4 Tips for Planting Grass Seed

Written by B. Leslie Baird
Updated October 18, 2012
green grass lawn
Want a green lawn as quickly as possible? Learn when to plant your grass. (Photo by Roger Tunis)

Spring and fall are both excellent times to plant new grass seed. Using grass seed is easy and doesn't take long to see the lush, green results.

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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.

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.

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. Wait before adding fertilizer

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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