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What to Do When Grass Goes to Seed?

By Ron White

Millions of homeowners spend countless hours manicuring their lawns. Grass requires careful treatment with watering, fertilizing, aerating, liming and mowing. One important aspect of lawn care involves knowing what to do when grass goes to seed. This occurs when grass matures. When grass goes to seed, homeowners have two main choices for handling the situation. The route you choose depends largely on your desires and the state of your lawn.

Sow or Sack?

If your lawn is healthy without gaps or other concerns, you do not have much use for the seed. After all, new seedlings only compete with the mature grass already growing. If you believe your grass is thin, though, the fresh supply of seed provides a great alternative to buying seed from your local garden center. Of course, you also need to consider the grass type. Seeds from some grasses will not germinate. Other seeds are hybrids, developed from mixing two grass varieties. Since your grass grew without that mix, any grass that results might not share the same characteristics with your current lawn.

Removing Seeds

If your lawn has plenty of healthy grass coverage, the seeded grass only poses a problem. Therefore, you want to remove as many seeds as possible from your lawn. The best way to accomplish this is mowing with a grass catcher. You are unlikely to catch all of the seeds, but you can remove many of them. When you have finished mowing, bag the grass and dispose of it.

Spread Seed

If your lawn could use more grass, you have a great opportunity. After all, you have a supply of seeds that share all of the attributes of your current lawn. Simply cut the grass without bagging and allow the seeds to distribute themselves on your soil. After mowing without the grass catcher, water the lawn well. Continue watering once every two to three days for the first week and two to three times a week for the next three weeks. That should be enough to encourage the new seeds to develop into seedlings and, eventually, mature grass. Be aware that weeds might go to seed, too, if it has been several weeks since you last mowed your lawn. If you have a weed problem on your lawn, apply a spray pesticide first to kill them or avoid mowing altogether without a grass catcher to catch some of the weed seeds.


About the Author


Based in Central Florida, Ron White has worked as professional journalist since 2001. He specializes in sports and business. White started his career as a sportswriter and later worked as associate editor for Maintenance Sales News and as the assistant editor for "The Observer," a daily newspaper based in New Smyrna Beach, Fla. White has written more than 2,000 news and sports stories for newspapers and websites. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from Eastern Illinois University.