Seeding Weed

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Marijuana Seedlings Now that your marijuana seeds have sprouted, what’s next? How do you care for your little baby marijuana seedlings? Your germinated seeds must be placed in a more suitable Seeding of the lawn can be done at any time, although it is highly recommend to be done in the fall. The seeding process is all about timing in the pick or From April SportsTurf “Q&A with Pamela Sherratt: Q: We are getting ready to overseed our soccer field this spring. What weed control options are there? A: Successfully growing cool-season turf from seed in the spring can be a challenge because the weed pressure is so great, which is one if the reasons why the recommended

Marijuana Seedlings

Now that your marijuana seeds have sprouted, what’s next? How do you care for your little baby marijuana seedlings? Your germinated seeds must be placed in a more suitable growing medium if you have started them in paper towels, rock wool or peat pellets.

Seedling containers

  1. Small planters utilize your space better
  2. Small planters grouped together are the most efficient way to use your grow light source
  3. A small container keeps the roots together and is easier to feed and water.

Planting your marijuana seedlings

Place garden soil in your container up to about 1” from the top. Pack l ightly . Make a hole with a pencil, eraser-side down about ½” deep and put in your germinated seeds, root side down and cover with soil. If your seedlings are already in a seed-starter of some sort, simply bury them in the dirt and cover with ¼ to ½” of soil. Water until the soil is damp, not soaking. It is not necessary, but some marijuana growers like to give the young plants some support. Long wooden kitchen matches (minus the head) work well.

Watering and feeding your seedlings

During this phase, feeding or the adding of nutrients or fertilizer will not be necessary unless you have chosen a soilless mix. Watering should be done perhaps twice per day with a misting bottle for the first few days. How often you water will depend greatly on temperature and humidity. Once the marijuana root is better established, you can slowly cut back to watering every 2-3 days. If you are not sure, you can test by placing your finger into the soil. If it feels dry, then add water. It is important to note that the number one cause of early crop failure is overwatering. Wilting or drooping leaves on your plants are a sign that your plant is thirsty. Plants will revive quickly from such dehydration. While many gardeners use tap or well water, the more sophisticated growers use reverse osmosis, filtered or bottled water and adjust the pH (acidity/alkalinity) of the water. If you are using municipal tap water, fill a bucket or a reserve reservoir and let it sit for several days. This allows most of the chlorine present in the water to evaporate. DO NOT water directly on the plant. They are very delicate at this stage and the stem and roots are easily damaged. Water around the seedlings a few inches base of the plant. It is best to water your plants first thing in the morning for best uptake.

Marijuana seedlings lights

Marijuana seedlings require very little light and can be grown under CFLs (spiral compact fluorescents), tube fluorescents, LEDs and the blue light from Metal Halides (MH). Stay away from incandescent lights as they put off too much heat and too little light. The higher the Wattage your light source, the further away it should be from your seedlings unless you are using LED grow lights with good ones running nearly cold. Too far away and the plants will stretch towards the light making them weak and spindly. Too close and the bright light and heat may damage them, except with LEDs. Let us say you are using fluorescents or LED grow lights. It would be fine to place the light a foot above your plants to start and give the seedlings a chance to ‘harden up’. If they react favorably, you may lower the light a little bit each day until the lights are maybe 4” above your plants. Blue light dominant LEDs and full spectrum LED grow lights offer an excellent start, lower electricity costs and very little if any heat. High Pressure Sodium (HPS) lights are generally not used for seedlings as they do not require the amount of light that HPS puts out, and more importantly, HPS is deficient in blue light. Blue light is what plants use to point them towards the light source. This is called phototropism. Have fun and good luck growing out your marijuana seedlings!

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The Seeding Process

Whether you are starting with an existing lawn or have some grass established, seeding is always a process that takes time and patience. The mix of weed control and seed is a very fine balance which usually involves picking one or the other. This process can go a couple different ways depending on the time of year that this process is set to start, it can also take several years to get the results expected.

Spring Start

Starting the process off in spring can be tricky. Spring is the time of year that weeds are most prevalent and the best time to control them or prevent them. Pre-emergent needs to be down in the spring before the soil temperatures reach a consistent 55 degrees to help prevent crab grass from germinating. In the spring months, we highly recommend using weed control over doing the seeding. A full season of the lawn care program will get the weeds under control before planning a fall seeding. The more weeds that are under control, the easier the seed will germinate and grow.

