Patching in the spring?

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by hambone13, Dec 16, 2010.

  1. hambone13

    hambone13 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 6

    I know that lawns get best establishment with a fall planting, but if you have to patch areas in the spring; does any type of grass have a better chance of surviving summer heat other than others? I currently have a mix of fescue, hybrid bluegrass and some perennial rye in shady areas.
  2. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    Generally, any grass that does well in your area is suitable for springtime patchwork.

    Success, has more to do with the soil conditions, mowing heights in summer, and the timing of the root inhibitor applications, than anything.
  3. Pistol

    Pistol LawnSite Member
    Messages: 190

    What are root inhibitors, and why would you use them in growing grass.
  4. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,814

    He probably means crabgrass control--which might prevent seed emergence. Cold soil is a problem during spring seedings. You need to start about the week of the first mowing. About when 2 pm temps hit 60 degrees. I am from Michigan so your conditions are not familiar to me. Perennial rye will emerge fast--customer is impressed--but--I am thinking it should be mixed with a high-quality tall fescue, plus about 10 percent bluegrass to help the fescue creep, knit together and provide self-healing abilities. Lateral spread fescue would be a good option. There is a good chance the rye will not survive the heat if temps go over 90. As you said--maybe in the shade. Pre-germinate if you don't mind the extra equipment and labor. Your climate data shows that you should probably seed in late March.,_Virginia#Climate
  5. Stillwater

    Stillwater LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,889

    pre-emergent herbicides... to curtail the proliferation of common lawn weed
  6. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    As has been stated, root inhibitors kill baby seedlings... Crabgrass is generally the target, but root inhibitors, inhibit root growth on everything that absorbs it.

    Your turf grass seedlings CAN be expected to survive the summer heat, but stunting the roots may present a problem.

    I wouldn't bother seeding in the spring, unless I can control the timing of Pre-m.
  7. grassman177

    grassman177 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,795

    i usually only seed in spring if the area is very bare, otherwise it poses an issue with pre em that i would like to avoid if i can .
  8. Hissing Cobra

    Hissing Cobra LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 705

    If you're seeding shady areas, especially those areas where there's Moss growth or plain, bare soil, you can do this in the spring and be very successful. The key is apply a Starter Fertilizer at the time of seeding to spark growth and to follow that up four weeks later with another application of Starter Fertilizer. It's essential to keep the Pre-emergent control products out of those areas! You won't need them in those areas anyway as Crabgrass will never inundate a shady part of a lawn. Usually you'll have thinning issues or Moss issues instead.

    As for the seed, the Turf Type Tall Fescues (Lesco's Teammates) are very good at resisting drought and that's what I'm usually recommending to those people who don't want to or can't water too often.
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2010
  9. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    Many things can affect a lawn over winter, that makes it desirable to fix it up in the spring for a pleasant summer. Here is the midwest, especially in the areas that have some trees, root inhibition is not only undesirable, but unnecessary after 5- 10 years of care.

    When it continues to be a needed application... Timing... is everything... :)

    Of course this only works if the Scaper is a full service provider... Some of my people insist on TGCL to do the 'professional' job of lawncare and if they want better and thicker turf, they do it themselves...
  10. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,814

    Where possible use sod in the spring. Quick, easy, get paid sooner. No worries about crabgrass pre-emergent.

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