Find out what you need to know before you plant grass seed with Blain’s Farm & Fleet.
Tired of looking at bare soil? The first thing you should know before you plant grass seed is that not all grass seed is created equal. You want to look for grass seed that has been evaluated and rated by the The National Turfgrass Evaluation Program (NTEP). The NTEP is a cooperative effort between the non-profit National Turfgrass Evaluation Program, Inc and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). You also want to make sure that the grass will grow well in your climate. Here’s what you need to know before planting grass seed.
Test The Soil
This is the part where you’ve got to get down and dirty to test the soil. There are several different ways to test what kind of soil you have. You can test the pH of your soil with a simple test kit, which measures the amount of lime in the soil and the type of soil you have. Soil pH is measured on a scale of 0 to 14; 0 being acidic and 14 being alkaline. To learn more about testing your soil pH before you plant grass seed, read through our gardener’s guide to soil pH.
Prepare the Soil
Once you know what kind of soil you have, you’ll need to prepare the soil for the seed. You may need to change the pH of the soil. If your soil pH is is too low, add lime to the soil. If it’s too high, add sulfur. You may also need to fertilize the soil to add any insufficient nutrients, such as potassium, phosphorus and nitrogen. For tips on picking the right fertilizer for your lawn, read through our blog article.
You will also need to break up the soil by tilling or aerating your lawn. A tiller will break up soil and make it easy to mix in any ingredients, such as fertilizer, sand, lime, etc. If you already have an existing lawn, you’ll need to aerate the soil with an aerator.
Spread It Out & Roll It
After the soil is prepared, it’s time to spread the grass seed. To spread the grass seed, you can use a drop or broadcast spreader, depending on the size of your lawn. A drop spreader drops the seed out of the bottom of the spreader, so you need to make sure your lines slightly overlap. With a broadcast spreader, the seed is broadly cast out on the soil. Once the seed is spread, use a rake to work it into the soil 1/4 inch. Once you’re done raking, go over the area with a roller to ensure the soil is in contact with the seeds.
Let There Be Water
Finally, you’ll need to keep the grass seed moist in order for it to grow successfully. To keep the seeds moist, water 2 – 3 times per day with a light spray. You don’t want to over-water the seeds. Water less as the seeds begin to germinate, eventually tapering off as the grass grows.
Taking care of your lawn is important any time of the year. For more tips on planting grass feed, fertilizers and how-to’s, visit our Lawn Care blog.