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Lawns turning to seed?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by robert payer, May 16, 2002.

  1. robert payer

    robert payer LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 282

    Please excuse this post if you feel that it is trivial. I am a information junky!
    As most of us are aware turf grass turn to seed for approximately three weeks in the month of May regardless of cutting height. This timing is for northern Ohio, other areas will probably be on a different schedule. Can any one offer some interesting additional trivial stuff on this matter.

    What variables tell turf grass to seed?
    Harvesting?( Not that I would)
    Will a percentage of this seed germinate with adequate soil contact?
    Why only about 3 weeks or so?

    The more detail the better. Thank You!
  2. robert payer

    robert payer LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 282

    Out of anticipation for some answers, thought I would breath some new life into this thread.

    Thank you!
  3. I notice KBG forming seed during stress conditions.
  4. tremor

    tremor LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,476


    Grasses are gentically engineered to reproduce prolifically by their creator.
    Since prolification requires energy, spring is the time for grasses to make the big push. It takes all summer for grass seed heads (except Poa Annua) to mature. At maturation, fall winds & rains are supposed to disperse the seeds & the strongest will establish themselve & proliferate the world some more.

    I suppose grass in the spring is like young lovers. After the deed's been done & the nest is full, the intensity declines a bit.

    Boy, I left the door wide open here didn't I?

  5. LawnLad

    LawnLad LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 738

    The BYGL (Buckeye Yard & Garden Line) by OSU Extension made a post about this a couple of years ago in their newsletter.


    Every spring, with the shift from cool to warmer temperatures, Kentucky bluegrass turns a lighter yellow green and begins to produce SEEDHEADS. These changes are obvious in an otherwise smooth, dark green lawn. Although a natural habit for the turfgrass, the seed stalks have fewer leaves and their woody structure resists mower blades, which adds to the eyesore. Since many of the newer, improved cultivars are noted for producing seed heads, they were rated for "Average Percent Seedhead Cover" at the OSU Turfgrass Facility several years ago, however, the highest percentage seedhead cover observed for any of the cultivars evaluated was only 33%.

    Therefore, if the grass seed purchased is a blend of 3 cultivars, the seeded area should not contain a large percentage of seedheads, and the problem may be masked by proper management techniques. Follow proper watering and mowing practices and apply a balanced fertilizer to encourage new growth of the "parent plants." Lawn managers can mow a notch lower to remove most of the seedheads, and then resume the regular mowing height. Of course, if brown stems are visible in late June - July, check for billbug damage.


    Several years back they commented in NE Ohio (or maybe all of Ohio) had more seed head production that year than in years past. I guess much like flowering ornamentals, some years they are more prolific than others.
  6. robert payer

    robert payer LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 282

    Thank you both for the good information on grass turning to seed.


    Thank You Lawn Site!

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