How To Plant A New Lawn Using Grass Seed

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  1. Measure the area to be planted to determine how much seed you are going to need. Example: Length x Width = Total Square Feet (50 feet long x’s 20 feet wide = 1000 square feet. Each grass seed page of our web site offers a grass seed calculator to determine how much seed you need.
  2. Test the soil with a simple pH soil kit to check if you soil is acid or alkaline. If acid (a pH of 6 or less) apply a fast acting dolomite lime at the rate of 50 pounds per 1000 square feet. If alkaline (a pH of 7 or higher) apply a granular gypsum at the rate of 50 lbs per 1,000 square feet. Allow sufficient time for the lime or gypsum to work its way in to the soil.
  3. Level the seed bed to eliminate high or low spots by brining in clean, rich, top soil. Roll to firm the soil. If your ground is very uneven (holes, tunnels, slopes etc.) and you must till, then till the soil to a depth of 4 to 6 inches. If you have heavy clay soils, apply a soil amendment such as gypsum, lime, peat moss, or compost at the recommend package rates. Soil should be loose and clod free when properly prepared. This step is not necessary if your lawn is already at a level (pH, compaction, fertility) as you would like it. Tilling will promote new weed growth and/or grass growth. If you do choose to till, you will need to level the ground, water the soil for several weeks and then spray out any weeds and/or grasses before you plant your grass seed. You may even need to spray out more then once so this process could take a month or more
  4. Apply seed at the recommended seeding rate. We recommend you broadcast or drop spread 1/2 of the seed walking North to South and broadcast or drop spread the other 1/2 of the seed walking East to West. This gives you a nice even spread. You may use an organic starter fertilizer as per directions on the package. Be careful not to over fertilize as this can kill the new seedlings when they sprout. 
  5. It is not necessary to cover lawn seed when planting.  Many people choose to cover the seed to help retain moisture and help hold seed in place.  If you choose to cover the seed, do so with peat moss, fluffy top soil, or clean straw (preferably sterilized straw), at a maximum of 1/4 inch thick or a seed covering per package directions. Coated seed (ie. bermuda, dichondra, microclover, etc.) should not be covered more than 1/8 inch.
  6. Water gently with an oscillating type of sprinkler. KEEP SEED MOIST UNTIL GRASS BEGINS TO GROW. Then, decrease water frequency but increase the length of each watering. This helps ensure a deep rooted, vigorous lawn.
  7. Do not mow until your lawn is at the recommended height (see chart above). For most grasses this is about 3 - 6 weeks from time of planting. Be gentle!! These new plants are very tender – avoid sharp turns with your lawn mower.
  8. After mowing twice, fertilize with a quality lawn food. Do not apply weed and feed fertilizers for at least 10 weeks and preferably not at all. It is better to use a liquid herbicide to kill your weeds and then an organic fertilizer to keep your soil healthy.