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There is no doubt that by far the most favorable time to sow a new lawn is early autumn. Then the soil is still warm enough to stimulate growth, and the grasses make good roots before called upon to face the rigors of winter. A great advantage of autumn sowing is that the young plants do not have to compete with as many different kinds of seedling weeds. Warm-weather weeds, such as crabgrass, do not germinate then. Another great advantage is that the grasses are established and ready to grow in earliest spring. They gain a great start on spring-sown grasses and, incidentally, on weeds that begin their natural period of growth in spring. And, of course, there is usually ample time to prepare the ground for a fall-sown lawn, whereas in spring the season is so rushed that all too often preparatory work must be skimped.
It is quite possible to get a good lawn from a spring sowing. But the care and attention needed to do so are greater than from a autumn sowing. Two special problems that must be faced are the rapid growth of weeds and the need for more abundant watering during dry periods throughout the first summer, this latter because the roots have not penetrated as deeply as those of grasses sown the previous fall. Weeds are likely to be especially abundant if such plants flourished in the topsoil the previous year, and there is really no practical way of getting rid of them in
spring before the lawn grass is sown. In preparation for fall sowing, a few weeks' repeated shallow cultivation before the grass seed is sown will clear the surface soil of most weeds. The best time to sow grass seeds? Autumn.