Seed heads on lawns are a natural process that cannot be avoided, but keeping the blade sharp and applying fertilizer will keep the lawn healthy and looking good. The cold-season lawns growing in Michigan have been in full-fledged seed head production mode in the past week. The grass naturally turns into seed. In cold-season turf lawns, seed head production is boosted by days lasting more than 12 hours, which occurs in mid-May.
Seed head production is most intense when daytime temperatures are between 65° and 75° F, the climate is dry and the soil is low in nitrogen. Some varieties of turf produce more seed heads than others. Seed heads are more likely to be perennial roe, Kentucky bluegrass, or tall fescue. Rough bluegrass and annual bluegrass, two common lawn weeds, produce seed heads in the spring.
Warm season grasses can also produce seed heads, but they do so in summer, and their seeds are not difficult to cut. Unless allowed to mature for about 4 months, the seeds will not sprout, either on the lawn or in a mulch or compost made from cuttings. Seed head production weakens grass by diverting energy to produce seeds. The seed heads are forming into small stems that the turf plant sends upwards.
Depending on their abundance, the seed heads can make the grass look pale. Once the stems are cut, which are not cut as easily as grass blades, they can be shredded and give the grass an almost white look. It is very easy to confuse Couch seed heads with weeds, since their color varies from green to purple and they grow above the level of the grass. Sowing grass is a natural process and, in fact, it is a good sign that the plant is healthy and grows well.
And if you sneeze a lot after walking on the lawn, you could be allergic to grass pollen, which comes from these and other grass seeds in May. The seed heads are attached to a stem that comes from the center of the grass plant and resembles miniature wheat plants. The production of seed heads requires energy from the turf plant, which can cause temporary color lightening. As mentioned earlier, many homeowners often confuse seed heads with weeds, but there's nothing to worry about, they're just part of the lawn's life cycle.
When these grass seed heads start to appear on the lawn, it is understandable to think that you may have weeds. When healthy, the lawn will grow rhizomes, horizontal roots that propagate new plants and spread to areas without current grass cover. The most common types of grass in Australia produce a sterile seed head, which means that they cannot be spread by seed in other areas of the garden and grown from the seeds, only through twigs or vegetative stolons. All grasses produce seed heads at some point during the growing season, it's the way plants reproduce and guarantee survival.
It may take months before the seed reaches maturity, and as the plant focuses its energy on producing seeds, it may appear that the grass is thinning over time. Frequent cutting will not prevent seed development, however, infrequent cutting will allow the seed heads to fully develop and worsen the problem. The number of visible seed heads on the lawn at any given time depends on the varieties of grass and the time interval between mowing.