The key to a great-looking lawn can, at times, seem elusive. It doesn't have to be. Start with the right grass seed for your climate and know when to sow the seed and how to reseed if things go bad, and you, too can have a great-looking lawn, season after season, no matter what.
What Type of Grass Seed Should I Buy?
The type of grass seed to use is determined by the climate in which it will be grown. There are two types of grasses: cool-season and warm-season grasses. John Fech in "Tauton's Lawn Guide," identifies cool-season grasses as grasses for climates where the temperatures dip below 40 degrees and snowfall is common. Cool-season grasses include bent grass, blue gamma grass, buffalo grass, all types of fescues, Kentucky bluegrass and all types of ryegrass.
Warm-season grasses grow well in the heat and include bahia grass, Bermuda grass, centipede grass, St. Augustine grass and zoysia grass.
Also consider whether the lawn receives sun. Shade-tolerant warm-season grasses include bahia, centipede and St. Augustine grass. Shade-tolerant cool-season grass types include the fine and tall fescues.
When Do I Plant Grass Seed?
When to plant grass seed is again determined by climate. Plant warm-season grasses in the late spring to take advantage of the warm weather and to ensure that the grass is growing well before the dormancy of winter, according to Nick Christians and Ashton Ritchie in "Lawns." Cool-season grasses should be planted in the late summer or early fall after the sweltering heat of the summer has abated.
How Do I Reseed?
There are times when reseeding is necessary to repair bare spots, fix damaged areas or to fill in a spot where the seed spreader missed. Jerry Baker in "Jerry Baker's Green Grass Magic," recommends removing all the dead grass and debris from the spot to be reseeded, loosening the soil surface, mixing the grass seed with potting soil and sand, and spreading it over the bare spot, covering the seed with organic mulch and keeping the area moist until the seeds sprout.