Spring Start – Fall Seeding

After the fall seeding has been completed, it is crucial to follow the recommendations given on caring for the newly seeded lawn. The quicker the seed germinates and begins to grow; the better off the lawn will be the next year. In the following year, TurfGator recommends continuing the lawn care program beginning with the pre-emergent barrier during the early spring application. Without mature enough grass, this barrier cannot go down until the second lawn application which could allow more crabgrass to germinate than if this barrier had gone down during the first lawn application.

Spring Start – Spring Seeding

While spring is a good time to seed, be aware that there will be a struggle with weeds throughout the year. With a spring seeding, weeds cannot be controlled at all until early summer. Our commercial grade weed control products will interfere with the new grass seedlings, as well as prevent seed from germinating. Once the grass is mature enough, our post-emergent weed control sprays can be used to help get the weeds under control.

Fall Start

First of all, we recommend doing the fall aeration and overseeding in the current year. We are not concerned as much with the weeds lingering from the summer such as crabgrass, spurge, and nutsedge because they are about to stress out and die from cool fall temperatures. These weeds are annual weeds meaning that just because they grew there this year, does not mean they will automatically grow there next year.

Also, if your home is a new build, the compacted bare dirt is a breeding ground for these summer weeds. The fall weeds that are present or popping up will only last a little while before the winter temperatures stress them out too. Also, by putting an aerator on the lawn our technicians will be puncturing and tearing up the weeds, which will also stress them out and kill them. Any “skeletons” left from dead weeds should be left where they lay, as they will act as a natural straw blanket and help protect your seed and new seedlings.

Our technicians will leave you a care sheet on how to take care of your newly seeded lawn, we recommend following this sheet as closely as possible to get the best germination this year, rather than the seed germinating next year.

Fall Start – The Following Year

In the following year, the full 7-application lawn care program of fertilizer and weed control in will get the weeds more controlled throughout the year. For the first lawn application (March through early April) we will apply a pre-emergent barrier which helps prevent crabgrass and other grassy weeds from germinating. The sooner we can get this down the better; this is why it is so important to follow our seeding care sheet to get the grass to germinate this year, rather than next. If the grass is not mature enough at the 1 st application, we will need to wait until the second application (April through early June) to apply the pre-emergent or spray for any weeds. If the pre-emergent barrier is not down before crabgrass starts germinating, some may pop and grow within the lawn which is more difficult to treat rather than prevent.

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Seed, Treat, Repeat

Regardless of when the first seeding was done, we recommend aerating and overseeding again the following fall to help thicken the lawn even more and introduce new life into it. This will also help fill any bare or thin areas in the lawn where weeds have died off. The thicker the lawn, the fewer weeds are present.

We would recommend following the lawncare program in the future years to continue to control weeds and fertilize the lawn, we then recommend assessing the lawn during the summer months to determine if the lawn will need the aeration & overseeding yet again that fall. At this point, it may not be completely necessary if all the thin & bare spots are pretty well filled in, but it would still be highly beneficial to the lawn to introduce the new life and continue the thickening process. Once the lawn is well established, we recommend aerating every year to keep the soil loose and highly recommend seeding every year, or at least every other year to build or maintain the thickness.

Expectations

The processes set out above should get you the results you are looking for over time, with care and patience. The owner of TurfGator has actually gone through this same process for their own personal lawn, as well as the lawns of their neighbors, and several other customers. Each of those processes averaged out to be about 3 years to get a full turn around.

Unfortunately, there is no seeding method that will give the lawn a sod-like appearance just from doing it once, seeding is a process rather than a one-time result so unless you are willing to pay the money for sod, growing a new lawn from scratch is a process, no matter which method is taken.

To Sum It Up

Seeding of the lawn can be done at any time, although it is highly recommend to be done in the fall. Timing is everything in the pick or choose balancing game of weed control and seeding. These recommendations are valid for new lawns, as well as for the reseeding established lawns.

It is always a good idea to consult with a lawn care professional and ask any questions you may have. Look around, ask friends or family, and research companies on the Better Business Bureau to find a company that you can trust.

