Growing grass is a time-consuming endeavor. Some gardeners choose grass sod to speed the process, since sod is established quickly and is often healthy. However, growing from seed has its benefits. There are more varieties of grass seed than those available with sod, making it easier to find a grass that is suitable for your home lawn specifics.
Choose a high-quality grass seed that is suitable for the environment you are planting. Select a grass that will thrive in the light and soil conditions present in your region. The microenvironment of the area determines what grasses are able to grow in your locality, according to the Clemson Cooperative Extension. Contact your local university extension service for advice on what grass grows well. Pick a grass seed that is certified. This ensures a better germination rate from the seed. Choose a seed that is low in weed seed and crop grass seed for a uniform look to your lawn.
Take a soil test to determine whether the soil pH and nutrients are suitable for new grass, and add fertilizer according to the test results. Renovate the entire lawn for the best look. Proper site preparation aids the grass in establishment. Remove all grass from the area to prevent competition with the new grass seed. Controlling the weeds that are present in the soil prevents them from choking new grass roots. Apply a pre-emergent herbicide to kill any germinating weeds, then pull any weeds that appear. Till the soil to a depth of 4 to 8 inches. The University of Illinois Extension recommends adding peat or compost to improve the organic content of sandy or clay soils.
Grass varieties require different application rates by weight. When buying the seed, ask how much is required for a good coverage. Seed is best applied using a drop spreader, which is more accurate than a broadcast spreader that may spread seed too thin. Seed requires an overlapping application in two directions. The spreader should run on each pass on the wheel line from the previous pass in the prepared soil area.