Mockingbird Hill Lawn Installation Information
TURFGRASS INSTALLATION FALL VS. SPRING
When installing a lawn, several factors need to be addressed when planting, such as design, soil evaluation, mechanical requirements, and turf grass varieties suited for a particular site. Prior preparations may also be needed such as vegetation control, and removal of any debris before renovation begins. Whether planting a new lawn, rejuvenating an older stand, or spot seeding, the most common question arises as to the correct timing of this project. For all practicality, one could plant from Spring through Fall in New England. However, at what time of the season can we obtain the most successful results?
For sod installation, it is suggested to install early to late Spring or Fall. Avoid any planting during the Summer months due to stresses such as heat, high humidity, and a lack of adequate rainfall. Spot seeding can be done during this time frame also. Do avoid applying any pre-emergent weed control treatments to these areas unless top-dressing with screened loam above control product barrier. Soil depth should be at least two inches or more.
Early Spring turf renovation can be done from March through May. A concern of planting at this time is the natural occurrence of weeds competing with the sensitive new grass plants. Do expect a crabgrass problem. Amount of infestation will depend upon the number of dormant seeds in the soil. The same applies for a broadleaf weed crop, along with seeds carried into the area naturally. Weed control of any sort should not be applied until the lawn has matured. Taking this into account, one may need to over-seed again in the Fall. This process may need to be done several times for uniform turf establishment. Therefore, when seeding in the Spring it may take a longer amount of time to bring the lawn to its fullest potential compared to a Fall planting.
The ideal time to seed would be in the early Fall. At this time of the year the annual crabgrass crop dies off, along with a decline in broadleaf weed activity. It also allows the new plants two growing seasons prior to the normal stresses of the Summer months. Turf grass stands are, as we, a living entity requiring proper nutrients, water, and sunlight for establishment. A regularly scheduled fertilization program should commence the day of installation and continued each growing season to maintain a healthy lawn.