Weed control during spring seeding

From April SportsTurf “Q&A with Pamela Sherratt:

Q: We are getting ready to overseed our soccer field this spring. What weed control options are there?

A: Successfully growing cool-season turf from seed in the spring can be a challenge because the weed pressure is so great, which is one if the reasons why the recommended time to do renovation is in the fall. In the real world however, athletic fields are in a constant state of renovation and so seeding is a season-long operation.

Weeds that emerge in spring, like crabgrass, prostrate knotweed, yellow nutsedge, goosegrass and annual bluegrass are particularly troublesome on athletic fields because they can germinate and establish quickly, even on compacted soils. Weed seed present in the soil is laying dormant just waiting for an opportunity under the right environmental and cultural conditions to invade a weakened turf with bare soil. Because weed pressure is so great in the spring and early summer months, it is important that the soil is not disturbed (avoid tilling as this will bring up weed seeds) and that the seedbed be treated with an herbicide that does not adversely affect germination of the desired grass seed.

There are several approaches to using an herbicide during the seed establishment period. Following is a summary of those options, based on years of herbicide trial work by Dr. Dave Gardner. One strategy is to seed in early spring and then after the seedling turf has established, apply an herbicide with pre and early postemergence activity, such as dithiopyr (Dimension, others*). This strategy requires very careful timing, and on most athletic surfaces, overseeding is not a once per year operation. Once the application of dithiopyr is made, as is the case with most preemergence herbicides, future overseeding operations must be delayed according to the label.

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In fact, on areas that you plan on seeding or over-seeding in late spring or summer, hopefully you did not apply a preemergence herbicide. If you did, then be aware that almost all of the preemergence herbicides on the market are very effective at controlling not only weed seedlings, but also the seedlings of our desired turfgrasses. Fortunately, there are three preemergence herbicides that are labeled for use at seeding time: siduron (Tupersan), mesotrione (Tenacity), and topramazone (Pylex).

Siduron has been available for use in turf for many years. It is safe for use on seedling turf. Follow the label directions carefully. When used properly, siduron will reduce crabgrass, goosegrass, foxtail, and many summer annual broadleaf weeds by about 80%.

Mesotrione is in a unique class of chemistry and this product has a very diverse label, including pre- and postemergence control of both broadleaf weeds and annual grasses. It also controls sedges preemergence and certain perennial weedy grasses postemergence. One of its key uses is the preemergence control of annual grassy and broadleaf weeds in newly seeded turfgrass. When used as directed, mesotrione will result in nearly complete control of crabgrass, goosegrass, foxtail, and many summer annual broadleaf weeds. But, it will not affect the growth and development of the seedling turf. Most effective use of this product is to apply it to the soil surface right after the seeds have been raked in but before mulch is applied.

You can then begin to irrigate as you normally would to establish seedling turfgrass. Mesotrione is very safe to seedling turf. However, some phytotoxicity has been reported if it is applied to young turfgrass seedlings. If you are using multiple applications of mesotrione as part of a program to control stubborn weeds, such as creeping bentgrass, then you want to avoid overseeding or reseeding the area until you are making your last mesotrione application. In other words, it is better to wait and reseed with the second or third mesotrione application, then to seed when the first round of mesotrione is being applied.

Topramazone is a more recent introduction to the turfgrass market. It is similar to mesotrione in its weed control spectrum and its safety to seedling turfgrass. Make sure to follow the label recommendations carefully.

After the seed has germinated there is a period of time in which your options for weed control become limited. Most postemergence herbicides for broadleaf weed control have language on the label that states that following seeding, the turf needs to be sufficiently established so that it has been mowed three times before the product can be safely used.

All of the herbicides mentioned in this column are good products and can be quite effective. You can help to improve your chances of success by avoiding the 2-4 week period each year that is the peak of germination for the particular weed species that dominate your fields. For example, each of these products is quite effective at reducing weed establishment when seeding or over-seeding in July when weed competition begins to drop off. However, each of these products can produce less than complete weed control if used in mid to late May. This is more likely to be a problem if the May timing is in conjunction with seeding a slower to germinate species such as Kentucky bluegrass. By simply waiting a couple of weeks (or seeding a couple of weeks earlier), weed seed competition may be greatly reduced, which further increases your chances of success when seeding or overseeding.

*Mention of a specific product does not constitute an endorsement over other products that may be similar

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