Is it too late to over-seed this year?
The success of seeding your lawn is contingent on a variety of factors – the date on the calendar is only one of them, and it’s a common assumption that after a certain point in the year, seeding won’t be effective. To a certain extent, this is true, as Kansas City weather tends to get cold pretty quickly after mid-October. That said, however, even if you missed “the deadline” there are still many steps you can take to ensure a beautiful spring lawn!
The factors that contribute to successful seed germination include more than just temperature. Others include moisture levels, available sunlight, and soil nutrients, just to name a few. Just because there might be a cold front blustering through KC in mid-October doesn’t mean it won’t warm up again before winter officially sinks in.
Can I seed my lawn after the first frost?
This is a common myth. The environment may still be favorable for over-seeding even after that first frost. An early frost may affect seeds that have already germinated, but those that are still encased shouldn’t be damaged. If the soil temperatures haven’t dropped too much, and the forecast calls for a warm Fall season, there’s still a good chance your fresh grass seed will sprout.
Grass seed is designed to germinate when conditions are favorable to thrive, so don’t assume a brief period of freezing temps has ruined your chances for a lush lawn come Spring. Fresh grass seed can remain dormant in the soil for some time before it matures. Once the conditions are right, the grass will grow!
If, on the other hand, your recently seeded lawn was already sprouting when the frost hit, the new growth will not survive the freezing temperatures. But even then, the surrounding seeds that have yet to germinate still have a chance. When Spring arrives, you’ll likely see some new growth despite the frost.
For this same reason, late Fall seeding often yields great results in the following year. Dormant seeding can be a viable options for re-establishing solid turf density.
If I seed late in the Fall season, what can I do about Spring weed prevention?
For many years, the products available on the market were “all or nothing” when it came to weed prevention. Meaning, pre-emergent weed control products could not distinguish between crabgrass and fresh blades of newly sown grass. These herbicides worked by creating a barrier in the soil, and anything that germinated would be stopped in its tracks. However, lawn care technology has experienced some remarkable advances in recent years. Newer products can selectively target grassy weeds. If you’re concerned about crabgrass filling your lawn in the Spring, be sure to ask about our weed prevention programs. We can custom design a plan for your yard to ensure a lush, weed-free lawn come Spring.
In conclusion, don’t give up! Even if you were late over-seeding, or you fear your new seed was affected by a frost, remember that cool-season grasses can take quite a while to mature. Even if your lawn still looks patchy in November, chances are pretty good that your new seed to thrive once winter is over.
It’s not too late to prep a beautiful lawn to enjoy next year, so give us a call to schedule an appointment. We’re happy to help!