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Why Spring Reseeding is Overrated and Costly

Springtime is a double-edged sword for our company. On one hand, we love seeing homeowners excited about getting their lawns in shape as warm weather glides in. We share your excitement because we’re just as happy to start enjoying our outdoor spaces with family and friends, too. 

On the other hand? There’s the knowledge that a letdown is coming for many eager homeowners. It’s a real shame because we know you have high hopes for improving your turf by investing time and money in reseeding your lawn this spring. That investment rarely pays off because the deck is stacked against you and against your defenseless young grass.

This Reseeding Article Covers:

Spring Reseeding Versus Crabgrass in Enemy Territory

The first springtime obstacle for reseeded lawns is — the dreaded crabgrass! This ruthless weed strikes fear in even hardened landscapers, as it can produce up to 145,000 seeds. Seeds that can survive and bide their time for up to three years!

It gets worse, though, because as resilient as crabgrass is, spring is when it thrives.

This makes for a brutal growing environment for tender, newly planted grass seeds. Even after the reseeded lawn sees new grass spring up, those fresh blades are ill-prepared to compete with crabgrass. We’ll talk about why that is in a moment. 

First, try to imagine your lawn as a football field. Crabgrass has the home-field advantage in spring with all the elements in its favor. Your reseeded lawn is a huge underdog, inexperienced and facing a hostile environment. As the “coach,” you’re going to have to make some adjustments.

But even when you think you’ve caught a break, the heat gets turned up on your lawn.

Summer Scorches Young Grass

The new grass that doesn’t get choked out by crabgrass gets no rest from the spring gauntlet. Your reseeded lawn must then survive the summer heat. Extreme temps will have those rookie blades of grass panting like a thirsty defensive lineman on the sidelines with no waterboy in sight. 

This scenario plays out year in and year out—even when there’s plenty of rainfall, believe it or not. For one, heavy summer rains can wash away grass seeds planted too late and damage newly sprouted grass. Not only that, but grass planted in the spring is ill-prepared for heat, just as it was unprepared to fend off crabgrass. Why?

No Root System

To be fair, the roots exist, but barely. The roots are a full five times shorter than they would be if the lawn had been reseeded in the fall. 

We’ll touch on why that is in more detail, but the main thing to know is that roots grow when you least suspect it. It’s natural to miss this point. Because unless you’re into lawn science nuances, most homeowners only focus on grass growth they witness above the soil. 

This root system issue is a huge reason we advise homeowners to avoid spring reseeding and why this poor timing typically results in a 99% failure rate.

How can you flip that number around?

Fall Reseeding Can Produce 99% Success Rates

You win the turf battle by reseeding your lawn when new grass gains the home-field advantage – in the fall.

Three fall advantages for newly seeded grass – especially from September to October:

  1. Cooler soil temps, day and night
  2. Crabgrass has become weakened
  3. Grass roots gain the time needed to reach maximum depths

These advantages mean you can reseed your lawn once and have confidence in a 99% success rate versus spring reseeding, which will cause you to repeat the chore the following fall anyway.

Many homeowners often can’t believe the difference the seasons make with reseeding. It’s surprising to them due to the unseen growth. After the fall, during colder months, the underground root growth provides ample time for those young grass roots to mature and reach up to ten inches.

If you’re thinking that the added benefit is that thicker, healthier turf will help smother crabgrass when spring rolls back around, you hit the nail on the head! A well-rooted lawn can overcome the up to 700 “tentacles” (known as tillers) of crabgrass that could otherwise creep all across your property. 

Thin grass areas are welcome mats for crabgrass, while thick turf is the opposite, acting as a repellent to this invasive, unsightly weed.

Spring Reseeding Wrap-Up

We want you to keep being enthusiastic about your lawn this spring. Yet, being patient while using Mother Nature’s all-knowing timing to your advantage is crucial. This is the proven path to your turf that is looking its best.

Keys to remember:

  • Crabgrass is the enemy of all turf grass
  • Spring crabgrass is at the peak of its strength
  • Summer heat defeats young grass
  • Grass roots are the unseen hero of amazing lawns
  • Weakened fall crabgrass is less of a threat to new grass
  • Spring reseeding doubles the work and costs due to the 99% failure rate

We believe this information will save you serious time, serious money, and serious regrets that come from springtime reseeding. Why reseed twice a year when the only truly effective time is in the fall? Pocket all the savings you can because Kentucky bluegrass seed has been hit by inflation like most products. Even the usually budget-friendly fescue’s costs have spiked.

Now, please see the short video below on spring reseeding to get more scientific insights on this topic. And if you’ve seen positive results by investing in fall reseeding versus struggling with this task in the spring, please let us know!

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