- How to Harvest Grass Seed
- How to Sand Over Grass Seed
- How to Plant Grass Seed in the Rain
- Is November Too Late to Plant Grass Seed?
- Storing Grass Seed
- Will Grass Seed Grow in Overcast Weather?
- How Long Does Grass Seed Stay Good?
- The Best Grass Seed for Full Sun
- How to Speed up Grass Seed Germination
- What is the Shelf Life of Grass Seed?
- The Best Time to Plant Grass Seed After Fertilizing
- The Best Grass Seed for a High-Traffic Area
- Can You Walk on Newly Laid Grass Seed?
- When is the Best Time to Spread Grass Seed?
- How to Plant Grass in Oregon
- How to Protect Grass Seed
- When to Plant Grass Seed in West Virginia
- The Best Grass Seed for Southern Lawns
- Signs That Grass Seed is Growing
- Facts About Grass Seed
- How to Care for New Grass Seed
- Grass Seed Information
- How to Mow Grass Seed
- How to Use a Rotary Spreader
- When Is Grass Seed Ready to Harvest?
- Is It Good to Let Grass Go to Seed?
- How to Plant Grass Seed in Compacted Soils
- The Average Grow Time for Grass Seed
- How to Let Your Grass Seed
- What Season Should I Plant Grass Seed in Oregon?
- Can You Put Down Grass Seed in Winter?
Grass seed harvesting does not have to be a complicated task. The most important factor is waiting until the seedhead has matured before detaching it from the plant. Cut too early and the seed will not be viable and will not germinate. Take time to let the grass grow and the seedheads to fully mature, and you will be rewarded with plump mature seeds.
Stop mowing the lawn if you are trying to harvest a patch of lawn grass seed.
Allow the seedheads to develop completely until they are plump and drying out; typically it takes 20 to 30 days for seedheads to ripen after flowering.
Cut the stems of the seedheads 2 to 3 inches below the bottom of the seeds. Hold the seedhead carefully to keep the seeds from falling out.
Place the whole cutting into a paper bag. Loose seeds will fall to the bottom of the bag. The seeds that stay in the seedhead will continue drying until they are ready to fall out.
Store the closed bag of collected seeds and seedheads in a cool and dark place away from the danger of pests. Shake the bag vigorously after six to eight weeks. Pour out the seeds into a container. Remove the extra plant material and store the grass seed in an airtight container. The seeds should be ready to use the next growing season.
Broadcast a light covering (less than 1/4 inch) of sand over the grass seed. Sprinkle the sand over the ground by hand in small lawns or use a broadcast spreader with holes small enough to broadcast sand. Make two passes over the lawn, 90 degrees to each other, to ensure even coverage.
Increase the grass seed's contact with the sand and soil by pressing it down with an empty lawn roller. Make two passes over the lawn, at 90-degree angles to each other. If you do not have a lawn roller, simply walking over the lawn will ensure good contact.
Water the soil with 1 to 2 inches of water (more for sandy soils) so the top few inches of soil are moist but not soaked.
Watch the weather forecast and plan to seed your grass when a rainy period is forecasted. A steady, long-duration light rain is ideal.
Loosen the soil in the area you want to plant your grass seed with your garden rake.
Sprinkle the area with 16 to 22 grass seeds per square inch. Use a broadcast spreader if seeding large areas. Set it to the setting indicated on the grass seed bag to achieve the correct dispensing rate.
Rake the soil to cover the seeds. Burying them in the soil will allow them to achieve the necessary seed to soil contact required for germination and also prevent birds from eating them.
Watch the weather closely. If natural rainfall subsides, you will need to supplement extra water to keep the soil moist.
The best time to sow grass seed through out the United States is late summer through early fall before October 1. This gives the grass enough time to set a root system for the winter season. Sow the grass seed in early spring if you are unable to plant before October 1.
Put the grass seed in a cloth sack. Cloth is good for storing seeds, as it allows air to flow through, which in turn reduces the risk of mold growth. You can keep the seeds in the original packaging if it is still intact.
Store the seeds in a refrigerator. A cold, dry environment is best for storing seeds. If you do not have room in a refrigerator, store the seeds in the coolest, driest area of your house, such as a basement. Since basements are often damp, you should put a small, open box of baking soda in the seed bag to absorb excess moisture.
