Starting a Lawn From Seed

By The Old House Web

Starting a Lawn From Seed

The best time plant grass seed is from late August to early September. Spring and fall provide favorable growing conditions for cool season lawn grasses. Seeding in late summer provides two peak growth seasons before the new lawn must experience a period of hot, dry summer weather.

Dormant seeding may be done in November. Low temperatures keep the grass seed from germinating.

Early spring seedings are not as successful as the previous two times. The grass plants do not have enough time to get well established before hot summer weather.

Grass seed can be spread over the ground with a fertilizer spreader. Use about 4 pounds of seed per 1000 square feet of area. Drag a broom rake over the seeded area to mix the seed into the soil surface. Next, cover the new seeding with straw, using 1 bale for each 500 square feet of area.

Watering is critical for new seedings. Sprinkle lightly several times a day to keep the soil surface cool and moist.

When the grass is about 2 inches tall remove half the straw. The rest can be allowed to decompose naturally.

Mowing can begin when the grass is 2 1/2 to 3 inches tall. The mower blade must be sharp. Dull blades will pull the young plants out of the ground rather than cut the leaves.

Fertilize with a lawn fertilizer when the plants are 2 inches tall. Be sure to water in the fertilizer if the instructions on the bag say to do so.

Water so that an inch of water per week is applied to the new seeding.

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