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Lawn Seeding Guide

What methods should be used for grass seeding?

Aerate. Aeration is the process of pulling plugs out of the soil. Besides de-compacting the soil this will loosen the soil profile for better gas exchange. This allows the grass seed to fall into the holes so that they are ‘planted’ into the soil. During times of irrigation or rain, the water will push seed into the holes further ‘planting’ more seed.

Verticut. The verticut machine (which uses narrow, rotating vertical blades) mimics tilling by slicing the seed into the soil with thin slits.  This gives the best seed-to-soil contact and allows the seed to germinate quicker. Also, the slits are tightly spaced to give a more uniform dispersion of seed, thus creating a thicker lawn.

Aerate and Verticut. This is the optimal process since it is the combination of the two processes. Both mechanical methods allow for grass seed to be planted at different depths and spacing to deliver a more uniform spread of grass seed. 

Complete Restoration: Based on the customer’s needs, current lawn condition, or other reasons – a recommendation to ‘start over’ completely may be the best solution. This process utilizes herbicide to remove all the existing lawn (including all grass and weeds) and reseed with an improved premium variety. The following are a few reasons for starting over:

1. The existing lawn contains a wide variety of grass species from years of over-seeding and/or sodding. This creates a mottled effect with different shades of color, texture, growth height and performance. 

2. Every fall/winter a lawn may turn mostly or completely brown. Simply put, there are more weeds than grass. 

3. The customer may want to regrade the lawn due to puddling, flooding basement, poor water distribution, etc.

4. Complete aesthetic value.  The existing lawn is a mash up of different grasses, uneven, bumpy, grows inconsistently, or is plain ugly.

Why should straw not be used for grass seeding?

The purpose of using straw is two-fold. First, to help hold the grass seed in place and prevent soil erosion; and second, to retain moisture to aid the germination process and growth thereafter.

We do NOT recommend using straw (agricultural) after seeding.
Many customers see this process used at construction sites, utility work sites or even on their neighbors’ lawns. A major problem with straw (agricultural) is that you are literally planting weed seed. Agricultural straw is the byproduct of grain harvesting where the dry hollow stalks of grain crops are gathered and bundled. Not only are the grain stalks harvested but also weed plants that were growing in the field. 

What is an alternative for using straw in grass seeding?

Instead of using straw we use two different high-quality products: straw mat and aspen mat. Straw mat is a commercial-grade product that does use straw with a biodegradable netting. The straw material, however, undergoes a Thermally Refined® process to kill all pathogens and weed seed.

Aspen Mat uses Aspen tree fibers that contain no weed seed and that will naturally swell when in contact with water. Both these products are the alternative to agricultural straw and provide the essential ability to hold soil and seed in place during high winds and rain, while providing necessary moisture for the new seed.

The new grass will grow through the fibers and the mat will break down over time, leaving a seamless lawn for a strong and healthy stand of grass. 

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