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How to Plant Grass Seeds in the Fall

By Lauren Wise ; Updated September 21, 2017

Fall and spring are the best seasons to plant grass seed on your lawn, because of the mild weather and abundant rainfall. In the fall, it is important to make sure the lawn is seeded before the first frost, in early fall if possible. When seeded properly, you will be rewarded with a healthy green lawn. The key to seeding your own lawn is to protect the grass seed after planting it.

Loosen up the soil in your lawn in all the areas you are going to plant the grass seed. Rake back and forth over the soil until it is loosened about 2 inches deep. Remove and discard of any rocks or broken roots from the soil. Make sure the soil is even and smoothed over on top with the rake.

Spread the grass seed over the soil in a thick, even layer with your hands, following the directions on the type of grass seed you purchased. Different grass seeds and regions require specific instructions and amounts. Use the rake again to go over the grass seed to make it evenly distributed and integrated into the soil.

Layer peat moss over the planted grass seed about 1/4 to 1/3 inch thick. This will provide protection from foraging birds, animals or strong winds.

Use a sprinkler or irrigation system (ideally) to water the newly planted grass seed thoroughly. Do this right after you lay the peat moss, in two increments of ten minutes each so the water doesn't puddle and shift around the grass seed. You want the water to seep down about five to six inches. Water the yard twice a day for the first two weeks: once in the morning, and again in the afternoon. The grass seed will germinate within one and a half to two weeks.

 

Things You Will Need

  • Gardening gloves
  • Rake
  • Grass seed
  • Peat moss
  • Water (sprinkler or irrigation system)

Tips

  • Once the grass germinates, reduce the watering time to once a day for a week, then once every other day the next week, and so forth. Once the grass seed is matured, water it only once a week to establish deep roots.
  • Fertilize the lawn five weeks after the seeds germinate.
  • Mow the lawn once it is 3 inches tall.