Seeds & Weeds
“You seeded my lawn with cheap grass seed full of weeds.”
“The mulch you used had weed seeds in it” Every hydroseeder has heard this from a customer at one time or another. So what is the story.
First and foremost, seed from any reputable dealer will carry a seed tag showing the weed seed content of the bag almost always less than .01%. Great tip—save the seed tags for each customers job as proof of the quality of the seed you have used.
Secondly, fiber mulch is a processed product that also does not contain weed seeds.
So where did all those weeds come from? The answer is—they were always there.
Weed seeds can remain dormant in soils for years until the proper environment is created for them to thrive. Preparation of the soil is the common culprit for your weed infestation. Tilling under the soil, while creating a nice seed bed also brings dormant, buried weed seeds to the surface. Adding top soil to the area often brings its own weed seeds particularly if purchased from “that farmer down the road.” Even processed loam will not be weed-free.
Hydroseeding creates a superior environment for your grass seed to germinate and grow. Unfortunately this environment is also beneficial for the weeds.
Weeds in a new lawn are a fact of life. There are however some steps that you can take to help minimize the issue.
If bringing in top soil, be sure to purchase from a quality supplier.
Pre-emergent chemical controls added to the hydroseeding mix do exist. They are however expensive and require the proper pesticide licensing.
Prepping the soil in advance, allowing any weed seeds to germinate and then killing them off with a broad vegetation killer. Be sure to read the label and select a product that allows reseeding in 24 to 48 hours.
Use proper seed rates and seed varieties. A healthy lawn can help choke out a weed problem from the start. Follow up applications with a broad leaf weed killer—usually 4 to 6 weeks after germination will ensure a healthy and weed free lawn.
Weeds in a newly hydroseeded site are a product of nature, proper preparation, quality hydroseeding products and proper follow up can ensure the customer gets the lush lawn that they envision.
Remember, a beautiful lawn is your best advertising!
IAHP Are you Fertilizer Compliant?
Many states are enacting regulations regarding the commercial use of fertilizers. Most of these regulations require the use of best management practices to reduce the impacts of fertilizers on waterways, and public education regarding correct fertilizer use.
Why are these efforts important? Nitrogen and phosphorus are nutrients required for plant growth. A limited amount of these nutrients is important for healthy plant life. An overabundance, however, not only can harm lawns but when washed into waterways stimulates excessive algae and weed growth.
This in turn, depletes oxygen from the water and reduces the sunlight needed for healthy aquatic life.
•Waterway buffers restricted use areas. •Weather related application restrictions, designed to reduce fertilizer runoff from excessive rain.
•Date restrictions regulates the use of fertilizer to reduce use on frozen ground.
•Zero phosphate rules, eliminates phosphorous except in certain exempt uses.
Current States that have fertilizer restriction laws: CT, FL, GA, IL, KY, MO, MT, NC, ND, NE, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OH, PA, RI, TN, TX, VI, VT, WA, WI, WV.
Check with your state regulatory office to determine the laws pertaining to your individual state.
Some states have mandatory certification programs. Most states have substantial fines for improper fertilizer use.
It should be noted that in most instances of new lawn establishment the fertilizer regulations are less restrictive.
Though these laws can seem restrictive and burdensome, as professional landscapers and IAHP members it is our duty to be stewards of the land and act responsibly to protect and preserve our waters for future generations.