Experts: Time to seed lawns is now

PARKERSBURG – With spring and summer coming on strong, area residents are looking for ways to spruce up their lawns.

Larry Ohrn, retail manager for Scots Landscape in Vienna, said most grass seed is planted during fall weather to take advantage of the last few days of cold and the spring thaw.

Ohrn said the seed is aided by the freezing and thawing of early spring weather. The process helps work the seed into the ground.

Planting seed beyond freezing weather, planters need to loosen the top two or three inches of soil before sowing seeds.

Debbie Herb, store manager for Thomsons Landscaping in Marietta, said she prefers fall planting over laying seed in the spring.

“With spring seeding you can get a fair amount of weeds, and if it gets to be a hot or you are not watering properly, you can end up burning up the grass before it really can grow,” she said.

“We really prefer fall seeding.”

But Herb said if you missed the fall window, you can still seed a lawn, it just might take a bit more work.

After the grass seeds has been sown, it should be covered with straw or peat moss, Ohrn said. Straw is more common for coverage, due to price.

Fertilizer and (pelletized) lime is also recommended to assist growth. Lime needs to be applied every few years to soil.

“Right now grass is greening up,” Ohrn said. “It has been dormant all winter.”

Herb said she uses a gridiron blend which contains a mix of grass seed, including tall fescue, a thing bladed grass which is drought resistant.

“It does well in the clay soil around here and does as well as anything we’ve used before,” she said.

Herb recommends a blend of grass seeds to help the lawn better resist any kind of mold or disease which might target one specific breed.

“You don’t want to pigeonhole yourself,” she said.

Turfbuilder Carpet maker is the number one seller for Scots, Ohrn said, calling it a “top of the line” product.

Scots carries a variety of grass seed and mixes of all types of lawns and uses.

“We have shade, beauty, heavy traffic, drought tough mixes,” Orhn said.

Herb also warned those seeding lawns against using weed and feed mixes before the new lawn has had a chance to take root.

“You can end up killing your grass along with the weeds,” she said. “If you put down a crab grass preventer, you will kill the crab grass and the grass seed.”