Scatter ye grass seed while ye may

Posted on April 1, 2013

Scatter ye grass seed while ye may
Last weekend, snow fell in many regions of the United States. Spring, though, has now sprung. The birds are chirping. The trees are budding. And, not a day too soon, the baseball bats are swinging.

All winter you clamored for spring, but are you really ready? Is your lawn? If you overseeded in the autumn, congratulations: you have established your bona fides as a gentleman of extraordinary diligence and foresight. We, unfortunately, cannot all be you. For some of us, livelier pursuits interfered, more pressing duties called. We represent an unorthodox faction: the spring seeders. Although arriving late to the festivities, we still deserve thick, green turf that stretches as far as the property line. Scatter ye grass seed while ye may

Spring seeders, the moment for action has come. Sow now or forever hold your peace. Seriously, it is April 1. Feign illness. Cancel lunch plans. Skip happy hour. Just scatter that damn seed.

A gentleman does it as follows:

First, loosen the dirt so it breathes and the seed can penetrate. You could rake your entire lawn but that sounds dreadful. Instead, we at G@H strapped on these spiked aerator cleats and around we pranced. The straps struggle to attach cleat to shoe, so jerry-rig a solution to keep them secure.

Second, remember that a lawn cannot survive on seed alone. Give yours a turbo boost. Apply a soil activator containing humate, which helps with aeration and retention of moisture. Consider also sprinkling a layer of finely ground mulch or garden soil. And, of course, fertilize. Even while overseeding, G@H’s lawn guy recommends using a lawn starter fertilizer. (This one is his favorite.)

Third, unleash the hoses. Your new seed requires constant hydration to sprout. Water at least 15 minutes per day for seven straight days.

Finally, restrain your hatred of crabgrass. Yes, this annual foe torments you, even ridicules your frail efforts to control it. Applying a normal pre-emergent herbicide now, however, will only kill your infant seed. Instead, you should wait at least six weeks after seeding. Some gentlemen cannot abstain, and their anti-crabgrass zeal demands immediate offensive action. For them, we suggest a Tupersan-based herbicide, like Lebanon Crabgrass Control. It costs more but does not damage germinating grass seed.