4 tips for planting grass seed

When purchasing new grass seed, you should consider the climate where you live and the amount of sun your yard receives.

When purchasing new grass seed, you should consider the climate where you live and the amount of sun your yard receives.

Spring and fall are both excellent times to plant new grass seed. Regardless if you need to patch a small dead spot, or reseed your entire lawn, planting grass seed is easy and it doesn't take long to see results.

Choose the correct seed type

There are many varieties of grass seed available. When choosing a seed type, you should consider the climate and the amount of light your lawn receive.

Kentucky bluegrass is ideal for use in sunny locations, and it's resilient under heavy foot traffic. A perennial ryegrass is also a good choice for sunny areas. Fine fescue and shade-tolerant varieties of Kentucky bluegrass grow well in shady sections.

Spring or Fall planting

Planting new grass from seed works in either the spring or fall. In areas with extremely wet spring seasons, planting in the fall is a better choice. If you live in an area that gets early winters, plant in the spring or very early fall for the best results.

1. Preparation steps

Before planting, prepare the area by clearing away dead grass and weeds. Tilling or heavy raking will loosen the top layer of soil. Add a fertilizer designed for seeding, and then till or rake a second time to mix in the fertilizer.

2. Sowing the seed correctly

Use a broadcast spreader to evenly distribute the seed around your yard. It's helpful to cover the newly seeded area with straw to prevent birds from eating the seeds. Mark off the area with rope to prohibit foot traffic.

3. Watering needs

The soil needs to be moist at all times for germination to occur. In general, the first four inches of the soil should be damp. Water as needed, but don't allow water to puddle in newly seeded areas. In most locations, daily watering is best. Continue with frequent watering until the new grass is established.

4. Watch your grass grow

Your grass should germinate and start to grow in about two weeks. Don't apply heavy fertilizers or herbicides until the lawn is established.

For more information, visit the Angie's List Guide to Lawn Care.


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Ask Angie: What’s the best way to reseed a lawn?

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If you have a large area you want to reseed, consider aerating first. (Photo courtesy of Pamela W. of Richmond, Virginia)
If you have a large area you want to reseed, consider aerating first. (Photo courtesy of Pamela W. of Richmond, Virginia)

It takes more than just tossing around some grass seed and hoping for the best to transform thin, patchy turf into a lush green lawn. Follow these expert tips.

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