Growing grass doesn’t require much effort but does take some time. If you’re looking to fill in a small area with grass, then simply throwing out the seed and walking away might work. Growing an entire lawn is quite another matter; it may require your dedicated labor for six weeks or more depending on the size of the area to be sodded (not to mention all the work you’ll have ahead of you if you want lush results).
Before You Start
The best time to sow grass seed is in the Spring, but it can be planted anytime during the growing season. The soil should be moist and not too dry or too wet for best results. Sow seeds on prepared soil, so they are covered by at least 1/4 inch soil. To ensure the grass seed gets the warmth it needs to germinate, cover the area with thick clear plastic or row covers such as Reemay or Agribon.
How To Sow Grass Seed:
Step 1: Determine The Best Time To Begin Planting Grass Seed
Spring is the best time to seed grass if you have a choice. In warmer climates, fall planting may be necessary because the heat of summer inhibits germination. Fall can also be a good time for seeding grass as long as the ground isn’t frozen in cooler temperatures. If you’re sowing a new lawn from seed, then Spring or Fall is your best time. Seeding a new lawn in the Spring will give it enough time to build strong roots and become established before winter sets in. Planting a new lawn in early Fall will provide it with plenty of time to develop deep roots before going dormant during cold weather. If your lawn is a fescue or bluegrass type, then late summer seeding may be okay.
Step 2: Prepare Your Lawn For New Seed
If you’re starting a new lawn, you’ll need to prepare the soil. Remove any debris, such as rocks or perennial weed roots. If possible, till or spade the area; this will work the organic matter and fertilizers into the soil. There are starter fertilizers vs. regular fertilizers for fertilizers, and at ObsessedLawn.com you can get detailed information about them. You will need to rake and smooth out any lumps and bumps in your soil (this is essential for good seed germination). It’s also best at this point to add some compost or manure onto the freshly worked ground; their microorganisms will help jump-start grass growth when it begins to sprout. If you want a quick boost of nitrogen, then sprinkle some fertilizer over the top of your new lawn area before seeding.
Step 3: Create A Well Drained Seedbed
Grass needs oxygen and water to flourish and grow into a strong lawn. To allow proper drainage, avoid working soil when it’s wet; doing so will cause clumping and make smoothing out the ground more difficult. Water your land thoroughly before beginning any seeding.
Step 4: Sow Your Seed Thoroughly And Evenly Over The Landscape Area
Grass seed bunches up effortlessly because of its fluffy texture; if you don’t go about this part of the seeding process carefully, you’ll end up with areas that may not get seeded at all or details that receive too much seed. If using a hand spreader, use one with a fan opening and close the flow control completely. To ensure even coverage, overlap passings slightly. If you’re using a mechanical spreader, go back and forth over the lawn in a zigzag pattern. Allow the grass seed to fall from the spreader directly onto the soil without touching it with your hands.
Step 5: Cover The Seed With Soil Or Mulch
Place a thin layer of topsoil or milled peat moss overseeded areas to help retain moisture and speed up germination. You can use mulch such as pine needles, straw, or grass clippings, but don’t apply more than an inch of material. In addition to helping retain moisture, mulch also helps keep the seed clean. Don’t cover the seeded area too deep; otherwise, germination may be delayed. Also, don’t allow any mulch to touch the stem of new grass plants; otherwise, they will not grow. As your new lawn begins to develop, you might want to consider watering it more frequently than in other areas.
Step 6: Water The New Seed To Help Germination
Grass seed cannot begin germinating unless kept moist – so keep your newly seeded landscape well watered for up to 3 weeks after planting. How often you water will depend upon weather conditions, but a good rule for watering freshly seeded lawns is every four weeks. At least one good soaking is required. To help ensure successful germination, water for about an hour allowing the seed to soak down several inches. During this time, do not stir up or walk on the soil as this could damage tender grass plants as they begin to emerge from the ground.
If you follow these steps carefully when sowing grass seed, your chances of success will be much higher. Your new lawn should start to show signs of growth within 1-2 weeks after planting. If you choose to use an established property instead (if there is one), it’s best to kill the existing vegetation with a glyphosate-type herbicide.