In Minnesota, Fall (from August 15 to September 15) is our window in the Greater MSP region to successfully seed. It is late enough to begin catching our fall rains while early enough to get root establishment and store carbohydrate to make it through our long winter.
One reason to seed this time of year is to control perennial (come back every year) grasses you may have in your turf. To get rid of perennial grassy weeds, you need to kill off the entire area and start over. Here is a video I did this spring about perennial grassy weeds in your turf.
Here are a couple of things to think about when seeding on commercial properties:
- Don’t use cheap seed. Low quality seed will generally germinate poorly and have more weed seeds.
- Choose appropriate varieties. Just like there are right plants for right places, there are right turfgrass seed varieties for right places. Have your contractor choose a specialized seed blend for shady, sunny, high-traffic areas and spaces exposed to salt from snow removal.
- Soil contact is key. Your contractor can’t just toss seed out there and expect it to grow. Grass seed needs soil contact to get a good start. There are a couple ways to do this: core aerate first and then overseed, overseed using a slit seeder or rake the ground heavily and them spread the turf on top.
- Use the correct fertilizer. In Minnesota, it is illegal to use fertilizers containing Phosphorus for very good reasons. However, new seedlings need phosphorus immediately and the law allows for phosphorus fertilizer to be applied on new seed or sod.
- Consistent watering is key. Daily watering is necessary to keep those new seedlings moist and growing for the first month. Kentucky Bluegrass takes 21 days to germinate. They don’t need much water because the seeds are in that top 1/4 of soil so just a little bit everyday will keep them rolling. Most municipalities are on an even/odd watering schedule this time of year but will allow you to get permission or a permit for watering more often.
As always, give me a call at 612.844.1824 if you have any questions!