Test And Amend Your Soil
You have exposed and evened out the planting surface, but its not yet time to lay down the seed. For the seeding project to have the best chance of success, you need to know what kind of soil you have. So test.
Good: At a minimum, test for pH. Thats a measure of the acidity or alkalinity of your soil. Most grasses like slightly acidic soil, with a pH of 6.2 to 7.
A simple moisture and pH tester can be found for $10.
Better: Also test for the major nutrients in your soil. For around $20, you can get a kit that in addition to testing for pH, will test for the major plant-building nutrients, nitrogen, phosphorus and potash the N, P, and K numbers you see on all bags of fertilizers.
Best: Test for both major and minor nutrients. There can be more than a dozen you can test for, and which ones you test for will vary depending on the testing facility and on which micronutrients tend to be lacking in your area. For that, youll need either a fancier kit or take your soil samples to a testing lab.
There are private laboratories, and also many state extension service offices. The latter often offer low-cost or even free soil testing. Here are four very good soil tests you can buy on Amazon.
Test the soil as soon as you can. There can be a wait of up to two weeks to get test results back. If you dawdle, you could miss your ideal planting window.
Grass Seed Germination Rates By Grass Type
- Bahiagrass seed: 10-28 days
- Centipede grass seed: 14-28 weeks.
- Fescue grass seed: 10-14 days.
- Annual ryegrass seed, perennial ryegrass seed: 5-10 days.
- St. Augustinegrass: Rarely grown from seed, propagated by plugs and sod.
- Zoysia grass seed: 14-21 days.
Even if you planted just one turfgrass variety, the grass seeds wont all pop up at once. Some will be buried a bit deeper or have a different rate of water absorption. Stay with your watering regimen until you are sure you have given all the seeds the best shot you can at taking root.
Keep foot traffic to a minimum during this time. You can also consider putting up Please keep off the new grass signs to discourage accidental trampling by your kids and neighbors .
How Do You Prepare The Ground For Seeding
All wood, stones, and large roots should be removed. To remove roots and rocks, use a spade and garden rake to scratch the soil 1 to 2 inches at the surface, then dig about 6 inches deep. You can add seeding soil to your existing soil by smoothing it with your hands.
If you have a large garden, you may want to add a layer of mulch around the perimeter of the garden to keep weeds from growing in. You can also use a garden trowel to dig a shallow trench in the ground and fill it with soil. The trench should be at least 3 feet deep and 3 to 4 inches in diameter.
Cover the trench with a tarp or plastic sheet to prevent weeds and other pests from entering your garden.
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The Best Of The Best In Indiana
The very best time to seed your lawn in Indiana is in fall when cooler temperatures prevent seeds from drying out, but theres still enough sun and rain to encourage a strong start before winter hibernation. Because crabgrass and other weeds die off this time of year, seeds also have a better chance for success without a lot of competition. Spring comes in a close second with cool conditions and plenty of moisture. And while timing is of the essence, so is a little research.
This year, weve done it for you! Check out this list of Indianas most common lawn grasses, their strengths, and potential weaknesses. It all depends on your lawn requirements. Just below, youll also find a list of Execu-Turf grass seed blends that bring the best of all varieties together.
Indianas Common Lawn Grasses
- FOR NEW LAWNS: 3lb/1000sq ft or 130lb/acre
- OVERSEEDING: 4-5lb/1000sq ft
How To Plant Grass Seed What You Need
Learning how to plant grass seed is an easy job for any gardener that requires only basic tools. To reseed small patches, you will simply need a garden fork, rake, grass seed and fertilizer.
If you are covering a large area, it will save you time to invest in a seed spreader. These can be bought inexpensively from garden centers or .
You may also want to use an aerator to loosen compacted soil and help distribute water and nutrients.
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Take Some Grass Seed Spread It Around The Lawn And It Is Finished If Your Goal Is To Feed The Birds Then Follow That Process
If it was as easy as all that, then a multi-million dollar lawn service industry built around caring for home lawns would not exist. Most homeowners do not have the experience or expertise to provide the correct amounts of fertilizers and pest control products to sustain a healthy lawn. Most do not even mow or water properly. This is why lawn care services, such as those provided by Spring-Green, are so important to homeowners. Of all the practices of good turf maintenance, seeding a lawn is probably one of the most misunderstood.
Before you begin seeding your lawn, make sure to ask yourself these questions:
You need to assess the need for new lawn seeding before you proceed. Spots, smaller than a salad plate, will generally fill-in, assuming the lawn receives the recommended fertilization application that type of grass requires. Larger areas will need lawn repair in some fashion.
