Planting grass seed in a properly prepared area usually means the homeowner is just weeks away from enjoying the benefits of a beautiful, healthy lawn. While the best time to plant a lawn with grass seed is in the early fall when weeds are less active, grass seed can be planted anytime during the growing season with success.
Planting grass seed successfully requires more than just tossing the seed out onto the lawn.
Completely mix the grass seed in the spreader's hopper. A spreader broadcasts the seed evenly over the area. A blend of grass seed is recommended for a healthy lawn. If one type of seed fails due to climate conditions or disease, the remaining varieties will usually grow and mask the failure.
Spread half the seed evenly over the prepared space, moving back and forth in a straight line. Make a second pass of the area on an angle to the first pass. The second pass will help guarantee that there are no lines in the lawn from areas that may have been missed in the first pass.
Use a roller to help lessen the chance that the seed will blow away or wash out. Push the lawn roller over the newly seeded area to make sure that all of the seed comes in contact with the soil.
Moisten the soil of the newly seeded area slowly and evenly, allowing the seed to settle into the soil and not wash away. Continue daily watering in this manner for three weeks after the grass seed germinates.
Spreading grass seed over an existing lawn to cover bare patches is called over seeding. Before planting the seed, rake the area to roughen up the soil. Spread the seed evenly and then moisten the soil thoroughly to allow the seeds to settle and germinate. Birds will probably eat the seed left exposed.
Grass Seedling Care
Take care to thoroughly yet gently water the newly planted seeded area on a daily basis. The goal is to moisten enough to anchor the seeds and provide nutrients, yet not wash the seeds away.
Allow the new grass to grow to a height of 2 to 2-1/2 inches before mowing back to 1-1/2 to 2 inches.
Never cut more than 1/3 of the new growth of grass during a single mowing.