Stimulate Growth With A Seed Starter Fertilizer
When the area is graded and level, apply a seed starter fertilizer to help stimulate new seedling growth and development.
TIP: Apply IFA Premium Garden Fertilizer or IFA Grand Champion All-Purpose Fertilizer . Both fertilizers are high in phosphate and will encourage rapid root development. Also, consider adding IFA Bountiful Earth Humate to enrich the soil even further and aid seed germination.
S To Aerating And Overseeding Your Lawn This Fall
Look, not only is aeration and overseeding an easy process, it can be fun too.
But you have to do it right, or you will be wasting your time.
To ensure you are doing things right, follow these 5 simple steps to aerate and overseed the right way.
When is the best time to Aerate?
You can aerate in the early spring or late fall. Most people get it done in the fall so that the grass seed can overwinter in the lawn.
In my experience, the best time to aerate and overseed is right after the last cutting of the lawn for the season. But if you miss the fall, early spring is good too.
How To Plant A New Lawn From Seed
The least expensive way to start a lawn is by seed. Starting a lawn from seed is a snap, especially on an area that is relatively flat. The biggest task is preparing the site and making sure the soil is of good quality. Choosing the right seed is a matter of looking at your yard and your climate. In general there are two broad types of grass: cool season and warm season, each named for the climate and temperature in which it grows best. If you are in a definite warm or cool climate, you can zero in on the grass that will work best for you.
Step 1Step 1Measure the Yard and Buy Seed
Measure the size of the yard then buy the seed you needthe exact amount will depend on the variety of grass, as well as the size of your yard. A few days before planting, water the lawn to a depth of 6 to 8 inches. Plant when the surface of the soil is dry.
Step 2Step 2Prepare the Lawn
Kill the existing grass, rake out debris, grade the yard, and enrich the soil before planting. Give the soil its final grading right before planting.
Step 3Step 3Lay Out an Area of the Lawn
Seed is applied at a rate of so many pounds per 1,000 square feet, depending on the seed. Because drop spreaders are calibrated for fertilizer rather than seed, you’ll have to lay out an area of 1,000 square feet on your own. If the area is irregular or involves several parts of the lawn, mark the boundaries with flour, chalk, or landscapers paint.
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Can You Just Sprinkle Grass Seed On A Lawn
Grass seed spread on a lawn without proper preparation and soil covering will sprout at a much lower rate than properly seeded grass. Additionally, any seeds that do sprout will struggle to establish themselves. This is true whether you are seeding bare soil or overseeding an established lawn.
For best results seeding grass, mow any existing grass low, rake to loosen topsoil, spread seed, and then rake again to mix grass seed with loosened soil. Once you have seeded, fertilize and water your grass seed to make sure the new grass germinates and grows to maturity.
How To Ensure Good Coverage
Sometimes its challenging to ensure ample coverage of grass seedlings. If you are using a drop spreader, I suggest distributing the seeds in one direction and then making a second pass in the perpendicular direction. This two-directional overseeding promotes more even grass seed germination and distribution. If you are spreading the seed by hand, its a bit easier to eye, but dropping the seeds from different angles helps.
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Can You Plant Grass Seed In The Fall To Get It To Grow In The Spring
You can plant grass seed in the fall to get it to grow in the spring through a process called dormant seeding. This type of seeding is done by putting down seed while the ground is not yet frozen but is still cold enough to prevent seed growth until the spring.
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Choose The Right Grass Seed
If you’re planning to seed your new lawn, the decision on seed variety is important. A great lawn can only be grown from great grass seeds and IFA selects the best performing cool-season turf varieties for the Intermountain West.
IFA GreenStar 5
Contains five premium Kentucky Bluegrass varieties. Withstands high stress and wear, and provides a beautiful, dark green lawn.
IFA Quick Green
A turf-type Tall Fescue blend that’s heat and drought-tolerant. Excellent resistance to disease and pests.*
IFA Liberty Fescue Bluegrass Mix
Hardy with a longer growing season.*
* Liberty and Escalante are both great choices if you live in an especially hot area where irrigation can sometimes be infrequent.
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Water And Watch: Your Post
All your hard work so far will go for naught unless you keep an eye on the fledgling grass seeds and attend to their needs as they emerge. Seeds only get one shot at germination, so what you do now is critical.
That means water.
