How To Plant Grass Seed

Almost everyone has to plant grass seed at some point in their lives. Grass seed is a great way to get a new lawn started. It’s a big job, but it will be worth it when you can finally enjoy a lush green yard.

But how should you go about planting your grass seed? What are the basics that you need to know in order to get the best results? In this blog post, we’ll outline everything you need to know in order to plant grass seed like a pro!

We’ll start by discussing the different types of grass seed and when is the best time of year to plant them. Then we’ll walk you through each step of the process, from preparing your soil to watering and maintaining your new lawn.

By the end of this post, you should have all the information you need to successfully plant grass seed and create the lawn your whole neighborhood will envy. Let’s get going!

Sowing Grass Seed

Grass seed is basically what it sounds like. It’s a collection of seeds that, once set out in the ground and nurtured, will sprout into grass. You can buy it in a large bag and it consists of tiny seeds which resemble little grains that measure approximately 1 cm or less in diameter.

When we talk about sowing grass seed, we are talking about spreading and planting grass seed on a lawn or field that doesn’t currently have grass on it. You may have heard that is also called reseeding your lawn.

Re-seeding is when you plant new grass seed in a lawn in which the grass has thinned out or you want to replace your current grass with a new grass type. However, planting or sowing grass seed can be done on any patch of soil, regardless if it had grass on it before or not.

Types of Grass Seed

Grass seed is relatively easy to sow, but there are a few things you need to know before you get started. The first thing to consider is what type of grass seed you want to use.

There are two main types of grass seed: cool-season and warm-season grasses. These different varieties have different requirements and perform better in varied circumstances, such as the time of year you sow the seeds.

Warm Season Grasses

Warm-season grasses are grasses that begin growing when the temperature reaches 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 C), and they flourish best in temperatures ranging from 77 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit (25 – 35 C). In the winter, they go dormant and become brown.

Many warm season grasses are resistant to drought conditions and can withstand significant summer heat. Zoysia Grass, Bermuda Grass, St. Augustine Grass, and Buffalo Grass are all examples of warm-season grasses.

Cold Season Grasses

Cool-season grasses thrive in areas with mild or cool summers, with two spikes of rapid development in the spring and fall. These grasses begin germinating at around 40 degrees Fahrenheit (5 C) and reach their peak growth rate anywhere from 50 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit (10 – 25 C).

Cool-season grasses are thick, green, and carpet-like in their growth pattern. They can withstand low temperatures and grow in lush lawns with little thatch. Cool-season grasses include Bluegrass, Ryegrass, Bentgrass, and Fescues.

Single Variety or Blend

Aside from selecting a high-quality grass seed that matches your area, you should also think about the unique qualities of your lawn. Examine the place where you want to plant the grass. Is there shade over one part of your lawn? Or any other specific properties that are not ubiquitous to the whole yard?

In this case, you might want to think of getting a grass seed blend. Seed is sold in different forms: pure seed of one variety, blends (various sorts of the same type) and mixtures (seed blends from various types).

Each type of grass seed has its advantages. You will have a more unified appearance if you use pure seed. Blends will be somewhat less uniform, but one variety may compensate for another’s flaws. The most biologically varied lawn is provided by grass seed mixtures. Your grass blades will not look identical, but the difference in types could increase your lawn’s chances of surviving disease and droughts.

When To Plant Grass Seed

The best time to plant your grass seed depends on the type of grass you are planting. Cold season grasses and warm season grasses have different needs and should be sown at different times of the year.

If you’re planting a cool-season grass, the best time to seed your lawn is in the fall, from late August through the end of September. However, they may also be planted in the spring, between early April and mid-May, if you had a bad winter and want to reseed for an excellent green summer lawn.

Warm-season grasses should be planted in the spring, around May; they aren’t meant to be grown in the fall because they will die over the cold winter months.

You don’t want to plant grass seed in the middle of summer or during the winter. Both would be bad for the seed and it most likely will not germinate at all. Summer is too hot and often doesn’t provide enough precipitation, and in winter the soil is frozen and not conducive to anything growing.

For additional information, see our post on when is best to plant grass seed.

How to Plant Grass Seed On a New or Existing Lawn

Once you have selected the right grass seed for your climate and needs, it’s time to plant. There are a few steps to get the most out of your lawn and grass seeds. First, you should prepare your lawn and soil, and only then should you plant your grass seed. Finally, don’t forget to water your seeds after they’re planted.