Plant the seeds within eight to 10 months. The longer the seeds sit, the less likely they are to germinate, so use them as soon as possible.
Grass seed will definitely germinate and grow in cloudy weather as long as the soil temperature is at least 50 degrees Fahrenheit and the soil is consistently moist. Cloudy weather may actually help with germination because the soil will not dry out as quickly.
Stored properly in a dry, tightly-sealed container, grass seed can last two to three years. Test yours by planting a few kernels in a flower pot.
The best grass seed for full sun is Bermuda if you live in the southern part of the United States, where warm-season grasses thrive. In the north, the best cool-season grass for full sun is tall fescue. "Full sun" typically means at least eight hours of unfiltered sunshine a day.
Mix up a batch of cold, strong-brewed Lipton tea. Pour your grass seed into a jar and add 2 tablespoons of Lipton tea for every pound of grass seed. Mix thoroughly.
Set the jar in the refrigerator for 5 days and do not disturb.
Spread out newspapers on the floor of your garage or basement. Spread out the seeds on the newspaper and allow to dry for 1 or 2 days.
Sow the seeds into your lawn as you would untreated grass seed.
Grass seed shelf life is 3-5 years. Germination rates decline 10 to 25 percent each year of storage. Increase the seeding rate when using stored seed.
Plant grass seed immediately after fertilizing, so the grass seeds can take advantage of the nutrients while they are fresh in the ground. Make sure there is no weed killer in the fertilizer (no weed-and-feed combos), as the weed killer also will prevent germination of the grass seed.
Plant turf-type tall fescue grass seed in lawn areas that have high foot-traffic conditions. The grass grows well in partial shade and full sun and has good drought tolerance when the conditions are not extreme.
It is best to avoid walking on newly laid grass seed. Avoid the area until the grass has become established. Warm season grass types can be walked on after about 3 months. Cool season grass types can be walked on after about 1 month.
The best time to spread new grass seed is early fall. The extreme heat of summer is gone, most weeds are dead and diseases are under control.
Remove any objects from your lawn, such as lawn furniture or barbecues. Then, mow your existing lawn as short as possible. The grass seed you're planting will overseed your existing lawn.
Rake bare patches on your lawn with a hand rake to loosen the top 1/4 inch of soil.
Add bagged topsoil to fill in dips in your lawn to even out the grade. If your lawn has an even grade with no dips or valleys, skip this step.
Sow your grass seed over your lawn by hand or with a mechanical spreader. Greenview Fertilizer suggests applying 16 grass seeds per square inch. Choose a type of grass seed that grows well in Oregon, using Oregon Grass Seed's seed list (see Resources).
Water your lawn until the soil becomes moist but not saturated.
Water the lawn daily (until it becomes moist but not saturated) until the grass seed germinates and grows to a minimum height of 2 inches. At this point, your new grass is well established.
Use a rake over the seeds after they have been planted, raking about the top 1/8 inch of the soil. This helps mix the grass seeds into the soil.
Sprinkle 1/4 inch of peat moss on top of the grass seed to provide protection from wind and heat.
Water your lawn consistently over the month, depending on the weather. It is important to keep your lawn moist constantly. Don't water so much though that the soil puddles because the seeds will wash away.
Make sure to keep animals and people off the lawn so the new growth doesn't get destroyed. Install a fence around the lawn or a sign, or make sure to tell your family and friends not to walk on the soil.
Let the grass grow up to about 3 to 4 inches before mowing. This will ensure that the grass takes root and is well established. When it reaches this point, mow it as usual.
The best time to plant grass seed in West Virginia is starting in mid-August through mid-September. The second best time to plant grass seed is starting in the month of March through mid-May.
The best grass seed for lawns in the South, an area of the country known for its hot, humid summers, are warm-season grasses such as Bermudagrass and Bahiagrass. These varieties love the sun and are relatively low-maintenance, drought tolerant and more resistant to insects and diseases than other varieties.
