Sunday, May 7, 2017

What seeds may come...

Weather, demand, production all affect the price of seed. With the year we had in 2016 the demand for seed was at an all-time high to fix the damage caused by the heat and insects. As a result you may find yourself hunting for the bargains, but before you do consider the myths about grass seed.

Myth #1: Spring is the best time to seed- Yeah, not so much.
Fix some bare areas if you must, but annually seeding in the fall is a much better proposition for the following reasons. There is not the competition in the soil as there is in the spring with weeds. The nights are cooler the days are warm creating a perfect environment for germination and a happier you.

Myth #2: Cheap seed saves you money- A cheap seed may be due to an older cultivar. Generally these seeds will require more water, fertilizer and may not germinate at all. When they do, the new grass will be more susceptible to turf disease and other concerns. Less expensive seeds  have a higher concentration of weed seeds in them which will work against your cause. Starting with a product that states, "99% weed-free," on the bag is a good place to begin. Remember, you get what you pay for.

Myth #3: All fescue and perennial rye grasses perform the same. It is true fescue has a better stress and wear tolerance, however, not all fescues contain endophytes which act as a weed  and insect repellent excreting a natural fungus/ herbicide into the soil to repel the germination of crabgrass and broad leaf weeds while limiting root growth. There is also the germination time to consider, fescue- 3 weeks at least, rye grasses- 7 to 10 days. If you need a quick fix, stay with rye seed.

Myth #4: Kentucky Blue Grass is best- maybe for nice deep-green colour, but consider the shorter root system, the lack of endophytes, and it being the top menu item for insects and suddenly KBG doesn't seem so appealing. Anyone who has had to re-sod their lawn usually find themselves in the same situation a few years down the line unless they are dumping  a huge amount of water on the lawn, or are over-seeding annually with diverse species of grass to out-compete the Kentucky blue.

Myth #5: Coated seed is the way to go- Sure if you have absolutely no time to keep the seed moist yourself, but with the recent dumping of rain we've had, I find that difficult to believe. Understand what a brilliant marketing campaign coated seed is. They are selling you half the seed you'd normally get in the bag and you are buying it for more money. Is that worth a little of your time to hose down a seeded area for a week or so?

Leave mythology for the Greeks and stick to the facts when seeding your lawn and watch it flourish.

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