The Do's and Don'ts of Seeding - Atkins Inc

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HomeLawn CareThe Do’s and Don’ts of Seeding
August 10 2016
Atkins Inc
Atkins Inc


Mid Missouri summers can be treacherous! In 2016, a mild Spring got our lawns off to a great start, but the lack of rainfall caused most lawns to go into drought stress by May. By the end of June, turf and trees were in big trouble due to the now excessive heat pattern and drought conditions. But thankfully Mother Nature came to the rescue the first week of July and saved many plants. We know farmers were relieved! Since then we have had enough rain to the point where we have recently recovered to historic average rainfall levels for our area. The only down side is; we have not been able to shake off the heat.  Extreme heat during the day and consistent humidity in the evening, combined with moisture in thatch, has provided a perfect environment for diseases in turf. See our blog post about Fungus in Turf to learn more about this subject.

Mid Missouri is considered to be in the middle of the “Transition Zone” for turf grasses. In this zone the cool season grasses like Fescue, Rye & Bluegrass typically don’t survive the summers very well. Warm season grasses like Zoysia or Bermuda are dormant for six months and often also suffer and die back during extreme winters.

Fescue is the most widely used turf grass in our area as it stands up well to most environment stresses if managed appropriately. Fescue can thin out and die back during extreme conditions much like this year, with heat and drought extremes plus a tremendous amount disease. Fescue does not spread on its own, so some renovations and seeding are required to maintain a dense stand of grass. Fall is the ideal time to seed with warm soil temperatures and hopefully less heat in the evenings; giving the seed time to develop and establish enough root system to survive the winter and before it gets the next Mid Missouri Summer. Spring seeding can work as well, but typically there is not enough time for the new seeds to establish a mature root system capable of withstanding the typical heat and drought stress we see in the summer. You would also have to avoid spring crabgrass prevention treatments.

Great news is “We can help you with that”!  Whether it’s advice on how to do it yourself or should you need us to provide the service, getting your lawn up to speed is our top priority.

Atkins offers a variety of renovation services. Give us a call and we will evaluate your lawn and make the best recommendation to fit your lawn’s specific needs.

  • Aeration is the single most important cultivation practice available.  This practice relieves compaction, manages thatch and allow for nutrients and oxygen into your root zone.
  • Aeration & Overseeding, is adding seed to aerated areas to help thicken lawns that thinned out due to multiple stresses of a Mid Missouri summer.
  • Slice Seeding is designed for extremely thin to bare lawn areas.  Vertical blades score the soil surface to help create a good seed-to-soil contact for improved germination rates.  *We sometimes do this after aerating.
  • Aera-vator, The worse the soil conditions the better this machine works.  It not only aerates, but it also fractures and “fluffs” the soil creating an ideal seed bed.  It also creates less of a mess than aeration with no cores.

Check out all our service offerings at or just call in Columbia 573-874-5100, Jeff City 573-635-8712 or (573) 874-5100 for more information. 

Bonus Tip: Problems to Avoid When Watering New Grass Seed


  • Over-watering that results in puddles on the surface. At first, this can allow the seed to float around and the grass will not be evenly distributed. Later the new grass may choke if the roots have no oxygen available. (They drown!)
  • Run-off and seed movement on sloping ground. It may be necessary to reduce the watering time and repeat more frequently. A mulch over the seed should help reduce seed movement in addition to reducing evaporation.
  • Over-watering that leaves the soil soggy and spongy. It can take a long time for some soils to dry out, but clay soil is the worst. Stay off of them if this happens.
  • Over-watering areas that are shaded and need less water (Usually a problem with automatic sprinkler systems.) If feasible, consider one cycle of automatic watering on the entire area, and a hand watering later, to cover just the more exposed areas as they dry out.
  • Uneven watering due to sprinklers that are clogged, not adjusted or inadequately designed. Always check and do necessary corrections to a sprinkler system before the grass seed is sown. (Few sprinklers, installed or portable, can be trusted to work efficiently without being regularly checked.)
  • Under-watering new grass seed, especially not often enough, due to any and all excuses.
    Remember, one mistake can mean you start all over again.
About the Author
Atkins Inc
You're busy. We can help you with that! Just about anything that needs to be done around your home or business can be taken care of with one phone call to Atkins.

Providing the best in lawn care, pest & wildlife management, irrigation, hidden pet fence, handyman, holiday lighting, landscape lighting, floor care, and commercial janitorial, Atkins has proudly been serving mid-Missouri since 1925.
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