Gerry's Blog



Seeding a Lawn

Now is the time to start planning for seeding your lawn.

When to Seed?

  • Apply seed in Spring when soil temperature reaches 15?C (60?F) - Ideally April  to mid-June
  • Best time for maximum germination is mid-August to mid-September when soil is warm and the nights are cool.
  • If you spread grass seed in the early spring, it will not germinate until the soil temperature reaches about 15?C (about 59?F).

Why Overseed?
A thick healthy lawn is the best defense against weeds, disease, drought and insect damage. Over-seeding can quickly repair a lawn that is thin and patchy from

  • Winter Damage.
  • Damage from Drought and Extreme Heat.
  • Damage from Grubs, Chinch Bugs and other insects.
  • Introduction of a new variety of grass.

Total Lawn Renovation
In some cases the entire lawn may be beyond salvation. This could be due to the majority of the lawn being dead, undesirable grass species, damage from construction, etc.

  • If required, apply a total weed and grass killer to kill off any unwanted weeds and grass.

Soil Preparation (The amount of preparation will greatly affect the final results).

  • Remove dead grass and debris.
  • Roughen area with a stiff rake to loosen soil.
  • Apply 3-5 cm of good quality top soil, Triple Mix or Compost.

Starter Fertilizer

  • Spread a Lawn Starter Fertilizer over the area (follow package directions).
  • Rake soil level to a final grade.

Applying Seed

  • Apply at rate listed on grass seed bag.
  • For small areas, apply seed by hand.
  • For larger areas, use a fertilizer spreader, for complete coverage apply in two passes - using half the rate of application per pass - one pass at right angles to the other in a crisscross pattern.
  • Use a low spreader setting. You should see approximately 2-3 seeds in a square inch (approximately 2.5 x 2.5 cm).
  • Use an empty lawn roller to press the seed into the soil or rake lightly with a leaf rake.
  • Grass seed needs soil contact to germinate and should be covered by no more than 7mm (¼") of soil (If the seed is buried any deeper, it will have trouble emerging from the soil. Burying the seed is a common reason for poor lawn establishment).


  • The most important thing you can do now is to ensure that the lawn receives enough water.
  • Keep the lawn moist for the first two weeks. You don't need a lot of water – about 15 minutes with an average sprinkler each day will work. You want to keep the first few centimeters (half an inch) moist.
  • Watering in the early morning or the evening works best.
  • Use a fine spray so as not to disturb the seedbed.

Next Steps

  • During the first few weeks, keep as much traffic off the seedbed as possible. The tender, emerging shoots of grass will not withstand much wear and tear.
  • Once the grass has grown up to 3-4 inches (8-10 cm), you can begin cutting it. This should be after about 4 weeks of growth.
  • If you need to apply weed control wait until at least 6 weeks after seeding.
  • After 6 weeks, fertilize with a premium slow release lawn fertilizer.
  • If you have a few patches that aren't as thick as the rest, they may not have received enough seed. Don't be afraid to overseed these areas. The longer they stay bare, the more likely that weeds will encroach onto your lawn.


Adapted from


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Snow Mold
This spring there was a fair amount of snow mold on the lawns. The term "Snow Mold" refers to lawn diseases that occur primarily from late fall to mid-spring. Snow Mold or Snow Mould appears as a fluffy white, pink or grey residue that seems to follow the retreating snow line. Cool, wet conditions with or without snow cover cause this disease to flourish.

A properly fertilized, well-maintained lawn is most resistant to damage from snow mold. A vigorous raking in early spring through the snow mold residue will help reduce this disease and quicken the turf grass healing process.

Rake, Rake, Rake Your Sod (sung to the tune of Row, Row, Your Boat)
The warm sunny rays of the sun seem to drive folks out onto the lawns to rake the grass. Is all that exercise and fresh air of any value?
Yes, of course. Plus the lawn can benefit too.

Raking will remove the dead grass blades. This improves air circulation around the crowns of the turf. Better air movement will reduce disease spread and allow the crowns to warm up. As the grass and soil warm up, the plants will start to grow and as they grow they will turn green.

