(Seed, Peat Moss and Cellulose Seed Covering treatment by Twin Creeks)
For most lawns the best time to seed is in the fall. But, every now and then mother nature throws a curve ball and Spring Seeding becomes almost a necessity.
This spring is one of those years. Why? Last season was extremely dry, especially in the latter parts of the year. There are different government agencies that track soil temperatures and moisture levels and they use a rating system to communicate the conditions county by county. Take a look here: Drought Monitor
To say Platte County was in a drought last year wouldn't be enough. To say Platte County was in a "Severe Drought" would be more accurate. In reality though, Platte County experienced an "Exceptional Drought" during late September and October.
Fall, specifically Mid September to Mid October, is the sweet spot for fall seeding on a year over year basis. This time frame correlates 100% to the fall seeding window. However, last year's temperatures were high and very little moisture fell. This led to lawns not receiving the normal break from the summer heat and stress. Instead, unfavorable conditions persisted through the end of the growing season. As a result lawns are still thin and have not rebounded like normal.
So, what can be done?
For minor trouble areas, a light overseeding can be done. Simply sprinkle some seed over the site and (if you're a risk taker) let mother nature take care of it.
For moderate trouble areas, we recommend raking and overseeding, and a watering regimine for two weeks to make sure the new seed has the proper conditions to germinate.
For extremely damaged areas, the entire yard may need to be renovated by a mix of overseeded, topdressing and applying a seed covering over bare areas.
Most of the questions and site inspections that we've received this year can be managed with some raking, seeding and a little topdressing.
Two important considerations:
Re-seeding and Pre-emergents do not play well together! Pre-emergents can prevent new seed from germinating if not modified to be seed friendly or delayed to allow sufficient dwell time for the new seed.
Watering... If you're going to seed, any amount, and at any time of the year, supplementing the rains with hand watering or the use of a sprinkler system is an absolute must. The amount and duration depends on a large number of variables: sun, wind, site seeded... but the main thing is to keep the area moist. Keeping a newly seeded site moist for 2-3 weeks after seeding will help the lawn take off. Beyond that, atleast an inch of water is recommended throughout the growing season.