Here’s what happened to your lawn over the winter:
- Cold wind may cause grass to lose moisture
- Frozen roots under the triple mix soil prevent water from reaching the grass blades
- Heavy snow might have “suffocated” or compacted your grass
- Ice buildup can damage grass due to trapped carbon dioxide
With warmer temperatures on the way, however, your lawn is ready to receive new grass seed.
Here then are some tips designed to help you get the most from your grass seed.
Selecting your grass seed
With that in mind, there are some factors to consider when choosing the best grass seed for your lawn.
Factor 1: Climate
Cool season grasses tend to be shade tolerant; which is ideal if you have plenty of trees on your property.
- Tall and red fescues
- Kentucky bluegrass
Factor 2: Usage
Got kids? Pets?
Foot traffic and daily wear and tear will play a big role in determining your optimal grass seed.
You’ll want something tough that can withstand heavy and vigorous usage. You’ll also want something that can rebound from being stepped on all day.
- Kentucky bluegrass
Factor 3: Watering needs
Summer weather can be hot and dry; almost to the point of creating drought-like conditions.
So watering your lawn (especially when a watering ban is in effect) is something to account for.
If your neighbourhood is subject to bans or restrictions, use tall fescue. It can handle infrequent watering.
Basic steps to planting grass seed
Just like any other landscaping project, sowing new grass seed takes time and patience.
However, the most important thing to keep in mind is to protect your grass seed once it’s in place from windy weather or hungry birds.
Step 1: Break up the soil
Grab a tiller and loosen up the topsoil in your backyard. You’ll need to work the soil to a depth of around 2 inches.
As you till, remove any clumps of dirt, damaged roots or rocks and stones you may encounter.
When you’re finished, rake the yard to even out the soil.
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Step 2: Spread the grass seed
When you finally select the right grass seed for your lawn, be sure to follow the directions listed on the package or bag.
After you’ve spread the seed (either by hand or with a spreader), rake over the ground to distribute it as evenly as possible.
Step 3: Place straw, peat moss or premium soil over the grass seed
You aren’t trying to bury your grass seed. Rather, you just want to give it an extra layer of warmth, insulation and protection.
That means building a layer that’s about 1/3” deep.
But make sure it covers the ensure area of seed covering.
Step 4: Water the fresh grass seed
Once the seed is in place, water it for around 20 minutes (ensuring that water gets at least 6 inches into the ground).
Then, for the next two weeks, water your lawn twice a day (in the morning and afternoon) for around 5 minutes.
That’ll help keep your lawn nourished while preventing puddles or ponding which could wash the seeds away.
Tips on getting the most from your grass seed
When grass seed products are tested in the laboratory, it usually carries a germination rating of 90-95%.
Of course, that doesn’t always translate once you get it on your lawn.
Understanding how grass seed germinates and grows can help you achieve a 90% (or better) germination rate.
Plus, there are other things you can do to help each individual seed sprout into a beautiful blade of grass.
Tip 1: Check your soil’s pH levels
If pH levels aren’t right, the black garden soil on your lawn can’t break down nutrients and food.
And if those vital elements aren’t broken down and dissolved, your grass seed can’t grow.
Think of it this way: It’s much better to water grass seed than feed it a frozen block of ice.
So grab a pH tester, take a measurement and note the results:
- 0-6 (Acidic): Your soil needs things like nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium
- 7 (Neutral): This is where you want your soil to be
- 8-14 (Alkaline): The soil needs iron, manganese and phosphorous
Tip 2: Avoid walking on your grass
Earlier, we mentioned protecting your grass seed with things like straw, compost or a premium soil supply.
Another thing to keep away from your grass seed are feet (yours, your children’s or your pets’).
Stepping on your lawn before the grass seed can settle fully will either:
- Trample the seed: Squished or damaged grass seed has no chance of growing
- Move the grass seed: You may accidentally kick grass seed away from a spot that really needs it
So if you haven’t already, you may want to invest in a Keep Off the Grass sign and place it on your lawn until the grass seed has fully germinated.
We’ve got your grass seed needs (and your lawn) covered
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