The raking will also sever some grass roots. This is in effect a pruning operation. Whenever a plant stem or root is cut, it stimulates the plant to send out more roots or stems. BTW, the pruning of the roots of certain grasses like Kentucky blue grass is really a pruning of stems. Kentucky bluegrass spreads by its underground parts that are technically stems.

The removal of the dead grass (some people call it "thatch") will also improve the appearance of the lawn. Even if you rake out some of the green grass blades, less dead grass means the lawn will look greener. Similar to when I pull the grey hairs out of my head. Pull out enough grey hairs, you will look younger?!)

Is raking required? Well, for all the reasons listed above, raking will improve the lawn. But for some people with large lawns, or those like me who can be lazy, raking can be skipped. It just means your lawn will take a little longer before to turn green.

One way of helping it to turn green without raking is to drag out the lawn mower, set it at about 1 inch and mow the lawn early in the spring. This is the only time you should mow the lawn this low (at least until the last cut in the late fall.)

This will remove up to half of the dead grass blades. Not in number but in height. The benefit is that the new green grass growing from below will show up quicker. Also the grass will start to grow sooner as the lower turf will allow the soil to warm up faster.

What do I do if I find white grubs in the spring?

Normally, I not a fan of doing any grub treatment in the spring. Most of the damage to the lawn is done by grubs in the fall. By this time of year, they are not feeding very much. Secondly, they are harder to control, because they are larger now and it takes more to kill them than it does in the fall.

Getting rid of the grubs now therefore won't undo the damage already done, and it won't likely stop any damage from marauding skunks, raccoons or birds. Any treatments will take some time to work and until the grubs have died, they are still tasty snacks for the wildlife.

Nematode treatments in the spring are iffy until the soil temperatures are 14C. Usually by that time it's not worth applying. Now some companies want to apply nematodes in the spring, but I think that it is not worth the cost for a treatment that is not likely to be effective.

The other issue with controlling grubs now is that the adult grub is a flying beetle. Even if we could rid your lawn of the grubs there now, it would only mean that there would be fewer adults flying around in your neighbourhood. This is great for your neighbourhood as a whole, but not necessarily of any benefit to you and your lawn. Since the adults fly, they could fly into the air, do their mating exercises, then look around to see where to lay their eggs.

"There's a nice lawn; let me put my eggs there so my baby grubs can have a nice lawn to chew on." Those adults could have come from down the road or across the street to lay eggs on your lawn.

So at this stage, repair the damage, add soil and grass seed or repair the damage with some sod. Feed the lawn to encourage it to repair itself, then treat for grubs this summer.

The summer treatment is to prevent damage from the next generation of grubs - those baby grubs that are small and hungry. They are apt to feed voraciously in order to grow into bigger grubs. Those baby grubs are the ones that feed on your grass roots and destroy the lawn.



If you have a lawn/tree/shrub that needs some Tender Loving Care - get The KING OF GREEN:




or call us at 905.318.6677 or 1.888.TURFKING (887.3546)


If you would like more information, please Contact us


Follow us on Twitter


Join our Facebook page  



Copyright 2010 Turf King-Hamilton. All Rights Reserved.




Success comes in cans, failure in can'ts.


"The most important things in life aren't things." Anthony J. D'Angelo

An old German superstition holds that if a hibernating animal casts a shadow Feb. 2 – the Christian holiday of Candlemas – winter would last another six weeks. If no shadow was seen, legend said spring would come early.

This year, both Wiarton Willie and his American cousin, Punxsutawney Phil, predicted another 6 weeks of winter a few days ago on February 2 (Groundhog Day). Yet this week we are experiencing temperatures in the double digits (Centigrade).Today was 11 degrees and more of the same tomorrow.

In front of little plaza near our office is a lawn that catches a lot of the sunshine since the lawn faces south.

Lo and behold that lawn was a beautiful green colour. It was a refreshing sight to see that patch of turf. Don't know if it was starting to grow, but it almost seemed like it was ready to be fertilized by the Turf King technicians.


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