Sod Is A Viable Alternative
Maintain The New Grass
Continue watering up to three times per day to keep the soil moist until the new grass is ready to mow: about 4 inches tall, or as recommended on the seed packaging. Mow the grass to no less than 3 inches in height . Make sure the grass gets plenty of water until it has grown enough to need three mowings. From that point on, water the grass with the normal schedule for the area, the current weather, and the type of grass. It’s also a good idea to pull new weeds as they emerge to prevent them from spreading.
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Knowing When To Sow Grass
Sowing season in the UK is generally from mid March – September, this is when temperatures are 8-10 degrees and above consistently, which is required for germination to occur. When planning to sow grass, make sure to consult a two week forecast to mitigate any risk of adverse weather or sudden drop in temperatures. If you plan to sow in particularly hot weather, make sure to water your soil adequately before and after sowing so that your seedlings do not dry out.
How Long After Planting Grass Seed Can You Walk On It
Dont walk on your lawn for at least 4 weeks after seeding. The germinating below the topsoil is very fragile. Even if you cant see them, they can be killed by foot or vehicle traffic. Young grass sprout are very vulnerable to being damaged by walking on them. Seedlings should be planted in a well-drained, sandy soil with good drainage.
The soil should not be too wet or too dry, but not so dry that the roots are exposed to excessive moisture. If the soil is too moist, the seedlings will not grow well and may die before they have a chance to develop roots. Too dry soil can also lead to root rot, which is a serious problem in lawns that are not well drained.
It is also important to avoid over-watering, as too much water can damage the root system and cause the grass to wilt and die. Watering too often can cause damage to the plants, especially if the water is not deep enough to penetrate deeply into the ground.
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How To Plant Grass Seed And Get A Greener Yard
If you want a greener yard, you need to know how to plant grass seed. Did you know you can grow your own grass? What’s more, it doesnt take as much effort as youd think. And with the right method, you can easily learn how to plant grass seed and make your grass thick and luscious.
If youre new to planting grass seed, dont worry. Here, we will take you through exactly what you need to do, answering any questions you might have along the way. We will cover when you should start planting grass seed, which seeds are best to use as well as how to cultivate your land. Heres how to plant grass seed.
Have moles and weeds ruined your yard? Check out how to get rid of moles without hurting them and how to get rid of dandelions. Once that grass seed is planted, we can also give you tips on how to stripe your lawn to make it look bigger, how to make your grass greener and how to lay sod to upgrade your lawn. Plus, don’t make these 7 common lawn mistakes this summer.
Mowing A New Lawn: Be Gentle
Be careful with the lawnmower the first few times your new turfgrass is mowed. The roots will not be long or well-established, so it will be easy to accidentally rip up the young plants. Sharpen the mowers blade, so you cut, not tear the tender plants. Try to start the mower on a flat surface away from the lawn, and minimize the number of turns you make with the mower. Abide by the rule of , which is to never remove more than a third of a grass plant in one mow.
Once you have mowed at least once, cut back on your frequent shallow watering, and switch to watering a couple of times a week, deeply. Get water down to six or eight inches deep to encourage your new lawn to root deeply. Once established the lawn will start spreading to cover any gaps.
After about six to eight weeks, your lawn should be well-established. Hit it with a little more fertilizer to encourage deep roots, and take down your keep off the new lawn signs. Your new lawn is ready for you.
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When Is The Best Time To Put Grass Seed Down
If theres one question that everyone wants to know when it comes to planting anything, its when is the best time to do it. This is something that so many people ask when seeding a lawn but there is some good news.
Unlike a lot of plants, there isnt really an ideal time to put down grass seed although different grass seed bags will offer different advice. For example, sowing cool seed grass in the height of summer isnt going to yield the best results. This is regardless of how much seed you use or how well you fertilize it.
If you sow cool weather grass seed at the beginning of fall then the results will be much more impressive. The air wont be as warm but the soil will still be warm enough to encourage germination.
However, you can, in theory, sow grass seed at any time of year provided you take certain things into consideration such as whether you are overseeding or laying a new lawn, how much sun and shade there is and how often the grass is watered. Also be sure to follow the pack instructions to the letter if you want the best results.
Lawn Seed Spreader Guide
For best results you need a fairly even application of grass seeds. See the lawn seed calculator above, and aim to apply around 30-40g of seed per square meter of your lawn area. The easiest way to do this is measure the areas you need to cover and to weigh the right amount of lawn seed into a cup so you get the dosage right.
