5 things to know about seeding

Because we plant seeds that become sod, we know how much time and work it can take to grow tender seeds into a thick lawn. Here are some points to ponder before you choose to sod or grow your lawn from seed or hydroseed.

  1. Seed will take a year to pass the sock test. It will take a year or more until seed will cover the ground enough that you can walk on it with white socks and not get in dirt. That is a whole year kids and pets will track dirt into the house.

  2. Timing is everything. In Northern Indiana the best chance of seeding success occurs when seed is planted during a two week period beginning on either April 1 or September 1. Planting outside these windows means more work and more problems. Planting later than April results in more weed competition and watering work. Planting after October 1, the grass will grow very little before winter. It will have an undeveloped root system that can't hold the soil on slopes. Even hydroseed has a hard time stopping erosion all winter, so if you seed late in the year, be prepared for soil erosion.

  3. It is very hard to establish turf on poor soils. Subsoils and sandy soils usually don't possess the nutrients or water holding capacity to germinate and sustain growth, even if a sprinkler system is present.

  4. Slopes can kill you. The steeper the slope, the more likely erosion will occur, especially around down spouts. Deep gulleys can form and soil will wash into the street. These problems are worse if you are unlucky to seed at the beginning of a rainy period. Fewer seeding companies are repairing washouts without expensive extended care costs.

  5. It's frustrating and a lot of work.  You won't find an exact schedule for growing a lawn because you have to work with the weather Mother Nature gives you. It is tough to know when to apply fertilizers and herbicides, and even more expensive if you use a lawn service.

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