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How to Plant Grass Seed & Hay

By Kathy Burns-Millyard ; Updated September 21, 2017
Hay is made from dry grass

Hay is made from various types of grasses. When the grass is allowed to grow long before it is cut, then laid out to dry in the sun and wind, you have hay that can be used for feeding livestock, adding to the compost pile or using as mulch in your garden.

Hay is most commonly used to feed livestock, so alfalfa is the type of grass usually grown to make it. Clover is another type of grass grown for making hay because it is also high in valuable nutrients, but essentially any type of grass can be planted for the purposes of making hay later in the season.

Prepare the soil area where the grass will be planted by turning and tilling it finely. Remove weeds, rocks and large clumps of dirt.

Broadcast the grass seed around the prepared soil as evenly as you can.

Spread a thin layer of additional soil over the broadcast seed. The grass seed should be no more than one-fourth to one-half inch deep.

Water the newly seeded area enough to moisten the entire ground, and continue to water as often as needed to keep the seedbed moist until the grass sprouts.

While the grass is still young, pull out or mow any weeds that crop up, otherwise they will kill out the grass. Areas with a lot of weeds can be mowed when the weeds are 8 to 12 inches tall and before they've started producing seeds.

Use the scythe or grass clippers to cut your grass for hay once it is at least 6 inches tall or higher. Allowing the grass to grow higher before cutting will provide you with more hay.

Leave the cut grass lying in place so it can be dried by the sun and wind. Toss it around or turn it over occasionally to help it dry fully.

Rake together or gather up the dried hay and put it into a shed or other area where it will be protected from rain and snow, or add it to your compost pile or plant beds if desired.


Things You Will Need

  • Grass seed
  • Water
  • Scythe or clippers

About the Author


Kathy Burns-Millyard has been a professional writer since 1997. Originally specializing in business, technology, environment and health topics, Burns now focuses on home, garden and hobby interest articles. Her garden work has appeared on GardenGuides.com and other publications. She enjoys practicing Permaculture in her home garden near Tucson, Ariz.