A healthy carpet of green around the home adds to the impression of a well-maintained property. Once the terrain is sculpted, the soil tested and adjustments made, the lawn is ready to be seeded.
Plant grass seed in prepared soil so that the grass will have the best chance for healthy root growth. Seeded grass needs phosphorus and potassium to encourage strong root growth. The pH for the healthiest lawns is between 6.0 and 7.0. If the soil test shows pH and fertility levels are less than ideal, make adjustments before planting
Best Time to Plant
Grass seed will grow when planted in the spring, but early fall is the best time to plant. Weeds are less likely to choke out the newly planted seeds in the fall, leaving moisture, nutrients and room for the developing grass roots to grow. Fall planting will also give the grass time to become well established before the heavy frosts hit.
Grass seed falls into two main categories: cool-climate grasses and warm-season grasses. Warm-season grasses are more tolerant of drought and will stay green during the summer heat, while cool-season grasses grow best in spring and fall.
A mixture of warm-season and cool-season grass seed will help to ensure a green lawn throughout the growing season.
Sow the lawn seed at the rate recommended for the variety of seed. Too much seed will cause the seedlings to choke each other out. Sow evenly--a mechanical spreader will make that job easier. Mix the seed varieties thoroughly in the hopper and apply half of the seed to the lawn, taking care to apply only in one direction.
Use the second half of the seed by going over the lawn again at a right angle to the first pass to be sure that the seed is broadcast over the entire area. Cover broadcast seed with soil by lightly raking. A once-over with a lawn roller will give added assurance that all seed comes in contact with the soil. Water the newly seeded lawn thoroughly with a spray gentle enough not to wash away the seed.
Water newly seeded lawn daily until the lawn seed is established, usually three weeks after the grass seed germinates. Let the grass grow to a height of between 2 to 2-1/2 inches high before mowing. The first cutting should take about 1/2 inch, leaving the length of the grass 1-1/2 to 2 inches high. Subsequent mowings should be done regularly, but for the healthiest lawns, never cut more than 1/3 of the height of the grass in the same mowing.