Maine is known for its short, warm summers and long, harsh winters. These long winters can take a toll on your lawn, so it is imperative to give the lawn as much of a head start as possible. In Maine, lawn grasses are typically seeded in late summer when the soil is still warm. With the warm days and cool nights, seedlings prosper and can get successfully established before the harsh winter sets in. In order to plant grass seed in Maine, you must use the correct type of grass. Common lawn grasses are Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, and fine-leaf fescues.
Purchase grass seed for your planting area. For a new lawn you'll want 3 to 4 pounds per 1,000 square feet. Determine which type you need depending on sunlight amounts. For shady areas you'll need a fine fescue mix; and for sunny areas, Kentucky bluegrass or perennial rye is an excellent choice.
Clear all brush and debris out of the area where you want to plant your grass seed.
Loosen up the soil with a garden rake. You want a smooth, even soil bed that the grass seed can fall into.
Dump the grass seed in the fertilizer spreader. Consult the grass seed packaging to see what you need to set your spreader's dial to.
Spread the grass seed over the planting area. Walk parallel paths over the planting area until the entire area has seed spread over it.
Rake the planting area gently until only 5 to 10 percent of the seed is visible.
Water the grass seed in by providing 1/2 inch of water. A good way to see how much water has been applied is to set a tin pan out in the planting area somewhere accessible. You can then measure the depth of the water that collects in the pan.
Keep the lawn damp for approximately 3 to 4 weeks. Grass seed that dries out won't germinate. Lawn sprinkler timers work great for this. Have them operate 5 to 10 minutes every few hours throughout the day. Generally you don't have to water during nighttime hours.