by Sam Doll
Now that fall is nearly upon us, it’s time to start thinking about planting grass seeds! Don’t know what you are doing? Don’t worry. We are here to help. Here are our 5 tips to successfully plant grass seed this season!
1. The Season Matters
While some warm-weather grasses, like bermudagrass, should be planted in early summer, most grasses need mild weather to successfully germinate and survive. Freezes and harsh heat can kill off your baby grass before it has a chance to become established. Late Spring and early Fall, when the soil temperature is between 50 to 80 degrees, is the best time to plant most grass seeds.
2. Find the Right Seed
Find the grass that will suit your lifestyle and location. Some mixes, like our Green Manure and Cool Season Cover Crop, are great for restoring the soil nutrients in your soil. Some, like our Colorado Supreme Turf Grass Mix, are better for heavy foot traffic. Native and drought-tolerant grasses are great for creating a sustainable and low-maintenance landscape. Make sure to consider your soil type, climate, amount of sun, and intended use when picking a grass mix.
3. Prepare Your Soil
Once you’ve chosen your site, use a shovel or a sod cutter to remove the existing plants and grass from the area. Remove any debris and rocks you see, till the soil, and fill in any low spots. You want your soil to be broken into pebble-sized particles.
Rake the site to even out the soil and remove small debris. Be careful when bringing in new topsoil to make sure it doesn’t contain unwanted weed seeds.
Optional: You can send a soil sample to your local extension office to have it tested to see if you need any soil amendments. As for pH, you generally want to keep the soil between 6.0 and 7.0.
4. Seed and Fertilize
Once your site is prepped, it’s time to seed. Using a drop spreader or a broadcast spreader, spread half the seed lengthwise over your site, then use the other half and spread crosswise over your site. A recommended seeding rate will be listed on the seed tag.
Feeding with starter (weak) fertilizer the same day as you spread seed will provide proper nutrients for early growth and establishment. Make sure the site stays moist, but not soggy, through germination.
Different mixes require different maintenance. Generally, once the grass reaches 5-6 inches (for turf type), it is recommended to cut it to encourage even growth. Water and fertilize as needed.