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Landscape Maintenance vs. Lawn Care: What’s The Difference?

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If you have bare or thin spots in your lawn then you might be thinking about seeding. Seeding can be a great way to solve these problems, however, homeowners often mistakenly assume that it’s something they can have performed any time during the year. For optimal results, that’s simply not the case.

Because we want the best for your lawn, we’ll explain when to plant grass seed in spring or fall and how to achieve the best results.

Can I Seed my Lawn in the Spring?

This is a question that we receive quite often. If you have a lawn that has bare spots or thin areas, then you might be anxious to seed in order to fill them in. But the truth is, seeding in the spring is not a good idea for two key reasons that we’ll explain.

You Can’t Put Down Some Lawn Care Materials

If you’ve seeded in the spring, then you can’t put down crabgrass preventer for approximately 3 months afterward, and at that time, it will be too late to prevent crabgrass.

Crabgrass growing in lawnThe material being applied will not know the difference between a desired turfgrass seed and a crabgrass seed, and will ultimately prevent both from growing.

Sometimes people ask us about just skipping crabgrass control but in our opinion, this is risky. Skipping crabgrass control can become a potentially serious concern because of how quickly the pesky weeds can spread. Crabgrass also grows most freely in the thinner areas of your lawn, such as the ones you may have seeded, which makes seeding a bad idea.

Likewise, broadleaf weed control cannot be applied until your new grass seed begins to grow and has matured enough to mow it a couple times. Again, that time frame will end up being very late in the spring to early summer and at that time, your lawn will have also developed quite a crop of weeds along the way.

The Upcoming Weather is Not Ideal

While the springtime weather may be fine for growing grass seed, it won’t be long until the hot summer sun impacts growing conditions. Most people assume that winter is the most challenging time for grass but it’s actually the summer. It’s very difficult to keep brand-new grass seedlings alive with the heat of the summer sun beating down.

The Best Time to Plant Grass in Virginia

You might be wondering when is the best time to plant grass in Virginia if it’s not the spring. Ideally, seeding should always be performed in the fall. Not only does this allow you to get through the spring season utilizing the professional weed control products that your lawn will need to look its best, but weather conditions in the fall are ideal for new seedling growth.

grass-growingThe weather is cool, the ground is moist, and the soil is still warm. In these conditions, your lawn will develop a healthy root system that will allow it to become established in plenty of time before the summer stress sets in.

When it comes to broadleaf weed control, you can apply a late summer or early fall application of this material and then wait approximately a week and seed your lawn. This allows for getting rid of most of the weeds in the lawn prior to seeding and then not having to worry about them for the rest of the fall.

Of course, you might also be wondering specifically when to plant grass seed in fall? The optimal time is anywhere between late August (technically late summer) through the end of October or possibly even early November. It’s not so much the exact time as it is the weather conditions.

Is There Ever a Time to Plant Grass Seed in Spring?

Even though we tell homeowners that seeding the lawn in the spring is not ideal, we occasionally still have people who really want it done. This is usually the case for homeowners who just bought a home and have no grass at all or have so many bare spots that they’re desperate for at least some new grass.

In these circumstances, it’s all about expectations.

core aeration plugsWe are honest with homeowners that we can seed their lawn in the spring but chances are only about half of it may survive, if they’re lucky. They may also have to deal with weeds in their lawn since we can’t put product down. Then we’ll still need to re-seed in the fall and perform aeration or power seeding. Once homeowners look at it this way and recognize that they’ll be paying for seeding twice (without much luck on the first go-around), they usually just choose to wait.

Of course, another option, for the homeowner who is truly desperate for grass, is laying sod. This is another service that we can offer should you not be able to wait for seeding in the fall (plus the process of nurturing and growing that new grass).

Laying down sod is basically like getting an “instant lawn” and some homeowners decide to do it if they have a party coming up or just can’t wait for the grass to grow. However, you should know that it can be costly and the bigger the yard you have, the more it will be. For that reason, this is something we perform for townhomes or small sections of lawns more often than the entirety of expansive properties.

Wanting the Best for You

nice-house-lawn-truck-mowing-2We have no doubt that there are lawn care companies in Northern Virginia that will agree to seed your lawn in the spring even though they know it’s not the ideal timing. Companies like these do not have your best interest at heart and would rather just get paid for the work.

At Kingstowne, you can always count on us to give you the honest truth, even when we know it’s not always what you would prefer to hear. Though it can be hard to wait when you really want to seed sooner, waiting until the optimum time to seed your lawn will pay off with better results (and a wiser investment on your behalf).

Our objective is to do what’s best for you, even when it means forgoing potential revenue we could earn in the spring. Ideally, we would love to see all of our customers hold off on seeding until the fall so that you can have the best possible outcome.

If you’re ready to work with an honest company who is committed to doing what’s best for your lawn, then request a quote and relax while we get to work.

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Krisjan Berzins - Owner, CEO

Since 1997, Krisjan has led the Kingstowne team with one simple philosophy, treat every customer like the “only” customer. His passionate pursuit of impeccable customer service has resulted in 24 successful years and a thriving company with over 85 employees, helping thousands of homeowners in the Alexandria, Arlington, and Springfield, VA area get what they want -- a worry-free property they can be proud of.