Grass seed is often an afterthought for many people. Until it is actually needed, most homeowners do not realize the variety of choices on the market. When that is coupled with choices such as when to plant grass seed and how best to plant the seed, the issue may become overwhelming. Still, grass is generally not difficult to grow, as long as you make the proper choices ahead of time.
Most people know that there are various species of grass, some of which work better than others depending on the climate. You may buy grass seed as a homogeneous species, but many different types of mixes are available as well. A playground mix, for example, is especially suited for backyards where children and pets may play. Other mixes may provide the front yard with a lush appearance, but not hold up well to foot traffic.
It is possible to buy seed in different qualities as well as species. More expensive mixes generally will have high seed quality and contain fewer seeds of undesired species. Of course, if you are on a budget, go with what you can afford. It just may take some effort to make it look its' best later on. Generally, it is cheaper from a maintenance perspective to start with good seed.
When you plant your grass often depends on the type of grass you are trying to grow. For cool season grasses, the best time to plant is in the late summer or fall. This provides the grass with a chance to get started without getting scorched by the sun. Early spring is another option. Plan warm season grasses after any chance of frost has passed to avoid stressing them out too much.
Most individuals simply use a spreader to plant grass seed, allowing the seed to germinate and the roots to work their way down into the soil. This technique works, but it may be hard on the grass seed, and birds may take some seed. Another option is to mix seed and soil, then lay soil down in the desired area. This technique takes longer, but it may yield more consistent results and result in less seed loss.
One of the mistakes people often make with grass seed is using it too sparingly. Some may do so in an attempt to save money, but many simply are not aware of how much to put down. A sparsely-seeded lawn allows weed species to gain a competitive advantage. Follow label directions on the bag, but generally, 1 lb. should cover 400 square feet.