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How to Grow Turfgrass

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How to Grow Turfgrass

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Overview

Turfgrass includes many varieties of grasses that grow in a variety of climates. Turfgrass provides quick, thick cover for many lawns and landscapes, as well as nutritious forage for grazing livestock. Cool-season turfgrass thrives in much of the northern states, while warm-season varieties flourish along the southern coastline of the United States. Successful turfgrass lawns require adequate soil preparation and seedling establishment.

Step 1

Test the soil for pH levels in your planting site before attempting to grow a new lawn of turfgrass.

Step 2

Level the planting area for the turfgrass. Loosen the top 3 to 4 inches inches of soil when it's dry using a garden tiller. Avoid disturbing dormant seeds under the surface by loosening only the upper 2 to 3 inches. Rake the area smooth with a sturdy garden rake or hoe. Avoid removing any topsoil from the tested area. Smooth low areas by filling in with excess soil from rises and bumps.

Step 3

Apply any soil additives recommended by the results of your soil sample. Add sand and compost to heavy soils. Evenly spread these amendments over the surface of the soil and rake lightly to incorporate with the existing soil.

Step 4

Evenly spread the turfgrass seed over the prepared surface of the soil with a seed broadcaster. Apply the seed evenly, at the rate recommended on the seed package. Ensure even coverage by making quick, light passes over the planting site. Lightly rake the scattered seed to encourage adequate contact with the soil.

Step 5

Water the turfgrass seed immediately after planting it. Apply enough water to dampen the surface of the soil. Use a light spray to avoid disturbing new seeds. Keep the soil slightly moist during germination. Sprinkle the seeds frequently and lightly to maintain even moisture for the first couple of weeks. Springy, green blades of turfgrass indicate proper amounts of moisture.

Step 6

Mow the turfgrass after it reaches the maximum height range recommended on the seed package. Most types of turfgrass require mowing at about 3 inches. Mow with a sharp blade to cleanly cut off 1/3 or less of the total length of the grass.

Step 7

Apply a nitrogen fertilizer to the turfgrass in the spring. Select a variety recommended for use on your type of turfgrass and apply on a calm day. Follow the label's directions. Avoid excess applications of fertilizer on turfgrass grown in heavy or poor soils.

Things You'll Need

  • Soil test kit
  • Garden tiller
  • Rake or hoe
  • Sand
  • Compost
  • Seed broadcaster
  • Lawn mower
  • Fertilizer

References

  • Purdue University: Seed and Sodbed Preparation
  • USDA: Plant Fact Sheet
  • U.S. National Arboretum: Turfgrass Questions and Answers
Keywords: turfgrass, lawn grass, grow turf

About this Author

Laura Dee is a writer, artist, and the co-owner of Wallace & Wallace Copywriting,an online business which specializes in providing marketing materials and copy to various companies. She has written for Demand Studios since 2008 and is currently working on a series of childrens' picture books.