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How to Plant Grass Seed in the Spring in Minneapolis

By Elizabeth Knoll ; Updated September 21, 2017
A moist seed bed and great seed to soil contact is crucial for germination success.
grass seed image by Alison Bowden from Fotolia.com

You will find cool-season grasses in Minnesota lawns. Some common types of cool-season grasses are fescues, Kentucky bluegrass and perennial ryegrass. Lawns are typically seeded in the late summer or early fall due to the cooler days and warm soil temperatures, which allow optimum germination. However, you may need to plant grass seed in the spring in Minneapolis. This is especially true if you had an area of your yard that experienced winter kill. Following proper care practices precisely will allow you to have the most success germinating and growing grass seed in the spring months.

Rototill the top 4 to 6 inches of soil in the area you want to seed. Remove all rocks and debris from the soil.

Rake the soil with a garden rake to level it. Smooth out any lumps or bumps. Fill a lawn roller with water and roll the yard to firm up the seed bed.

Select the appropriate seed for the area that you are seeding. Use Kentucky bluegrass or perennial rye in sunny areas and use a fescue variant for shadier areas.

Pour the seed into a fertilizer spreader and set the dial according to the application rate on the grass seed bag. Walk in parallel paths over the entire area to spread an even amount of seed. You should be spreading 4 to 5 lbs. of seed per 1,000 square feet.

Rake the seed into the top 1/8-inch to 1/4-inch of soil and roll with an empty lawn roller to ensure proper seed to soil contact.

Apply a light layer of grass clippings or straw to the top of the seed bed to prevent grass seed erosion and to help keep the seeds moist. You may also use a grass seed mulch that is available at your local garden center.

Set up lawn sprinklers and irrigate the seeds daily for 20 to 30 minutes. Check the soil regularly with a screwdriver to ensure the top 4 to 6 inches of soil stay moist. After grass reaches 2 inches high, you can move to your regular irrigation schedule.

Mow your grass when it reaches 3 inches high. Keep mowing every 5 to 7 days and never remove more than one-third of the grass blade at once. Cool season grasses should be maintained at a height of 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 inches.

 

Things You Will Need

  • Rototiller
  • Garden rake
  • Lawn roller
  • Grass seed
  • Fertilizer spreader
  • Mulch
  • Lawn sprinklers
  • Garden hose
  • Water source
  • Lawn mower

Tips

  • Grass seed will be more difficult to germinate during the spring months in Minneapolis. Weed competition is high and summer heat is tough on new grass seedlings. For best chance of survival, ensure the soil stays moist all summer to prevent the grass from dying out.
  • Use a high-quality herbicide after the first few mowings to keep the weed competition down.