When growing healthy grass, you’ll want to make sure and avoid these seven common grass seeding mistakes along the way. After all, we all want a beautiful, green lush lawn, and now’s the time to set things straight. However, even if you don’t have a green thumb, you can have the lawn of your dreams. Now, you can take steps to ensure you don’t fall into some typical grass seeding mistakes.
Grass Seeding Mistakes Can Make Or Break Your Chances At A Beautiful Lawn
You might not realize it, but grass seeding mistakes might be standing in the way between you and a beautiful lawn. Or, regardless of what you do, your lawn looks lifeless and unhealthy. Well, the problem may be in your grass seed. After all, a beautiful lawn can increase your home’s value and make for stunning curb appeal.
Like anything in nature, all grass seed varies from preferences and tolerances to the environment it grows in. Plus, the soil your seeds germinates in can also affect your lawn’s overall visual appeal and health. So whether you tend to spot repairs or seeding new property, grass seeding can make or break a beautiful lawn.
1 – Choosing The Wrong Grass Types
Before you hop in the car and load up on seeds from the garden store, you should know what type of grass you need. The first consideration is warm-season vs. cold-season. Although, there’s a biological difference in how the two types produce energy, essential for growth. When it comes to grass seeding, climate matters.
For instance, cold-season grasses are best for temperate climates with temperature ranges between 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit. Conversely, Cold-season or C3 grasses are most common in northern regions with cooler springs and falls, including north of the United States.
However, autumn and spring are the peak growing seasons for C3 grass. However, hot summer days can cause cold-season grasses to go dormant, especially if you don’t water the grass properly. C3 types need regular hydration and cooler temperatures to thrive.
Common C3 Grasses:
- Kentucky bluegrass
- Perennial ryegrass
- Fine fescue
- Tall fescue
Warm-season grasses need less water and prefer warmer climates with average temperatures between 80-85 degrees. The C4 or warm-season grasses are more common in the southern states, but it’s not unheard of to find them in the north.
For example, C4 grasses tend to sleep when spring comes and lose their green luster in autumn as the temperatures cool. Therefore, warm-season grasses are the best option if you have hot summers and want a water-wise lawn.
Common C4 Grasses:
- Bermuda grass
- Buffalo grass
- Zoysia grass
When it comes to grass seeding, while you can mix and match some cold-season grasses with other cold-season grasses, you should never mix opposites. For cold-season grasses, blends create a more diverse and aesthetically pleasing lawn. The grass will also be less susceptible to diseases and pests.
Unfortunately, tall fescue is the exception to this rule and doesn’t play well with other grasses. Blending warm-season grass is trickier, as their growing habits, shades, and care needs differ more broadly than with cold-season grasses. However, once you know what type of grass is best for your needs, you can visit the store or buy grass seed online.
2 – Not Measuring Your Yard Correctly
Another mistake before you even plant your seeds is forgetting to measure your lawn. Before seeding, you should know how much seed it’ll take to cover the yard. When grass seeding, you’ll want to ensure you have the right amount to begin the process.
Typically, too much grass seed means competition for root space. Using too much can also negatively influence structure and nutrient uptake. On the other hand, too few grass seeds mean you’ll see bald patches on your lawn. Measure your yard and order your seeds accordingly to get that perfect density match.
3 – Testing Grass Ph Levels
Your lawn might look healthy to the naked eye, but soil too acidic or too alkaline will stifle growth. Additionally, you can use a pH level testing kit to understand your soil condition better. Doing so provides a good foundation for a healthy and beautiful lawn when grass seeding.
You can also check mineral and nutrition content, but the primary focus of any soil testing is the pH score. The best score for growing grass is between 5.5 and 7 on the pH scale. More so, performing regular soil testing will put you on the right track and keep lawns healthy and vibrant.
4 – Forgetting To Aerate The Soil When Grass Seeding
Aerating before seeding your lawn creates a more hospitable environment for your grass seeds. When you aerate your soil, help your soil stay healthy and vibrant. Aerating can also prevent pathogens like fungal spores as well. Rather than sitting naked on top of the ground, the germs enter the tiny aeration holes.
In addition, aeration stimulates root growth and makes the soil more porous. And it’s essential for earthworms so they can perform their role in keeping your soil healthy. Try to aerate when your soil feels moist to the touch. Typically, springtime is the perfect time to begin the aeration process.
Did you know you can use lawn aerator shoes to do the job easily? Now, you can help your lawn or garden thrive with Plantnomics’ aerator shoes! Your aerating shoes enrich the soil with nutrients by piercing tiny holes, creating green shoots, and reducing dead thatch. And while wearing them, you’ll exercise at the same time. It’s a win-win!
Of course, you can still restore to using a Steel Material Rolling Lawn Aerator if you prefer a hand tool. This tool works great to loosen soils higher in sand concentrations, allowing deep watering for lawns.
5 – Hydration Woes
Are you relying only on rain to water your grass? Do you cringe at the thought of turning on the sprinklers? Whatever your watering situation, you can’t depend on the occasional drizzle to save your seedlings.
While it is possible to drown your lawn, underwatering is a more common mistake than overwatering. You can get by with less water for warm-season grasses, but it’s still best to water frequently. Generally, most grass types are happy with ten minutes of watering a day.
In addition, to help you properly hydrate your lawn, you can try a Turbo Oscillating Sprinkler. With a precision nozzle, you can provide maximum coverage of large lawns or gardens up to 4,500 Sq. Ft. Using a simple tool like a sprinkler when grass seeding will help keep your beautiful lawn perfect all year.
6 – Using Weed Treatments
To avoid unsightly weeds ruining your lawn, you might turn to weed treatments. But be careful because the same weed treatments killing weeds are also devastating your grass seedlings.
Weed treatments, specifically pre-emergents, can’t tell the difference between harmful weeds and desirable grass. If you want to eliminate weeds before you seed, add distance and time between treatments. Avoid pre-emergent weed treatments at least 10 to 12 weeks before seeding.
If you find weeds popping up after seeding, wait until you mow your new lawn 2-3 times before applying weed treatments. Following the label instructions is the best practice. If the product recommends waiting longer, don’t risk your grass by rushing it.
7 – Mowing Incorrectly Can Affect Grass Seeding
Much like a haircut trims unhealthy ends and improves growth, your grass needs a trim from time to time. Take a little off the top with your mower to enhance growth and speed.
Be patient because if you mow too soon or cut too deep, you can damage your grass. Wait until plants have reached full height before clipping. You should never remove more than one-third of the leaf blade.
Cold-season grasses typically peak at 3 inches, and can you can cut back at least 2 inches. However, warm-season grasses tend to be shorter, reaching between 1-3 inches. Therefore, if your warm-season grass is on the short side, limit cutting to 1-2 inches maximum.
You can also utilize proper mowing as a weed management strategy. Avoid the need for potentially harmful treatments by weakening the weeds regularly. Frequent mowing limits weed growth but also encourages grass to repair and spread.
Without regular maintenance, grass diverts energy from growth to focus on flowering. In addition, your grass interprets prolonged growth as a signal to produce fewer rhizomes needed for repair. Unfortunately, this means your grass will appear less healthy and vibrant.
These are just some of the most common grass seed mistakes that might be hindering your lawn. As they say, “measure twice, cut once.” It’s best to prepare your soil and your seeds before you plant. Now that you’ve debugged your green thumb, it’s time to get your hands dirty.
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