Worried about seeds sprouting in your precious lawn? Don’t be.…it’s probably not as bad as you think.
During late spring to early summer it’s not uncommon for seed heads to pop up in your turf.
Flowering and seeding are a natural part of a plant life cycle and a smart survival mechanism of your lawn in response to sudden changes in temperature, wind and rain that can be experienced during this time of year.
When these lawn seed heads start popping up in your grass it’s perfectly normal to freak out and think you have weeds. But they’re not actually a weed – they’re simply a seed head that has grown from the green stem of a lawn leaf.
Are lawn seed heads a problem?
Normally, when a turf variety goes to seed, it’s because it’s under stress from something, usually a lack of water or nutrients. Most common lawn types in Australia produce a sterile seed head, meaning they can’t be spread by seed into other areas of your garden and grow from the seeds, only through vegetative sprigs or runners.
While going to seed isn’t necessarily a bad thing for your lawn, it doesn’t look great or feel as soft underfoot and can be a sign of an underlying problem, so it’s best to get on top of it as soon as possible.
How do I treat seed heads in my lawn?
The best way to avoid seed heads is to maintain a consistent lawn care program throughout the year. If your lawn is healthy it should stop seeding on its own within 2-3 weeks and it will be business as usual.
If there has been dramatic weather change, it will stop seeding once conditions have returned to normal or once the plant has adjusted. If weather conditions have been fairly consistent, you will want to look at what it is that may have caused it to go into stress in the first place. Was it insufficient water, nutrient or soil composition perhaps?
To rid your lawn of seed heads and take control of your lawn health we recommend applying one or more of the following techniques:
The simplest way to get rid of any seed heads quickly is to mow them off. While this may make your lawn look better in the short term, it won’t actually ‘fix’ the problem so don’t be surprised if they quickly grow back and you have to mow again every 5-10 days until you resolve the underlying issue.
Lack of water is one of the most common reasons for lawn to go to seed. Make sure your lawn is receiving an adequate amount of water for the warmer weather by checking the soil moisture. Give your lawn an extra good deep soaking and it should return to its former glory in no time.
Lack of nutrients is another key factor that can cause grass to go to seed. Give your lawn an application with a good quality slow release fertiliser and those seed heads will soon disappear.
Top dressing brings many benefits to a lawn that’s looking a little lacklustre, including helping to increase nutrient retention, improving drainage and increasing disease and pest resistance.
Top dressing should only be done during the spring growing season and we recommend you mow low with a rotary mower equipped with a catcher and then aerate your lawn prior to application. Spread the sand evenly over the desired area, then rake, level lawn or broom it into the lawn profile. Never top dress more than 1cm in a single application, making sure the grass tips are still exposed.
If your lawn has an ongoing seeding issue and you can’t seem to get on top of it, please contact our Lawn doctor firstname.lastname@example.org and be sure to include your name and contact number, lawn variety, a brief description of your lawn issue or question and an image of the area.