Ask the Expert: How to Combat Trouble with Seed Germination

Warm, dry and windy weather conditions have inhibited grass seed germination this fall. This is normally an excellent time for new seed projects.  The fall is when disease pressure is low, fewer weeds are competing with the turf grass and typically milder weather conditions help to maintain soil moisture essential for successful turf grass seed germination. This year the weather has been less cooperative. That’s why we’ve connected with Jeffrey Thrasher, Central’s Liquid Chemicals and Fertilizer Products Manager, to learn how we can combat issues with seed germination.

From Jeffrey:

Increased Water Needs

To tackle problems with seed germination, turf managers need to respond by increasing water applications for new seed. Irrigation systems with smart controllers are Wi-Fi connected so can be easily adjusted from a mobile phone. The “new grass” setting on these systems will increase run times and frequency. However, even this amount of added watering may not be enough.

The same can be said for systems guided by rain sensors. The warmer than usual temperatures and windy weather patterns are creating extra dry conditions that require more water than the rain sensor will adjust to. Here again managers must reset run times and frequency to adapt to these conditions. Should you need help with controller settings do not hesitate to call the irrigation experts at your local Central Turf & Irrigation Supply branch. They can help you to find the correct system settings for your project and the prevailing weather conditions.

Additional Strategies to Achieve Successful Germination

These are two additional strategies you can employ to achieve successful germination and grow in:

  • Be sure to apply a good seed starter fertilizer along with the seed. Hudson Valley Naturals offer a 15-15-5 that is ideal for this purpose. It is made with both mined and organic phosphorus sources to provide consistent and extended nutrient release.
  • Next, be sure to cover your new seed with a quality mulch. This will help to retain soil moisture and reduce the percent of seed eaten by birds before it has a chance to germinate. Central has seed free shredded straw or better yet, we carry Penn Mulch. Either product can be used to improve your results.

Seeing new grass fill in dead spots or creating an entirely new lawn can be immensely gratifying for both you and your clients. We’re ready and able to help you achieve success. Rely on the experts at Central to help you with any of your turf grass questions. We stay at the leading-edge of the industry and have experts on staff at all our local branches. We’re ready to help you grow!

About Jeffrey Thrasher

Jeffrey Thrasher is a licensed Arborist with more than three decades of experience in the Green Industry. Jeffrey built a successful tree, lawn and landscape company in Westchester County, NY and Fairfield County, CT. After selling his business, he began work with fertilizer manufacturers to establish distribution nationally. This extensive hands-on knowledge and background has given Jeffrey the necessary tools and background to troubleshoot and solve the most difficult tree and ornamental issues. Jeffrey is an excellent resource to help you finding the right product and solution for your customers.