Fall (September and early October) and spring (April to early June) are the best times to plant grass seed because seed germinates best when temperatures are between 61ºF and 70ºF. Plant the seed when temperatures are between 60ºF to 80ºF.
- Know the coverage area (L x W of area)
- Most grasses require at least 4 to 6 hours of sunlight every day.
Before planting grass seed prep the area by raking to loosen the top layer of soil and remove dead grass. The seed must make contact with the soil in order to take root. Don't plant grass seed too soon after applying a weed prevention or control product. Especially crabgrass preventers.
Using a spreader, first apply your starter fertilizer, then apply your seed. Seed can be covered with Penn Mulch or a thin layer of top soil when applying seed directly to ground. Ensure seed is evenly spread. Don't over apply grass seed because the seedlings need enough space to access water and nutrients. Make sure there is some bare ground visible. By applying Penn Mulch or soil after seeding will help the seed germinate quicker, prevent birds from eating the seed and protect the seed from direct sunlight.
Watering is the critical step to seeding success by keeping the soil surface moist. Gently water your newly planted grass seed at least once a day until it has grown 2 inches tall. Remember to water sunny areas more often than shady. Unlike established grass, newly planted grass needs to be watered more frequently as opposed to deeply. Do not water so heavily that the water pools and causes your seed to wash away. Keep pets, mowers and foot traffic away from newly planted grass seed until the grass is 3 inches high. Re-apply grass seed if the seed washes away or is eaten by birds/other animals.
Seed will begin to grow in 5-10 days. You can mow the seedlings when they reach 3 inches in height. Don't use a weed prevention on your newly planted grass seed. Wait until after at least 3 mowings. Lawn Food can be applied over your entire lawn 6-8 weeks after seeding. By feeding your lawn it provides the nutrients it needs to grow thick and green. Store grass seed in a cool and dry place to prevent heat and moisture from damaging the seed and reducing its germination rate.
General Maintenance Guidelines
If you keep your lawn healthy, you'll do a lot to keep weeds from taking over. Just follow these simple tips, and your lawn will look the way you always wanted it to.
- Mow High and Keep Blades SHARP: Some people think that healthy lawns look like putting greens. The fact is longer grass grows longer, healthier roots. By raising the setting on your lawnmower (and keeping your blades sharp), you'll do a lot to help your grass grow thick and healthy. A thick lawn keeps weeds out.
- Feed Your Lawn: Lawns need nutrients. Regular feeding helps them develop healthy roots and blades. Start with a spring feed around the first time that you mow. Follow with a late summer, fall, and Thanksgiving feeding, and your lawn will be as lush and beautiful as you want it to be. If weeds have been well established in your yard, start out with a weed-and-feed product.
- Water the Right Way: Lawns need water, but not too much or too little. Give your lawn a deep watering about once or twice a week. Frequent, shallow watering doesn't do much for lawns, but it's really helpful for weeds. Too little water stresses the lawn, and invites more weeds to set up shop in your yard.
- Control Weeds: Maybe you have a battle going on in your yard, and the weeds are winning. In that case, you need to take more direct measures throughout the growing season. In the spring, feed your lawn with a product containing a pre-emergent. This will take care of grassy weeds.