Pyke Farms Landscaping Products
About Us at Pyke Farms Landscaping Products

Lawn & Garden Tips

Grass Seeding Guide

  1. Preparation

    To prepare a good seedbed loosen the soil by raking and removing all stones and foreign material - 4-6 inches of good soil is recommended if you have poor soil. Ensure that the area to be seeded is properly graded with a gentle slope away from buildings. Drainage is important, so in heavier soils some tilling may be required. Rake repeatedly to level.
  2. Fertilizer

    Some fertilizers are manufactured while others are organic. Inorganic fertilizers are more concentrated, dissolve quickly and act fast. However, inorganic fertilizers will not improve soil texture. In fact, over-application will damage soil. It is very important to follow the manufacturer's instructions about rate of application. The use of a starter fertilizer is recommended at seeding time.
    • NOTE: THREE CHEMICAL ELEMENTS MOST IMPORTANT TO PLANT GROWTH ARE: N-P-K
    • N - NITROGEN is essential to the production of healthy foliage
    • P - PHOSPHOROUS encourages the development of a healthy root system
    • K - POTASSIUM encourages successful flower and fruit production
    • i.e.; a fertilizer with 8-30-12 rating means that the fertilizer is 8% by weight Nitrogen, 30% by weight Phosphorous and 12% by weight Potassium.
    • Seeding
    There are many excellent varieties of grass seed, but none is ideal for every condition. It pays to select a good quality seed. Small areas may be seeded by hand, but best results are obtained with a spin or trough-type spreader. Be generous when sowing the seed. Cover only by scuffling lightly with a rake.
  3. Rolling

    Rolling after seeding is a necessity. Roll at least once and preferrably twice to ensure a good seed to soil contact enhancing germination. Rolling also breaks small lumps of dirt and leaves a smooth even surface.
  4. Watering

    Water regularly with a fine spray. Never permit the soil to dry out but at the same time avoid excessive soaking. Simply keep the seedbed moist at all times until after all seeds have germinated. i.e. 3-4 weeks.
  5. Germination

    The period required for seedlings to grow varies greatly in relation to moisture supply and soil temperature. Rye grass can germinate anytime after 4 or 5 days while bluegrass can take up to 28 days.

    Weeds

    Unfortunately weeds are a natural part of our environment. Like mosquitos they are a nuisance but an important part of our ecosystem. Our soil products, generally speaking, will have low levels of weed seed. All bulk soils will have some weed seed in them however, some with very low weed pressure such as the black earth and others, like topsoil, with the potential for more. "Topsoil" just as the name implies, is the "top-soil", the top few inches of soil off a field. This topsoil contains the humus or organic matter and nutrients from decomposed plant matter. Unfortunately it also contains the weed seeds from whatever weeds have grown there. These weed seeds are too small to be screened out and therefore remain in the soil.

    Perennials in Winter

    It is much more natural to leave plants standing into winter - Mother Nature does. Seed heads can be attractive in winter and provide food for birds. Most ornamental grasses look great in the winter garden. Although, plants that harbour fungus spores should certainly have the foliage removed, such as Iris or Day lily leaves that rot in winter.

    Winter Success Depends on Good Drainage

    Good drainage and a thick blanket of snow will see most hardy perennials safely through the winter. Thorough preparation of the soil in beds or borders is essential. The snowcover is beyond our control but good drainage is our responsibility. Many perennials can succumb to winter wet, even those listed as extremely hardy.

    Mulches

    Applied to a depth of at least 5 cm, mulch adds organic content to the soil, stabilizes soil temperatures during winter freezing and thawing, conserves moisture in all seasons, reduces the need for constant weeding and dresses the garden bed.