Tips from Toby: Seeding your yard

In about another week is the best seeding time of the year. Are you overseeding every year? If you are, you’re doing something wrong.

Toby Tobin said his family was in the lawn seed business for more than 100 years. He’s all for seeding in the fall, but he said many of us don’t need it.

You wouldn’t try to grow 20 plants in a little pot. There’s not enough soil to provide nutrients and the plants would eventually smother each other out. That’s the same idea behind putting down a bunch of grass seed that you don’t need, according to Tobin.

Grass needs to be in direct contact with soil and watered properly to germinate and grow. Just throwing down a bunch of grass seed is a waste of time and money.

If you do have large bare spots, you want to lightly loosen the soil with a rake and remove any dead grass or weeds. Lightly seed the bare area and water. Keep the seed moist until you see germination in about a month.

If your lawn is in relatively good shape, fertilization is the answer. Our lawns have survived the hottest months and are ready for some nutrition. Fertilizing in a couple of weeks with Fall Lawn Starter is going to jump start the healthy grass you already have and those areas will fill in as the grass plants tiller and rhizome this fall.

If you do still have some bare spots later this fall, you can always dormant seed and those areas will bounce back quickly next spring.

If you do need to buy grass seed, Tobin said to make sure you are buying the same grass variety that you already have in your lawn and look under ingredients for Zero Crop. Crop is known in the industry as “other” ingredients and can contain weeds or buffalo grass (things you don’t want in your lawn). Quality grass seed will have a crop factor of Zero.

Throwing down grass seed you don’t need can do more harm than good, so make sure you are seeding the areas that need it and feeding the healthy grass you already have. Tobin said your lawn will bounce back nicely with fall fertilization and you’ll enjoy something we all love - you’ll save some money and time!

Next week we’re going to be doing a tip on fall fertilization which is the most important time of the year to be fertilizing. Be sure and catch it!

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