevents seeds of any kind from growing roots. It should be applied to your entire lawn. You’ll primarily see crabgrass in thin areas of your lawn with the most sun exposure, especially near pavement, where soil temperatures will rise quickly, so pay special attention to those areas.
Pre-emergent will also prevent your turf grass from growing, so before you seed you’ll want to rake the bare patches where you plan to put the seed down to disturb the barrier the pre-emergent has created.
Pull weeds in newly seeded spots as needed
A common technique used by lawn care pros is to spray pre-emergent over the lawn and then rake and seed bare patches. Just be warned that you’re also removing the barrier that prevents weeds from growing, and you will contend with some weeds in those areas, so you will need to be prepared to identify and pull early stage weeds if you’ve seeded a bare patch in spring.
Your best shot at filling in bare spots is to get this extra seeding in during the spring, as long as you’re willing to pull a few weeds here and there as they come in to keep the area free of crabgrass. A good pre-emergent will keep the crabgrass from growing elsewhere in your lawn, and spring seeding will give you a jump start on growing your grass in for the season.