Learn / Ask The Landscape Professional
I had someone do a lawn repair for me this spring; he added top soil and seed. He told me he was using a special coated seed that I didn't have to water. No grass ever grew and my lawn is now full of weeds. What went wrong?
As you already realized, you hired someone who didn't know what he was doing and
gave you poor advice.There are several things that could have gone wrong. Here are a few.
1) No matter what someone tells you or what the seed bag says, grass needs to be
watered for it to grow! While there are grass seeds on the market today that are "coated"
and touted to need less water, they are about twice the price of normal seed and, in my
opinion, a waste of your money. Certainly, in the case of this customer, the marketing hype
led to a misunderstanding that the seed did not need ANY water. Absolutely NOT true.
2) If you apply grass seed to soil and you haven't done a soil test first, you run
the risk of not only wasting your money but getting poor results too! The single most
important thing you can do for your lawn is to have a soil test done and find out its pH. Grass
grows best with a pH of around 6.5 (slightly acidic). About half the lawns we have tested
this year have a pH below 6.0 and as low as 4.2 – this is an extremely acidic soil that will
cause grass to struggle or just not grow at all. Weeds, on the other hand, love acidic soil
and will thrive. If your lawn is full of weeds and not grass, suspect pH issues. If your pH is
low, it is easily corrected by lime application(s). Lime, however, takes months to be effective,
so this fall you should get the lime applied and do your seeding in the spring of 2014. As I
have written about previously, Sprigs & Twigs can soil test your lawn.We will provide you a
comprehensive written report, analysis and proposal for any recommended actions necessary.
We will evaluate pH and a number of other important components of your soil. We
charge $100 + tax for the soil test and analysis.You can drop off a soil sample at our office
at 41 Kings Highway, Gales Ferry (bring in a baseball-size handful in a plastic bag), or we can
come out and take a sample at your property.
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About Linda Lillie
Linda K. Lillie is the President of Sprigs & Twigs, Inc, the premier
landscape design and maintenance, tree care, lawn care, stonework, and carpentry
service provider in southeastern Connecticut since 1997. She is a graduate of
Connecticut College in Botany, a Connecticut Master Gardener and a national
award winning landscape designer for her landscape design and landscape installation work.