There are several reasons to seed a lawn, such as expanding into a new area or replacing old, dead grass to make it new again. You may even want to reseed your lawn entirely. Whatever the reason, you should never begin seeding your lawn without making preparations vital to helping your grass take root and succeed.
A Few Things to Know before you Begin Seeding your Lawn
If you know the incoming weather will be very hot or cold, it’s not the right time for lawn planting. The ideal time to seed your lawn is in spring or fall. If you live in the northern part of the US, September through November is the most likely to yield successful results. If you live in the southern US, it’s best to plant from March to June.
Next, decide which type of grass is best for your lawn. While many people think that grass is grass, there are many varieties to choose from, each with different benefits and drawbacks. The one you choose has to fit your local area’s environment, your budget and lifestyle, plus the typical weather patterns where you live. It’s also a good idea to know the pH levels of the soil before you plant anything, including grass seed.
How to Prepare
When growing grass from seeds, you can’t simply toss down some seed and call it a day. You have to put in the work to prepare your soil correctly and give your grass seed the ideal environment to thrive. The first thing we suggest is optional but can significantly help you get through the process: soil testing. A professional soil analysis will tell you exactly where your lawn is at and what you need to do to get it ready for grass seeding.
Next, you can begin preparing your lawn for seeding. Start by removing any dead grass remaining in your yard. The old grass will make it more difficult for the seeds to reach the soil and absorb necessary nutrients. You can either do this manually with a sharp shovel or use a sod cutter for larger areas that would be too difficult to do yourself.
Remove anything in your yard that might get in the way, like large rocks, debris, and yard decorations. Fill in any low areas and break up compacted soil with a tiller. Next, cover the area where you intend to plant the seed with sand. Distribute it as evenly as possible and work it into the topsoil with a rotary tiller. Repeat this process with an equal amount of compost.
If you need to, add lime to or other resources to balance out the pH level for ideal grass growth. Lime or sulfur are best distributed using a walking broadcast spreader. You can spread peat moss quite easily using a shovel and a wheelbarrow. Make sure the entire area is coated evenly, and you don’t miss any spots, or the grass may be patchy when it grows in. Apply lawn fertilizer using the instructions on its package.
How Do I Seed My Lawn?
Now that you know how to seed a lawn from scratch, it’s time to begin planting in the prepared soil. The best way to grow grass is to feed it on the same day you sow.
After quickly raking the soil, evenly disperse the grass seed over the area you want your new lawn seeding to occur. This is easiest using a handheld broadcast spreader. Simply fill it with seed and crank the handle as you go. A walk-behind spreader can also do the trick if you have a bigger lawn. Try to spread the seed evenly, or it may come in patchy.
Once you’ve spread the grass seed, gently rake the soil again to work the seeds below the surface. Do this using the back of a leaf rake, so that you won’t end up tearing the soil up in the process. Use short, light strokes — never sweeping motions — to avoid redistributing the seed incorrectly. Do not compact the seed with a roller, either, or you may create patchy grass and pooling water.
If you’re interested in growing grass fast, water it regularly and feed it with high-quality lawn food. This regimen can also help it grow healthier and live longer. We recommend using a fan sprinkler or an oscillating sprinkler to keep the soil moist. Water eight to ten times daily in five-minute increments for the first ten days. Once you see sprouting, you can reduce to watering the seed only once a day for 15 minutes.
If you need help seeding, maintaining, or improving your lawn, contact Victory Lawn. We’ll make sure your property looks great in no time!