Shake the cup of seeds gently from side to side as you walk backwards over the prepared ground. You can do this in multiple directions if you like to ensure evenness. If you find it hard to sow thinly and evenly, you can add an equal amount of sand or fine grit to the seed in the cup.
If you have a large area to cover you can mark out the ground by pushing garden stakes at 1 metre intervals all the way around the border of your new lawn area and tying garden string between them in a chessboard pattern, touching the ground.
This will give you a series of 1 metre squares to sow your grass seed into, ensuring you get the correct amount of grass seed evenly spaced over your new lawn area. You can also buy a lawn seed spreader which will distribute seed at the correct level for you. You just fill it with seed and push it along the ground.
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Federal Seed Act Guarantees Accurate Labeling
When it comes to selecting seeds, you have an ally the Federal Seed Act. First enacted in 1939 and amended five times since, the Seed Act requires seed sellers to provide consumers with valuable information on the seeds labels.
Under the law, the label must tell you:
- The name of the grass variety .
- Its purity, that is, the weight by percentage of each type of seed.
- Germination percentage. The percentage of the seeds that you can expect to germinate. This is not a number the seed companies can fudge. The federal government expects seed producers to run regular germination tests and keep careful records.
- Weed seed percentage. Look for a seed that has less than 0.5 percent weeds.
Create A Healthy Lawn By Starting Over
Lets get this straight right from the get-go: A healthy lawn doesnt get taken over by weeds. So if it looks like youre raising weeds instead of grass, thats a sign of a more serious problem. And that may mean killing off the grass and starting over. Its a big reseeding lawn project thatll take several weekends and may cost you up to 25¢ per sq. ft. for equipment rentals, soil conditioners and seed. If youre willing to spend more, you can lay sodinstead of planting seed, but dont skip the soil testing and remediation steps. Heres how to balance your soils pH level properly.
Are you ready for a fresh start? Just follow our guide for how to plant grass seed on an existing lawn and youll be the happiest gnomeowner on your block.
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Plant And Fertilize Your Grass Seed
With your soil ready, its time to lay down the seeds.
For planting grass seed in small areas, hand-seeding is fine. For larger areas, youll want to use a seeder. They can be hand cranked, chest mounted or push-from-behind models. Another option is a drop seeder, which drops seeds directly below. They are a good choice for small areas and are more precise than the rotary models. There are more expensive commercial seeding options as well.
Follow the instructions on the seed bag, but you generally want 15-20 seeds per square inch. Make a couple of test runs, aiming for half of that number since you are going to make two passes with your seeder. If the seeders lowest setting is too generous with the seed, thin it out with sand or vermiculite.
Once you get the distribution setting right, make two passes across your lawn area. If you go north-south on the first pass, go east-west on the second. Broadcasting the seed from two angles gives seed the best chance to spread evenly.
We call it the seed-soil contact, said University of Illinois Extension office educator Richard Hentschel. You want good seed-soil contact. If the seed and soil are not in intimate contact, the little root radicle may die out before it hits the soil. The radicle is the first root to emerge from a seed.
Rake the seeded surface lightly to mix the grass seed and fertilizer in the top 1/8-inch of soil. If you have access to one, roll using an empty roller to improve the germination rate.
Water Thoroughly But Not Too Much
Water the area thoroughly and leave it until next spring. Apply from 0.05 to 0.10 inch of water. At this time of year, cool temperatures and short days will help keep the areas moist far longer than in summer. While just barely damp soil is okay, it is important that the area does not become soggy and saturated with water.
If the weather does turn a little warmer and drier and the area starts to dry out, it may be necessary to lightly water the area just to keep it damp and prevent it from becoming too dry. However, in most cases it will be unnecessary to do this.
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Plant Grass Seed And Enjoy A New Lawn
In many gardens, the lawn is a vital balancing element, the perfect backdrop to the more colourful flowering parts of the garden. Without it, mixed borders can seem messy and overwhelming, and subtle planting combinations just get lost in the crowd. Big or small, an expanse of green has a unifying effect, providing a visual link between the different elements of a garden.
If you’re looking to create a new lawn area, grass seed is a low-cost way to get some greenery into your garden. There are a range of grass types available.
Read on for step-by-step help on laying a new lawn from grass seed. Alternatively, if you’re looking for speedy results, head over to our helpful guide on laying turf.