Planting a new lawn or even overseeding existing grass can be a headache. Without the proper preparation and care, the seeds will refuse to germinate and the work will be in vain. There are some innovative methods that can help reduce the amount of work necessary for seeding grass and help ensure the success of the new grass.
Using newspaper as a mulch has several advantages, especially if you want to kill off existing grasses or weeds. Place several sheets of newspaper over the planting area, water and then cover with 2 to 3 inches of topsoil. Then spread the grass seeds on the topsoil. The newspaper kills off old grass and weeds under the newspaper. It also helps hold in moisture for the new seeds and eventually degrades, removing any worry about having a sheet of plastic landscape tarp under your new grass. The newspaper method also allows the roots of the new grass, once they have broken through the newspaper, to use nutrients from the soil below.
Suitable for cold weather grasses, planting on top of snow eliminates the need for constant watering following planting. Simply sow seeds over the top of the snow in the area to be planted. The seeds slowly make their way to the soil, using moisture provided by the snow. This method works especially well for re-seeding or overseeding an existing lawn, because the seeds are more likely to be brought into contact with the soil than if they are spread directly over the lawn. The most popular cool weather grasses, according to Purdue University, are bluegrasses, fescues and ryegrasses. These types of grasses work well for snow planting.
Once only available as a professional service, hydroseeding equipment is now available for sale or rent to the home gardener, making the option available even for do-it-yourself projects. Hydroseeding injects the grass seeds just under the soil, along with fertilizer and water. This helps prevent seeds from being blown away and gives them a good start for germination. Most hydroseeding mixtures also coat the ground with a green colorant as the seeds are spread. This helps identify exactly where the seeds have already been planted and avoids having some areas overplanted and others too sparsely planted. It also gives the look of a freshly planted lawn, from a distance.