You want to keep that top layer of soil ¼ to ½ inch deep moist. If a grass seed dries out, it dies out. Some have likened this part of lawn-building to caring for an infant because both young babies and young lawns need constant attention.
Likely youll be dealing with several variables. Part of the lawn may be shadier, part may have more porous soil, or part may be sloped. So observe and adjust your watering accordingly.
Keep the soil moist, but too much water is as bad as too little. Overly vigorous watering could wash the seeds away. So keep the soil moist but not soggy. A misting attachment on your hose can cut down on the amount of force you use.
Expect to water at least once a day in the morning, and perhaps again in the afternoon if sun and wind have dried out the soil.
Keep in mind that different grass plants germinate at different times. So if you have a mixture of grass seeds, youll need to keep watering it until the slowest-germinating species emerges.
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.
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Seed And Feed On The Same Day
Once your soil is prepped, its time to seed your new lawn. At the same time, its important to give your new grass seedlings a head start by feeding them. With a granular lawn food specially formulated for new grass, like Scotts® Starter® Lawn Food for New Grass, you can feed your new lawn the same day you seed it. Which goes on first, the grass seed or the fertilizer? It’s up to you.
Have issues with weeds? Scotts® Turf Builder® Triple Action Built For Seeding will feed your new grass while preventing annoying weeds like dandelions and crabgrass for up to 6 weeks. It also gives new grass a jumpstart so it can grow fast and thick.
Another option is to save yourself some time and combine the feeding and seeding with Scotts® Turf Builder Rapid Grass Sun & Shade Mix®. Thanks to its unique combination of seed and fertilizer, your grass will grow twice as fast as it would if you were using seed alone, giving you a thick, green lawn in just weeks.
Different types of grass seed and fertilizer require different spreader settings for optimal coverage. Check the bag to make sure youre choosing the right setting for your individual spreader. Apply the product to the perimeter first, which allows you to fill in the rest of the lawn without worrying about missing any of the edges. Similar to a mowing pattern, seed and feed your lawn with slightly overlapping passes. Avoid getting grass seed or fertilizer in your garden beds or on your sidewalk or driveway.
How To Prepare Lawn For Seeding
Good preparation is the most important aspect of learning how to plant grass seed. Luckily, getting it right is easy.
To prepare your soil before planting grass seed, simply till and loosen the soil to create the best growing conditions you dont need to put down topsoil, says Jeremy Yamaguchi, CEO of Lawn Love .
To till the soil, Hedges Gower recommends using a fork to lightly dig it over to a depth of about 2-3 inches. This will allow new seedlings to take root, he says.
Remove any rocks and weeds as you go, but dont apply weed killer as this will hinder growth.
If you are applying seed to cover patches in a large lawn, it’s a good idea to use an aerator to punch holes into the ground and pull up small plugs of turf and soil.
‘Doing this has two benefits. The first is that some seed will fall into the holes and improve germination. The second is that aerating the soil reduces soil compaction and improves water infiltration, says Landscape Tutor Brian Walker. You can .
To give your grass seed a helping hand, it’s important to feed it. Depending on the product, you can apply pre-seeding fertilizer at the preparation stage, or you can wait until after you have sown the seed to use starter fertilizer.
Rake the soil level before planting the grass seed.
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Will Grass Seed Grow If Not Covered
All grass types will struggle if they are seeded and left uncovered. Sowing seed without proper lawn preparation and leaving it without protection results in poor germination due to lack of soil contact and exposure to scavengers. To prepare your lawn and seed properly, follow these steps:
- Use the right type of seed depending on your region.
- Seed at the right time for your grass seed type.
- Mow existing grass low and bag the clippings, so the seed can reach the soil.
- Rake your lawn to loosen soil and remove thatch.
- Cast seed by hand or with a seed spreader.
- Cover seed with 1/4 inch of soil or top dressing.
- Use a starter fertilizer to provide new lawn nutrients.
- Implement a grass seed watering plan to keep the soil moist until the seeds sprout.
What To Put On Top Of Newly Planted Grass Seed
After the seeds are sown, cover them immediately to protect them from birds, keep them moist, and prevent them from washing away in a heavy rain. There are several different mulches you can use for the job. In my experience, straw , screened compost, or mushroom soil are prime choices. These products also act as soil amendments when they break down and can improve your soils fertility and structure. All three of these options are available from your local garden store or landscape supply center. Erosion mats are another option. They can easily be unrolled over the area with little mess and are biodegradable, though theyre also a good bit more expensive than the previous choices. Peat moss is not a good idea because it can repel water once it has dried out.