Look at the seeds to see if they are splitting; all seeds regardless of the plant split to allow shoots to emerge. Watch for tiny white dots or thin, low, pale shoots emerging from the seed. This is the first sign that the grass is growing. Use a magnifying glass if you cannot see this with the naked eye. Wait a few days after planting the seed to start looking for shoots.
Read the seed bag to determine how long it should take for grass to grow from seed. Most grass takes from two weeks to almost one month time to grow; rye grass can grow within 10 days while buffalo grass can take up to 28 days. Look for a light thin covering of grass in the planting area. The blades will appear as thin long strands.
Observe the color of the grass once the sprouts emerge. The sprouts will turn from white to a light green. The shade of the color will darken as the blades develop. Mow the grass at the highest setting of the mower at this point; this encourages the grass to push energy down into the roots and develop more blades, thereby filling in the lawn.
Grass seed falls into two categories: warm season and cool season. Areas north of USDA zone 8 are considered cool season zones. Zones 9 through 12 are warm season grass seed zones.
Lawn seed mixtures contain different seed types that germinate at different times. Annual seeds tend to germinate more quickly than perennial types.
All grass seed needs water to germinate, but once established, some types are more drought resistant than others. Kentucky bluegrass and the fescues need less watering while rough bluegrass, rye and bent grasses need more.
For play areas and other high-traffic areas, choose a perennial ryegrass or tall fescue seed. These are more resistant to wear damage than fine fescues or creeping bentgrass.
Most cool season turf grasses grow best with partial or full sun. In areas of dense shade, turfgrass experts at Purdue Extension suggest using shade-loving groundcovers as an alternative to grass. Warm season grass seed is more shade tolerant.
Do not use pre-emergent weed controls on a newly seeded lawn. To encourage beneficial soil microbes and earthworm activity, avoid insecticide use during the first year of growth.
Use a rake to smooth over the grass seed on your lawn after the grass seed has been applied. The rake will help integrate the grass seed into the soil. Sprinkle a blanket of about 1/4 inch of peat moss over the grass seeds.
Use irrigation or a sprinkler to water the newly seeded lawn generously. For the first couple waterings, you want the water to penetrate the first 6 inches of soil. You don't want to create puddles, so you may have to break up the watering into increments. Water the lawn 2 to 3 times a day for the first 3 weeks, once in the morning, afternoon and evening.
Reduce the frequency of the watering gradually once you see the grass seeds sprouting. When your grass is fully grown, water it once a week generously to penetrate to the deep roots, but don't over water it.
Apply fertilizer about 5 to 6 weeks after germination, following the instructions for your type of grass and environment.
Let the grass grow until it is about 3 to 4 inches tall before using a lawn mower as you usually would. This will ensure that the grass is established.
Grass is a green monocot with blade-like leaves that produces long panicles of hundreds of small seeds. Grass seed is widely available, from catalogs to garden centers and hardware stores.
The function of most grass seed is to grow into lawns that hold soil in place. Grass lawns are customary in temperate climates. Grass is also used as silage, in grazing pastures and as ornamentals in gardens and landscapes.
Grass seed may be annual or perennial. Annual grass seed germinates and grows faster and may be used in mixtures to provide “quick cover” for slower growing perennial varieties.
Each variety grows better in specific zones, based on climate. St. Augustine, Bahia and Bermuda grass are popular warm season grasses. Bentgrass and Kentucky bluegrass are common cool season grasses. Tall fescue and perennial ryegrass are successful in “transitional” areas between warm and cool season growing areas.
A seed mixture should be appropriate for the growing area and have a guaranteed germination rate of at least 85 percent. It should contain less than 0.3 percent weeds, less than 0.5 percent other crops, no weeds and less than 8 percent inert matter.
Wait until the grass seeds germinate and grow to a height of 3 inches before you mow it for the first time.
Set your mower to a height of 2-½ inches. Each mower is set different, but push mowers are often set at each wheel, using a lever that you pull to adjust the height.
Mow the new grass up and down in rows. Then, decide on how high to maintain your grass. To grow a plush, weed-free lawn, mow most grasses at a height of 2 to 3 inches. However, some grasses, such as bermudagrass should be mowed at shorter heights. Always mow grass so that no more than 1/3 of the height is cut off at one time.
Read the fertilizer or grass seed bag carefully to determine the setting at which to set the rotary spreader.
