From start to finish, your winter turf maintenance requires time and skill as you prep for colder temperatures. You may have a preferred overseeding method, but by making a few adjustments, you can save time by establishing winter grass in the first cycle and avoid return visits to multiple sites. Here’s how to structure your overseeding process to save time without sacrificing performance.
Utilize Three-Way Seed Blends
Maintaining a healthy turf during the winter starts with your seed selection, such as a three-way blend, proven strong root growth and near-zero percentages of non-seed materials.
By utilizing a three-way seed blend, you’ll lay down a seed with consistent coverage. If one type of seed doesn’t take, another type will, meaning you don’t have to revisit the site because a single strand didn’t germinate.
This doesn’t mean you have to get the most expensive bag of seed though. Three-way seed blends are available in good, better and best options with pricing that aligns with each tier. A versatile blend can also tolerate a variety of fertility and irrigation programs.
- Tip: You’ll find the makeup of the quality of the seed on the seed bag label, which can provide a wealth of information about what you’re buying before you make a purchase.
If you’re trying to avoid high amounts of noxious weed seed, try a seed bag with the highest quality and highest certification. Look for seed with an excellent performance in the National Turfgrass Evaluation Program’s (NTEP) field trials. NTEP trials scientifically measure seed quality, color, density, drought tolerance and more. Seed types that receive their Blue Tag certification are proven to meet NTEP’s standards for purity and quality.
Lay Down a Uniform Spread
The mechanism for applying seed is almost as important as the seed itself. Using a well-designed spreader allows you to control the uniformity and amount of seed applied, guaranteeing optimal results. By preventing gaps, you won’t have to return to the site as often to manage bald spots.
While a push or broadcast spreader can be used for larger areas, a hand crank spreader provides the efficiency you need for smaller lawns, while being budget conscious.
Boost Results with Fertilizer
Fertilizers are scientifically constructed to boost the nutrients to the seed in order to increase germination. By encouraging the grass to grow deep, healthy roots, there’s less chance of disease and brown spots. Improved growth means the turf is better positioned to survive harsh temperatures in the winter, resulting in fewer return trips to the site.
- Tip: Courtesy of Louis McPherson, Branch Manager of Ewing Phoenix: cut your application time in half by combining the seed and fertilizer in the spreader and apply both at the same time.
Because fertilizer options vary from region to region, call or visit your local Ewing branch for details about your specific zone.
Apply a Turf Colorant
Applying a coat of turf colorant allows your customers to acquire the look of vibrant winter grass without going through the overseed process. It’s a great way for clients to save on water bills or to meet requirements for green winter grass set up by local ordinances.
This alternative option provides a way to generate revenue with clients who may not be interested in overseeding this year.
Spraying with a green turf pigment revives a healthy appearance and keeps lawns looking great all winter without the need for multiple visits to the site.
Adjust the Watering Cycle Remotely
Moisture plays a pivotal role in the success of overseed projects. It’s important to adjust the water cycle after the first phase of watering, when the seed layer is established. Smart irrigation controllers allow you to adjust the water cycle remotely. Smart controllers allow you to change the watering time without making multiple trips back to your clients’ landscapes.
- Tip: To maintain the amount of moisture for successful germination, add mulch to your overseeding projects, either as a hydromulch or by spreading it over the seed layer.
By employing one or more of these adjustments, you can provide the same great service to your clients while also saving yourself time this overseed season. Visit your local Ewing branch or talk with your account manager for more details about overseed options and savings.