Even if you time your weed preventer and seeding periods correctly, you need to do the job right to get an even lawn with no bare patches. Apply seeds uniformly across your yard using a drop spreader on a mild fall day. Spread up to 1-inch of organic mulch over the seeds to conserve moisture and encourage germination. Water the seeds at least twice a day for short, 10-minute sessions. You do not want to wash away the seeds, but they need consistent moisture to grow. Hand pull any weeds that appear while the grass seedlings develop. Do not apply any chemicals for weed control.
Spreading seed is an inexpensive way to grow a lush lawn, but exposed soil between germination and establishment makes it vulnerable to weeds. Although chemical weed preventers have different mixtures and instructions, you should not apply them while seeding or immediately afterward. You must allow one to four months between applying this type of chemical and spreading seed.
Cool-season grasses are usually seeded, as opposed to warm-season grasses that usually need to be grown from sod or plugs. Because cool-season grass seeds germinate best in fall, apply your chemical preventer in spring to actively kill off weeds in spring and summer. In general, temperatures between 65 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit are good for weed preventer application. Hot days often cause the chemicals to vaporize into the atmosphere, reducing their effectiveness. By the time fall seeding weather arrives, the chemicals are no longer active and the grass seeds will be able to sprout.
Time It Right
Avoid the need for weed preventers by keeping your lawn healthy. Once established, only water your turf once a week during the growing season. Up to 1 inch of water during this watering session allows roots to search deeply for moisture to create strong grass. Shallow grass roots die in stressful conditions, like drought, and allow weeds to grow in thinned spots. Allow your turf to grow to a healthy height as well, typically between 1 and 3 inches, depending on the species. Long grass blades mean the grass can produce enough energy to stay healthy and compete with weeds. In short, healthy and well-maintained grass has less problems with weed growth.
Chemical weed preventers, also called preemergent herbicides, are usually granules or liquids, but both require water to work. As the preventer soaks into the ground, it leaves a residual film in the top 1-inch of soil. Because most seeds germinate at or just below the soil’s surface, these preemergent herbicides remain active against any germination processes for up to four months, depending on the chemicals involved. Organic weed preventers work in a similar way. With many weeds being members of the grass family, all seeds, including desired lawn species, fail to germinate and sprout after you’ve used a weed preventer.
Writing professionally since 2010, Amy Rodriguez cultivates successful cacti, succulents, bulbs, carnivorous plants and orchids at home. With an electronics degree and more than 10 years of experience, she applies her love of gadgets to the gardening world as she continues her education through college classes and gardening activities.
Grass with healthy root systems that is thick and fills the space available will act as its own line of defense against invasive weeds. When you see weeds in an established lawn, remove them individually as quickly as possible. This will help lessen the spread.
If you decide to treat the weeds with chemicals, start by applying the substance to each weed or patch of unwanted growth rather than to the lawn as a whole. This will save as much of your lawn as possible from being overtaken by weeds.
When it comes to the growth of weeds, Daily Gardener explains that the best defense is a good offense. If you haven’t yet laid your grass seed, be sure all existing weeds are pulled up at the root, including those growing near the area you’re seeding. Use weed killer before seeding your lawn if at all possible.
Avoiding Future Weed Growth
Growing the perfect lawn takes time and patience and is not a small financial investment. It can be extremely frustrating when just after you’ve finished reseeding your lawn, weeds in new grass begin to peek through. Using weed killer is not the best idea when you are also dealing with fledgling grass, however. You are better off dealing with weeds individually so as to protect the grass around them.
Keep gardens and wooded areas clear of weeds whenever you can to prevent the spread of weeds into your newly reseeded lawn. If you notice that weeds are beginning to encroach on your grass, pull the weeds as quickly as possible.
Depending on the types of fertilizer you’ve used and the potency of the weeds in your lawn, you may find weeds in a newly seeded lawn fairly quickly. One way to prevent this is to carefully remove all existing grass, weeds and topsoil before applying new topsoil and grass seed. Unfortunately, weed pieces and seeds can easily be left behind in the dirt if you do not thoroughly clear your lawn before applying new seed.
By properly maintaining your lawn, you can avoid the growth of weeds and enjoy lush, beautiful grass. Keep your lawn watered and fertilized if appropriate. Knutsen suggests fertilizing a new lawn between four and six weeks after you plant it. They also suggest that if weeds do crop up before the four to six weeks are up, you can remove them around the eight- to 10-week mark.
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