Set the dial of the rotary spreader to the indicated setting. Pour the fertilizer or grass seed into the rotary spreader.
Push the rotary spreader to the area where you will spread the material. Squeeze the lever on the rotary spreader handle to open the dispensing door on the spreader.
Walk back and forth across the area in parallel paths to ensure an even spread of the material in the spreader.
Release the lever when finished, and push the rotary spreader back to its storage location.
Grass seed is ready to harvest when the tips of the grass seed heads start to shatter. This generally occurs 20 to 30 days after flowering.
Do not let grass go to seed, because it diverts energy from growing stalks and leaves. In addition, mowing stimulates growth.
Aerate the compacted soil by puncturing small holes in the thatch and top soil using an aerator.
Rake the lawn clear of rocks and organic debris using a flexible, metal rake.
Sow the grass seeds by evenly distributing the seeds over the lawn using a spreader. Use 4 lbs. of seed per 1000 square feet of lawn area.
Sprinkle 1/10-inch layer of lawn lime over the seeds using a fertilizer spreader. Lime increases the pH balance of the top soil.
Cover the lime and seeds with a 3/4-inch layer of clean compost or peat moss fertilizer. Fertilizer promotes grass growth by regulating soil temperature, increasing moisture absorbency, and adding minerals and nutrients.
Water the grass seeds once daily for two weeks or until new grass growth is visible through the top soil.
The average time it takes grass seed to grow depends on several different factors. These include the type of grass it is, the weather and the area it is planted in. Some varieties of grass seed sprout in as little as one week, while others may take from 20 to 30 days.
Remove weeds, sticks and other debris from the planting area. Run a rototiller until the soil is loosened up to a depth of 6 inches. Break up soil clumps that are larger than 1 inch in diameter.
Level off the planting area to keep water from pooling. Fill in dips with top soil. Rake until smooth.
Add sand and compost to the soil to improve drainage and boost nutrients. Spread 1 inch of each substance. Till it into the soil until it is well combined.
Use a starter-seed fertilizer to help the seed grow. The packaging should denote a high level of phosphorus, which nourishes the roots. Set a broadcast spreader to the rate specified by the manufacturer.
Spread grass seed with a mechanical or hand spreader, depending on the size of the planting area. Run the back of a metal rake over the seed to smooth it out.
Set a sprinkler to the oscillating setting. Let the water run for five to 10 minutes two to three times daily. Continue this for 10 days, then water once a day for 15 to 30 minutes.
The Best Time to Plant
Start your grass seed from August 15 to September 15. The weather conditions are ideal, allowing seeds to germinate and grow quickly. Planting well in advance of first frost lets the grass mature before winter, ensuring its return as an established lawn come spring.
Planting in Summer
Temperatures in the summer are generally higher than the 65- to 80-degree range recommended for starting grass. Seeds will be competing with other plants, with the elements working against them. Water the lawn carefully to prevent drowning or dehydrating the seeds. Use a fertilizer applied with the water hose to minimize burn caused from hot sun and direct fertilizing.
Planting in the Fall and Spring
Seed planted in weather cooler than 65 degrees F will lay dormant on the ground until the soil warms. This makes the seed vulnerable to being blown or washed away. Increase the density of the seed applied and follow with fertilizer. If your lawn is weedy, the Oregon Grass Seed information website recommends treating weeds in the fall and laying your seed the following spring.
Mow your lawn until it stops growing in the fall, and aerate the surface at least every other year. Clear the lawn of any leaves and twigs before you lay seed; this increases the chances the seed will germinate when temperatures warm up.
If you have an especially large lawn, consider using a seed spreader device that you hand crank as you walk over the lawn. Spread the seed on the lawn so you have about four seeds for each square inch. Water the seeds until the ground is wet, but not fully saturated. Wait until the spring for the seeds to germinate.
Try to walk on the seeds as little as possible to allow them the best chance of surviving and germinating. If you plan on feeding your lawn a fertilizer on the same day as seeding, apply the fertilizer and then the seeds.
Some homeowners place straw on top of the seeds to keep birds from eating the seeds. If you expect snow soon it is not necessary to cover the seeds, the snow will protect the seeds for you.