As a lawn care business owner, the winter is a nail biting time for me. This is because the preceding autumn is where, literally, the seeds for the following year’s lawns are sown.
It is always exciting going back to visit a lawn to see how it is getting on. This week (January 2013) I have been doing the rounds on my “new” lawns. I am pleased to see that, so far, I have had a fantastic rate of germination. New grass all across the whole of my area is doing really well.
Over the years of working on lawns I have learned that successful re-seeding and regeneration is dependent on two things … Preparation of the soil, and the subsequent weather in the weeks after seeding.
Soil preparation for seed success
I will admit that when I first started my lawn care business and went through my very first round of regenerating old, tired lawns, I wasn’t exactly sure about the degree of preparation that was required to achieve successful germination of grass seed. In the following spring, when some of the lawns hadn’t done as well as I had expected, I realised that insufficient ground preparation was the main culprit. I learnt quickly and now, many years later, my lawn regeneration success rate is nearly 100%.
When planning on overseeding a lawn, you need to get the seed in contact with the soil for it to germinate. Scarification is a fantastic way to prepare a lawn for seeding, cleaning the thatch off of the surface and preparing the soil, but it needs to be carried out correctly, or you may just make things worse!
However, the weather is a part of the lawn regeneration process which is rather unpredictable. I try to minimise the potential risk of dry periods by only scarifying and regenerating a lawn in the autumn. This means that the usual cool, damp weather we have in late autumn create fantastic conditions for the growth of new grass.
This year (2012/13) has been a fantastic year for growing new grass. We have had nearly constant rain throughout autumn and early winter. As a result the grass has been given a fantastic start. I have a great deal of confidence in the new lawns looking fantastic in the summer of 2013.