Pennington Seed has been cultivating and improving lawn seed for more than 60 years, so I was delighted to have the opportunity to visit the company's headquarters and lab in the Willamette Valley of Oregon.
The art of creating the ultimate lawn seed is an ongoing process, as the product continues to evolve and adapt to different climates and disease. As a homeowner who continually battles to grow the perfect green lawn, I was eager to pick up a tip or two from the seed scientists and lawn care professionals at my disposal.
Here's what the Pennington Seed pros had to say:
Lawn Height. Never cut more than 1/3 of the blade; cutting off more will shock the plant. During hot summer months, cut your lawn higher than the recommended rate.
Know Your Seed. Plant the type of grass seed that works best for your climate by following the USDA plant hardiness zone map.
Warm Season Grass. These types of grasses are planted in the spring when all danger of frost has passed. They turn brown or go dormant in the winter. So no matter how much you fertilize or water, it will remain brown until the Spring. The best planting time for warm season grasses spans from late spring to summer, when soil temperatures are above 65 degrees F at three inches below the surface.
Winter Season Lawn Tips. For lawns north of the transition zone, be careful when applying ice-melting products to sidewalks, since they could potentially burn your lawn. For lawns south of the transition zone, be sure to apply fertilizer to overseeded Ryegrass lawns.
Be Patient. We all want the quick fix to a green and lush lawn, but it can take a couple seasons for a lawn to really take hold and fill in. If you are patient, you will be rewarded.
For more on lawn care and gardening, consider:
Artificial Turf: 7 Reasons to Consider the New “Grass” Alternative
Landscaping Made Easy
7 New “Must-Have” Annuals