Planting Grass Seed

Tips on How to Plant Grass Seed

By Mark J. Donovan

Planting grass seed should be done during peak lawn growing times, which is when the days are warm and the air is moist. In New England, for example, the best times to plant grass seed are in mid spring and early fall. In addition, is important to plant the right type of grass seed for your climate region, soil type, and sun/shade conditions. There are many types of grass seeds to choose from, so you may want to talk with your local grass seed supplier to understand what is best for your yard.

For optimal results the soil (loam) should be properly prepared for grass seed planting. Ideally there should be 3 to 4 inches of loam for planting grass seed. The loam should be freshly tiled, compressed and free from any stones or old grass sprigs.

Once the soil is properly prepared use a broadcast spreader to distribute the grass seed evenly over the soil. The amount of grass seed required per square foot is dependent upon the type of grass seed used. Again, check with your local grass seed supplier to determine the appropriate coverage level for the type of seed you plan to use.

For grass seed to germinate it is important that the grass seed be in good contact with the loam. Ideally the grass seed should be covered with 1/8 to 1/4 inch of loam. To cover the grass seed, and ensure good germination, use a rake to work the grass seed into the soil.

After raking the grass seed into the soil, use a light roller to compress and bind the soil and grass seed together. By binding the grass seed and soil together, you can ensure good contact between the two.

The contact is necessary to enable the transfer of moisture from the soil to the grass seed, which facilities germination.

After planting the grass seed, lay down a light layer of straw over the planted soil to aid in the grass seed germination and to prevent any erosion from rain storms.

Finally water the planted grass seed such that the loam is moist, but not sopping. Depending upon weather conditions continue to water the lawn a couple of times a day for the next 2-3 weeks so that the first 1 to 2 inches of soil are continuously moist.

Depending upon weather conditions and the type of grass seed planted the grass seed should germinate in 10-28 days.

Restoring a Lawn by broadcasting compost and overseeding with grass seed.

After the grass seed has fully germinated and the grass sprigs are 3 to 4 inches tall, gently rake off the straw to reveal your new lawn.

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