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Soil Temperature and Seeding

Posted 2018-04-23

If you have done a little spot seeding this spring, you may be wondering what is taking your new grass so long to germinate. Due to the exceptionally cool, wet spring we are having, our soil temperatures have remained very cool as we have still experienced frost events well into late April. Soil temperatures must remain steadily at or above 55 degrees before any planted grass seed will begin to germinate. We simply have not had enough warm days in a row to warrant a steady increase in soil temperatures. Your seed, though, will still come up, it is just taking a bit longer due to our cool spring.

If you have not done spring seeding but would like to fill in a few bare spots, use the following guidelines and remember - SAVE YOUR BIG SEEDING PROJECTS FOR FALL!!

  • Rake through those bare spots and turn over the dirt to break up the pre-emergent compounds. A garden weasel gardening tool works great for this!
  • You can add some top soil to the bare spot to help enrich the soil, but not always required
  • Add your seed, preferably turf-type tall fescue, to the top soil/bare spots
  • Water your new seed each day until germination
  • Baby your new seed throughout the summer with frequent watering, as it's root system is still quite shallow.

Patience is needed as we wait for consistent warm spring temperatures to arrive in our area, but the wait will be worth it as you see that new grass grow!