No matter what you choose to use to cover grass seed, more is definitely not better. One-quarter of an inch is about as thick as you should go. Compost and mushroom soil are great for covering fall-seeded lawns. Their dark color absorbs the suns heat and keeps the soil warm all night long. This speeds germination and encourages rapid lawn establishment prior to winters arrival.
Seed At The Right Time
Seeding grass for the best results depends on the variety of grass youre planting.
Warm-season grass performs best when seeded in late spring through early summer. Because these grasses experience their strongest growth in peak summer months, seeding early in the year allows the new grass seedlings to establish themselves before fall halts their growth.
Cool-season grass can be seeded in spring or fall, but typically does best when seeded in fall. Brisk temperatures following the summer peak jumpstart growth in these grass species.
Choosing the best temperature for grass seed is important to its long-term growth.
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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Select The Best Grass Seeds
Your lawn or garden can be no healthier than the grass seeds you plant in them, so to achieve the best planting results, purchase only the best grass seeds. Seeds that have been rated by the National Turf Evaluation Program, are the best you can ever find. Grass seeds with NTEP rating are known for their genetic modifications and enhanced bloom over ordinary varieties.
Spread The Grass Seed
Buy grass seed that’s recommended for your region. If youre not sure what type of grass seed to use, visit a local nursery or check with a university extension office. Next, use a handheld broadcast spreaderthe kind with a hand crankto disperse the seed over the planting area.
Broadcast spreaders are suitable for small- to medium-size yards, but if you’re planting a very large lawn, save time by dispersing the seed with a walk-behind drop spreader, which you can buy or rentor perhaps borrow from a neighbor.
After applying the grass seed, gently work the seed into the soil using a large plastic leaf rake. However, to avoid redistributing the evenly broadcasted seeds, which can result in uneven, clumpy grass growth, turn the rake upside down and use the back of the rake with very short, light strokes to work in the seeds.
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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 .
Remove Thatch And Debris
After mowing, rake your yard with a metal rake or a dethatching machine to remove excessive thatch and debris. Thatch is a layer of organic components found between the grass and soil that can prevent proper air circulation and water absorption for seedlings, which is necessary for germination. Vigorously raking your lawn also helps to loosen and break up the soil to create good seed-to-soil contact, making it easier for the seeds to take root.
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Plant Centipede Grass From Seed
- Choose and purchase your desired centipede grass seed product.
- Remove any excess thatch and loosen the top of the soil with a rake.
- Spread 0.25 to 0.5 pounds of grass seed per 1,000 square feet. To make the process easier, you can mix one pound of grass seed with one gallon of sand and use a spreader.
- Keep the soil moist until the sprouts are about two inches tall. You might not see grass for 10 to 30 daysthats normal.
- If you are reseeding an area, make sure you havent used pre-emergent herbicide within the past two months.
Get Rid Of The Old Sod
Out with the old. Your new lawn does not want to compete with old sod and weeds.
If you have a small area where you plan to seed grass, hand tools are sufficient to do the job. Get in there with shovels and rakes and dig out the old sod and weeds.
If you plan to remove all vegetation, it may be simpler to use a nonselective broad-spectrum herbicide that will kill any plants it contacts. Follow label instructions carefully and be sure it doesnt overspray or run off the area where you want it applied.
Whichever method you use, though, dont overdo it. You want to loosen the soil and get rid of the old vegetation but preserve that precious good topsoil.
Once you have removed the weeds and old sod, loosen the soil. You dont need to turn the topsoil over. Just break it up so the new grass seeds roots can easily grow through. If you just have a small area to seed, a digging fork will do the trick. For larger areas, consider a core aerator. You can rent one and do the job yourself, or hire a lawn care company to do it for you.
While you have the soil bare is a perfect time to attend to any grading issues your future lawn will have by filling in low spots. Use a half-and-half mixture of sand and topsoil to fill any low spots.
An even lawn without bumps will prevent accidental scalping of your future lawn.
However, not all hills need to be evened out. In rainy parts of the Pacific Northwest, for example, a slight slope is desirable to allow excess rain to flow off.
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