How do I seed lawn where cedars were removed?

Asked October 2, 2013, 7:49 PM EDT

Just removed 3 large cedar bushes from my lawn area and want to plant grass. What do I need to do to the soil before seeding this fall?

Ingham County Michigan

1 Response

Hello,
To seed an area where cedars had been growing, remove as much of the large roots (1 inch and greater) and stumps as possible; and all wood chips from stump grinding and any other debris. Smooth the area with a rake and firm the soil so that, when you step on it, you do not sink in more than ½ inch when the soil is dry.

It may be too late to seed a large area now. Average first frost date for Ingham County is Oct 10th. If we happen to have a warm fall, then you may be fine. Most perennial grass seed takes 10 days to two weeks to germinate; then takes several weeks to grow a robust root system.

You can seed the area in spring and probably get better results than seeding now. If you seed now, you may have to spread more seed in spring to get the area as thickly sown as you like. However, the spring weeds will be sprouting too, so removing those as the grass develops is more work. The weeds will have to be removed by hand, or you will have to wait until the grass is established to use a weed killer. Do not use a ‘pre-emergent’ while the grass seed is germinating--- pre-emergents will prevent grass seed from starting, too.


Here are some links on lawn renovation, should you need the information on seed selection, soil preparation, etc:
http://umaine.edu/publications/2367e/
www.turf.msu.edu
www.msuturfweeds.net
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