Planting (or seeding) a lawn is not difficult and can be done successfully by anyone. If you are planting grass seed, follow these four simple steps for best results.
Step 1 – Buy the best grass seed for your area
A great lawn can only be grown from grass seeds that grow well in your area. To find a top quality grass seed for your area, look for an NTEP rated variety, which means it has been independently evaluated and rated by the National Turf Evaluation Program, (NTEP). The NTEP rating on grass seeds means you are purchasing grass seeds that have been specifically bred for superior green grass color, disease and insect resistance and drought tolerance.
The price of grass seed is small compared to the time that will be invested in building a great lawn. To get the best lawn results you need the best grass seed.
Step 2 – Prepare the soil
For planting new lawns:
• Loosen the top layer of soil.
• Remove debris (sticks, stones, etc), from the area.
• Break up soil clumps.
• Level areas where water may potentially rest.
• Fertilize the area before and after seeding,
Step 3 – Plant grass seed
• Spread the seed evenly by hand in small areas.
• Use a hand or lawn spreader or a mechanical seeder in large areas.
• Apply approximately 16 seeds per square inch. Too many seeds too close together causes seedlings to fight for room and nutrients. Grass may be weak or thin in these areas. So to help prevent issues, place a layer of straw on top of the recently seeded area to help weigh down the seeds and prevent them from blowing away.
Step 4 – Water often
• Keep grass seed bed moist to enhance germination.
• Water lightly (don’t saturate), and frequently (at least once daily), until new grass is two inches high.
• Water new grass regularly to keep roots moist.
Grass seed can be planted in the spring and fall with good results. If you are planning a spring planting of grass seed, do not apply weed control products to the grass. Delay the weed control application until the grass seed has germinated and you have mowed the grass at least 3 times.
For a fall planting of grass seed, follow the same weed control precautions and time the seed planting to allow the grass seed to fully germinate before freezing temperatures arrive in your region.