How to Seed Your Grass

If you've spent the summer wishing your ragged yard and patches of dirt were soft, luscious blades of green, fall is a great time to help make those wishes come true by prepping and seeding your lawn for next spring. By overseeding your lawn, you'll be sure to improve its overall health and aesthetics, thicken grass, minimize weeds and cover bare areas.
 
With increased rain and warm soil temperatures, fall is an ideal time to overseed your lawn. Other fall conditions like cooler weather and more moisture for the soil, make it perfect for grass seed to establish itself and thrive. It's one of the easiest tasks a homeowner can do to keep a yard looking in mint condition and prepared for spring. While prepping for spring, remember to keep these tips in mind as you seed your grass.

 

Prepare the soil

A healthy lawn starts with a strong foundation that helps seeds to germinate. To prepare soil for planting, you'll need to follow a few steps. First, you'll want to test your lawn's soil pH level. To determine this, send samples of soil to a soil lab for testing, which will give you an accurate idea of its nutrient levels and overall health. Most grasses do well when soil is between 6.0 and 7.5.
 
Next, you'll need to add nutrients to the soil, such as lawn fertilizer to promote healthy grass growth. You will also want to dethatch and aerate your grass to break down your lawn's thatch layer and decrease soil compaction. Soil compaction often makes it hard for roots to grow, limits air movement, and can prohibit the growth of new grass. So don't forget to dethatch and aerate before you begin seeding to achieve healthy growth.

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Select the proper type of grass seed

Before choosing grass seed, you need to know what kind of grass is native to where you live. That will help you find the correct type of seed to buy. If you live in northern regions, cooler season grasses like bent grass or rye grass will work well and tolerate colder temperatures. If you live in southern regions, consider warm season grass seed like Bermuda or carpet grass.

Seed your lawn

Once you have the grass seed, you will want to distribute it evenly across your yard, remembering to fill in stress spots and rake so the entire lawn is covered evenly. You can use a handheld seed spreader or a broadcast spreader to evenly distribute the seed. Once you finish spreading the seed, use a rake to lightly work it into the soil at a depth of ¼ inch, so it can still receive light to germinate.

Ongoing maintenance

Taking care of your freshly seeded lawn is essential for successful grass-growing. Keep the seedlings moist (but not soggy) to help them grow. Water the area twice daily in the beginning to keep soil moist; then stop after a week and water once daily. As winter approaches, you can fertilize the grass once more to boost its nutrients to grow in strong come spring. You can also mow your lawn a little shorter than normal so it is not damaged by snow in the winter.