Whether renovating or starting a new lawn, preparing your lawn for seeding is one of the most important, yet most overlooked steps.
If the soil is not loosened properly prior to seeding, results will be poor. When seeding a new lawn, a rototiller should be used to loosen the top 6 inches of soil.
If the soil is poor, amend it or bring better soil in. We recommend Structure Soil Conditioner to permanently loosen heavy soil and allow for moisture and oxygen exchange in the soil. If roots do not get adequate oxygen and moisture, your lawn will be thin.
A general rule of thumb when seeding is to use the best quality seed you can afford. Quality seed varieties, like Earl May exclusive blends, are proven better performers due to their resistance to disease, drought, and foot traffic.
MayPark Lawn Seed is our best seed mix. It contains high quality bluegrass varieties and a nurse crop of fine-leaf rye. MayPark is great for new lawns or for overseeding and will grow in part shade.
Marvel Lawn Seed is a mix of top-quality turf type fescue. From a distance, most people cannot tell the difference between a tall fescue and a bluegrass lawn, although put side-by-side, tall fescue has slightly wider blades. Marvel’s main advantage is the ability to withstand heavy foot traffic and has much better drought tolerance than bluegrass.
The best time to sow grass seed is in the Spring or Fall, August to the end of September being the very best. The same times apply to overseeding, but there is an opportunity in late fall to “dormant seed” a lawn as nature would.
Follow these 3 steps to get your grass seed growing!
When seeding, applying a new lawn starter type fertilizer is important. This type of fertilizer is high in Phosphorus which helps root systems establish quicker.
Established lawns should be fertilized regularly throughout the season. Since lawns are mowed frequently grass needs many more nutrients than other plants, to maintain the desired color and vigor you want.
Like grass seed, you get what you pay for. Cheap fertilizers make your grass grow like crazy for a couple of weeks, then quickly fizzle leaving your lawn pale again. You cannot tell by looking at an analysis (i.e. 30-10-10) on the front of the bag whether the fertilizer is a quality time-release product or a cheap quick-release product.
Watering your lawn
Once established, lawns should be watered once a week, the equivalent of 1 inch of rain (unless it rains of course). During the heat of summer, this may need to be done twice a week. The best time to water established lawns is in the morning.
Weed ControlWeed control in lawns is probably the most common, yet misunderstood aspect of maintaining a lawn. Weeds in new lawns can be sprayed once the lawn has been mowed 2 or 3 times. Weeds in established lawns can be treated when they are actively growing.
Trying to kill weeds when it is too cold (below 60˚F) or too hot (above 88˚F) can lead to poor results. Earl May’s Super Brush and Weed Killer works on very hard to kill weeds like ground ivy and wild violets and is much more effective at cooler temperatures.
For the most difficult weeds to control apply weed killer twice, 10-14 days apart, mixing Turbo Spreader Sticker with the weed killer into your sprayer. A spreader sticker makes the spray solution cover better and hold on to the leaves of the weeds.
Before resorting to weed killers, you can reduce the number of weeds in your lawn by mowing higher in late spring and summer. This lets the lawn shade the soil which reduces the germination of weed seeds.
Simply fertilizing a lawn will make it more vigorous and thicker and will again be more likely to choke out weeds.