6 Tips for Seeding Your Lawn
Keeping a perfectly green lawn can be a lot of work and seeding your lawn is an important part of fostering lush, healthy grass. Seeding is not rocket science but there are some important steps and techniques to prepare your lawn for seeding to get the best results year round.
How to seed your lawn successfully
1. Choose the correct seed. Generally a blend of tall fescue varieties are best for residential lawns in the mid-Atlantic region and you can contact a local lawn professional for advice on effective varieties for your area. Also be sure to consider light levels. If you have a shady area, pick up a blend that has a shade tolerant variety in the seed mix.
2. Seed at the appropriate time of year. The fall generally provides the best results. September to October is the ideal time to seed. Seed will germinate and start to grow in the fall and then has all next spring to establish before the heat and drought of the summer.
3. Establish proper seed to soil contact at time of application. You have lots of options for making sure your seeds have soil contact. Aeration works well as it provides holes for the seed to fall into. Adding topsoil to an area and raking the seed into it or actually mixing the seed into the topsoil before spreading is another method as well as dethatching before seeding.
4. Provide adequate moisture. Once the seed gets wet the first time you should attempt to keep it moist by watering lightly two or three times a day, if possible. After seven to ten days the watering can be reduced to once a day and after 21 days, reduced to every other day.
5. Use a starter fertilizer. A starter fertilizer helps in the establishment of seedlings. A starter fertilizer will contain phosphorus, a key nutrient for seedlings. A soil test prior to seeding can assist in determining which fertilizer will best benefit your particular soil and promote healthy growth.
6. Perform continual maintenance. It is important to keep the leaves raked off the grass areas in the fall as the seedlings need sunlight. Follow the soil test recommendations on additional fertilizer applications throughout the year. Applying additional seeding in the spring to cover any bare spots or thin areas is a great follow up to ensure even coverage and growth. Once the grass has grown tall enough to trim, be mindful not to cut it too short. A reasonable height of 2.5-3 inches is most beneficial for the continued health of your grass.