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Seed vs Sod: Landscape Spring Prep in Northern Rhode Island

It is almost that time of year, time for landscape spring preparation in Northern Rhode Island. If you have been dreaming about a lush, green lawn all winter long, you can start working with your local Rhode Island sod and seed services to make plans to get your lawn started as soon as weather permits. Since weather patterns and temperatures vary from year to year, many homeowners rely on guidance from professional landscaping services.

While sod can be planted almost any time in the spring, summer or early fall, the best time to plant a lawn from seed in New England is from late April through May or, for a late season lawn, from late August to September. Plant your seed too soon and it might get caught in a late freeze and never grow, but plant it too late and you risk the temperatures rising beyond the prime range for germination.

When to Hire a Professional
If you do not have experience working with seed or sod, you might want to consult with a professional. There are lots of variables involved in growing a brand new lawn. A team of landscaping professionals can help you find low maintenance solutions that will take a lot of the work out of lawn maintenance, as well as provide you with information on the best time to apply lawn fertilization in Rhode Island and the surrounding area.

Before anything gets done, it is best to start off with a soil test. This will help you figure out what nutrients your soil needs in order to properly establish a lawn. Even if you had a test done the prior year, it pays to do it again, as things can change even in just a season or two. Adjustments can be made to the soil’s pH or acidity, depending upon the results of the test. You can purchase a test at some local garden centers or ask your team of Rhode Island sod and seed professionals to do it for you.

Preparing the Soil for Planting
The work that is required to ready the soil for planting is the same for seed as it is for sod. So, in case you were wondering, there is no real advantage there. The same amount of effort is required in this step for either method. Landscape spring preparation involves rototilling the soil approximately four to six inches. At this time any debris should be removed, including rocks, twigs or anything else that you might find.

Rototilling has many benefits, such as incorporating fertilizer fully into the soil. Herbicides can be mixed in according to the directions on the label to kill off any roots from perennial weeds that might remain. Ask your landscaping service provider about post-emergent herbicides, depending on the season, for low maintenance solutions regarding pest control, weed control and lawn fertilization in Rhode Island.

Starting a Lawn from Seed
If you are up for the challenge, you can start your lawn from seed. Doing it yourself, especially without any prior knowledge or experience, can be quite difficult. Hiring a team to take care of Rhode Island sod and seed for you is a great time saver, helping you to get the results you want without all the hours of frustration and back-breaking work. Spring and fall are the best time to plant lawns that are comprised of seed for cool season grasses.

Check the label on the package, but for the most part, grass seed should be applied at four pounds of seed per thousand square feet of yard. Overseeding for seasonal grasses will be much less, but this is for a completely brand new lawn. A fertilizer spreader can be used to more evenly apply the seed, if desired. A rake must be dragged across the seeded area to work the seeds into the soil. The seeds can be pressed into the soil with a roller. Regular watering is crucial to the success of the seed and must be done several times each day.

Starting a Lawn from Sod
There are many advantages to using sod instead of seed, especially when time is an issue. If you just can’t wait to have a lush, green lawn, then skip the seed and head straight for the sod. However, the drawbacks for sod can include less options for various grass types and special requirements for the soil, such as laying it on dry soil that has been cooled and then moistened to a depth of as much as six inches.

There are special techniques available for laying sod. Once again, if you are not experienced in the use of Rhode Island sod and seed or any of the landscape spring preparation skills mentioned here, you might be better off hiring a team of professionals to provide you with low maintenance solutions for a beautiful lawn. Eastern Landscaping, Inc. in Northern Rhode Island has many years of experience working with sod, seed and lawn fertilization in Rhode Island. Contact our team for information on landscaping services by calling 401-766-9035.

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