Planting Grass Seed in Your Lawn
Today we will dig into one of our favorite topics, how to plant grass seed in your lawn! We often get the question, “Should I sod or seed my lawn?” and the answer is, it depends. Many factors can come into play including cost, time of year, climate, and immediate conditions of your lawn. But, today we will dive into seeding your lawn. Lawns can be seen almost everywhere you go, whether it’s a man-made lawn or a natural lawn landscape, and there is high value to them. Some are well-kept, others not so much, in which case re-seeding may be a good option. Or maybe you want to grow a brand-new lawn and garden from seed, which is also a good option! Now, let's learn more about seeding a lawn.
Step 1: Carefully Choose the Seed That is Best for Your Lawn
Sod and Seed, Inc. prides itself in carrying the highest quality seed, as well as our investment in helping you choose the ground cover that will best suit your conditions. The process doesn’t change with seed, we want to be sure to recommend a seed that will grow into the grass that is the best match for you. Our selection currently includes the following sod selections: tall fescue with bluegrass, shady mix or special shade blend, mow free, 50 50 blue rye and 90 10 rye blue. We can also special-order other seed mixes and seed for native sod selections. Ask us about pricing and special orders! At Sod and Seed, inc., we offer the seed with some of the highest germination rates. It is also a huge benefit to be able to buy sod that you can get the matching sod for, avoiding a patchy lawn with different sod types. Look for an NTEP rated kind of grass seed, which means it's been tested and assessed independently by the National Turf Evaluation Program (NTEP) and may be specially engineered for traits such as high quality color, disease resistance and drought resistance.
Step 2: Prepare Your Soil and Lawn Area
Sod and Seed, inc. suggest you prepare your soil for seeding the same way you would prepare it for sod installation. Below is a list of tips while tearing out your old lawn and preparing the area for your seed:
- Remove your old lawn. You can do this with a manual sod cutter or a mechanical one.
- Rototill the soil.
- Debris such as weeds, sticks and stones must be eliminated from the area.
- Establish whatever irrigation system you may be using is this is the time to do so, i.e. sprinkler system.
- Apply fresh topsoil. We recommend 1 yards of topsoil for every 200 sq ft, or about 1 inch of topsoil covering the area.
- Ensure the lawn is completely leveled and flat using a sod roller.
When over-seeding, we recommend the following suggestions.
- Grass should be mowed.
- In barren regions, loosen the soil.
- Debris and dead grass must be eliminated.
- Any divots or damaged areas in which extra water gathers must be leveled.
- Use topsoil on areas that will be re-seeded.
Step 3: Apply Seed
Next, you want to apply the seed. Hopefully, you have carefully chosen the seed type that will best suit your lawn conditions. For example, depending on your location, you may need to decide if you will select a cool season grass or warm season grass. You will also want to consider conditions such as sunlight and shade exposure, as well as foot traffic (i.e. will there be kids or pets on your lawn?). Warm-season grasses thrive most in summer months and are ideally fitted to southern regions. During the winter, they commonly go dormant and turn brown. Cool-season grasses are generally applied in regions with more moderate climate and less extreme climate, as they thrive in warm/hot conditions and cold winters without extreme temperatures.
Ensure Even Distribution of Grass Seed on Lawn
When applying the seed, be sure to spread the seed evenly, always reading the seed label recommendations as well. Ensure uniform distribution of the seed, taking into account the suggested amount of seed per square footage. Remember to read your seed labels and follow suggested guidelines, as seed misapplication would possibly bring about disappointing outcomes. Choosing the best spreader to ensure this is key, with options such as a handheld seed spreader or seed spreader on wheels. This is a good time to apply your starter fertilizer as well.
Protecting the Lawn Seed
After you've spread the seed, softly push it into the soil with a rake about 1/four inch. Don't bury the seeds any deeper. Ensuring the seed is slightly beneath the surface will help with germination as well as protect the seed from being eaten by nearby birds or land animals. Be sure to keep the area moist, so the seeds have the hydration they need, as well as the emerging rooting system that will develop.
Special Note on Re-Seeding Lawn
Note on re-seeding lawns: Seed the targeted areas and then apply one even layer of seed over the entire lawn.
Step 4: Maintenance of Your Grass Seed Lawn
Your grass is ready to be mowed when it reaches a height of 3 inches. Always mow lawns according to best practices, taking into account appropriate mowing heights for your specific turf type. If you mow more than one-third of the grass blade in a single pass, you risk killing the grass or exposing it to disease, weeds, and poor growth.
Young grass is still delicate during the first season of establishment, therefore limit foot traffic as much as possible. Regular care, including watering, can help your grass grow robust. Water as needed to supplement rainfall, ensuring that your grass receives about 1 inch of water per week under typical circumstances.
When should grass seed be planted?
With good and predictable climate, it is possible to plant grass seed year-round, though generally spring and fall are recommended. The goal is to be able to provide the seed with the conditions it needs, which is ensuring sufficient moisture, sunlight, and avoidance of extreme temperatures.
We hope you have found our seeding and re-seeding recommendations helpful! Planting grass seed can be a delicate process since you are going to eventually be working with a living organism. However, people seed and re-seed their lawns all the time, so this is not something new. Will you choose to seed or sod your lawn? Please leave any questions or feedback in the comments section below. We hope to hear from you soon, and leave with our seed selection below! Also, be sure to ask us about native seed options and customizable and special-ordered seed shipments!
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