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    Are you sure you want to plant grass seed this spring?

    By Kyle Larson
    April 12, 2017, 3:38:33 PM EDT

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    Spring is the time for lawn renewal, gardens and landscape beds. It is the time of year for visits to your local nursery or gardening store to gather new annual and perennial flowers, vegetables, shrubs and maybe even a tree or two. You also might just want to add some color back into your outdoor space after the boring and washed out colors of winter.

    It is only natural that many people want to revitalize their lawn by adding new seed to help increase the density of their turf. Cool season grasses take a beating during the winter, often looking worse when they first start greening up than they do after a particular hot and dry summer. Those first few warm days that seem to cause buds to swell and the first signs of green to poke through make us anxious for the warmth of spring and summer. We want our lawns to look great again, but sometimes that just doesn’t happen – yet.

    Cool-season grasses, bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, fine fescue and tall fescue, take time to begin growing in the spring. Soil temperatures have to reach the 45 to 55-degree mark before growth starts to pick-up. It is also the minimum temperature for cool season grass seed to germinate. The soils take a good deal longer to warm than air temperature. In some cases, these soil temperatures may be delayed until late April or even mid-May. If seed is applied now, it could become water-logged and rot before it ever has a chance to germinate.

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