Planting Grass Seed

Whether you are replanting an entire lawn from seed or patching a few bare spots in your lawn, there are a few basics you need to know about planting and growing grass from seed.

Now matter how big or small the grass seeding project is, you need to properly prepare the soil, sow the seeds, fertilize, cover with mulch and keep the area moist. For small bare spots (smaller than a dinner plate) consider a patching mix, a product which contains grass seed, along with the special fertilizer and mulch. All three are mixed together in a single package. Simply work up the soil in the bare spots spread and water regularly. For larger areas (larger than a dinner plate), consider buying seed and following these directions.

Keys to seeding success

1. Prepare the soil.

The soil must be worked up to a depth of approximately one inch to provide a lodging place for the grass seeds. In small areas, this can be done using any sharp garden tool. For improved germination, add a quality soil.

2. Sow the seed evenly.

Using a premium grass seed, seed the area by using any  lawn spreader, either drop-type or rotary. On very small areas, the seed can even be spread by hand, although the tendency here is to apply more seed than is necessary.

3. Be sure to fertilize.

Apply  the same day you seed, to get the seeding off to a fast, strong start. (This is an extremely important step although it doesn’t matter which you apply first.)

4. Watering is critical.

Keep the seedbed constantly moist to start germination. Water often, rather than deeply. Only the top 1/2 inch of soil needs to be kept moist. Once germination starts, keep the area moist until the seedlings are well established (typically 6–8 weeks).

5. Early follow-up.

Begin mowing as soon as the seedlings are about 1 1/2 inches tall. Do not mow when soil is so wet as to allow the mower to damage young plants. If weed seeds that were in the soil start to grow, do not use a weed killer until the young grass plants have been mowed four times.

6. Long-term follow-up.

As soon as the new seeding is established, the lawn should be started on an annual lawn program for best results. Do not apply a control product until after at least four mowings.