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Seedheads on Lawns

Seedheads on Lawns

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This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

Larry Sagers Horticultural Specialist Utah State University Extension Service Thanksgiving Point Office © All Rights Reserved

Question from listeners

Why is my lawn going to seed?

The recent cool and wet weather in May coupled with the fact that lawns may not have been mowed in a timely manner, prompted turfgrasses to go into heavy seed head production. Kentucky bluegrass, the most common grass in our area is the most likely grass to show this problem.

There are a number of environmental factors that stimulate seed production in bluegrass. As mentioned, cool wet weather, followed by warm dry weather stimulates the grass to produce seed heads.

Likewise a similar condition or a condition that is parallels the temperature is light intensity. Low light intensity followed by high light intensity favors seed head production.

The balance of the nitrogen and the phosphorous levels and the relative levels of phosphorous fertilizer favor seed head production. If seed head formation is excessive. Check the phosphorous levels by submitting a soil sample to the Soil Test Laboratory at Utah State University.

Seed head formation causes visual changes in appearance but little else. Tough stems from seed heads do not cut well, and this reduces significantly the mowing quality.

Some Kentucky bluegrass cultivars are known to produce more seed heads than others, according to John Street, OSU Extension turf specialist. He saw 100% seed head production on some Kentucky bluegrass cultivars at OSU turf research plots.

The problem will disappear on its own with time and with mowing. Change your fertilizer practices if needed, otherwise ignore the problem.

Annual bluegrass produces seed heads throughout the growing season.

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