Lawn and Soil Preparation

Before you sow grass seed on your lawn, you have to prepare it. Remove any large objects or trash from your lawn first, as you don’t want anything to get in the way of the seeds.

Additionally, tilling the soil will help to break apart any large clumps and will also help to blend in some of the new topsoil and organic matter that you’ll add later. A garden tiller may be rented from most hardware stores, or you can do it by hand using a shovel.

If you live in a region with difficult or compacted dirt, consider aerating it. This loosens cores of soil and creates spikes in the ground so that water and nutrients can more readily be absorbed into the earth and root system.

You might also consider adding a soil conditioner at this time. A soil conditioner aids in the loosening of the soil and makes it simpler for new grass seeds to take root, as well as enhances the fertility of the soil and its capacity to feed the grass with nutrients.

Plant Grass Seed and Fertilize

It’s now time to broadcast the grass seed. You may use a seed and fertilizer spreader for this, or you can do it manually.

Make careful not to over-seed by distributing the seed equally. You shouldn’t dump a bunch of seeds in one place; this will cause the grass to choke from the overpopulation and none of it will get the nutrients it needs. For a new lawn, you should look to apply the grass seed at a rate of 50 grams per square meter.

After the seeds have been scattered, carefully rake them into the dirt to help them sink down and come in contact with moist soil underneath the top dirt. However, don’t go overboard with this because you might end up raking the seeds into clumps or unevenly dispersing them!

When the grass seed is completely sown, go over it again with a grass seed or new grass fertilizer. This will ensure that your seeds get all of the minerals they require, as well as prepare the soil for when they germinate and begin to thrive.

Post Planting: Watering and Mowing

It’s critical to maintain the soil after seeding until the new grass has germinated and started to develop.

For example, after seeding and fertilizing your lawn, you would want to water it as soon as possible with a deep, long water. After this, you should then water it every day for up to six weeks afterward. However, you don’t want to either over- or under-water it – the soil should feel moist for approximately an inch below the surface, but not too wet.

Different grass seeds have varying germination intervals, so don’t worry if your grass is not growing immediately! Check out our article for more information about how long it will take for your grass will grow.

Finally, you should avoid walking on your new grass lawn if at all possible. Try hanging strings around to remind yourself and your family that it’s off limits for the first six weeks, until it has grown full and lush.

It takes approximately 3 – 4 weeks to grow your grass from seedling to the size where it may be mowed and walked on without being damaged. As a result, the procedure on a whole will usually take anywhere from 4 – 7 weeks, with an average duration of 5 – 6 weeks.

It’s best to use the height of the grass as a general indication of the best time to first mow your lawn. When the blades of grass reach a height of 3 to 3.5 inches, it is typically OK to mow them. You might expose your lawn to danger if the blades are any less than that. If you are worried about hurting your lawn, just wait a little longer; there is no downside to mowing when the grass is a little taller.

How to Overseed an Existing Lawn

Overseeding, as opposed to reseeding or planting grass seed on new soil, is the technique of adding new seed to an existing lawn. You can use this method to fill in gaps, thicken up the grass, and improve the overall health of your lawn. It’s also an excellent strategy for keeping weeds and other pests at bay.

The process of overseeding a lawn is basically the same as sowing new grass seed, but because there is already grass on the lawn, you simply want to spread less seed.

Whereas planting grass seed on a new lawn should be done at a rate of 50 grams per square meter, it is suggested that you use 35 grams of seed per square meter when overseeding an existing lawn.

Final Thoughts

So, there you have it! Everything you need to know about planting grass seed. By following these simple steps, you’ll be on your way to a lush and healthy lawn in no time at all.

Planting grass seed is a relatively easy process, but there are a few things to keep in mind in order to make sure your lawn looks great and flourishes. We’ve outlined the basics of planting grass seed in this post, as well as how to overseed an existing lawn.

Regardless of your starting point, we hope these tips will help your yard look its best this spring and summer. With a little bit of effort, you should be able to achieve the beautiful green lawn you desire. And don’t forget, if you have any questions or run into any problems along the way, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. Happy planting!

Photo of author
Written by Linda Chan
Linda Chan is a passionate gardener and writer with a background in horticulture and landscape design. She has over 10 years of experience working in the lawn care industry and has a deep understanding of the science and art of keeping a lawn healthy and beautiful.