How to Plant Grass Seed: A Complete Beginner’s Guide

hand dropping grass seed in soil

Growing new grass from seed is a totally unique challenge as compared to installing turf. While your efforts installing turf are immediate, sowing grass seed requires timing and patience. But sowing new seed on an established lawn (called overseeding) is an essential task for lawn maintenance that can patch up bald spots and make your whole lawn fuller and greener. Here is how to plant grass seed. 

How to Seed Grass Properly 

Start by choosing the right time. The best time to grow grass seed is when your particular grass species is most active and grows the most. For our climate, we plant cool-season grasses which grow best in spring and fall. To have a fuller lawn in the summer, plant in the spring. 

If you are repairing a bald spot, remove the dead grass from the spot. If not, consider planning aeration before you sow more seed. This breaks up thatch and can help the grass look thicker.

Now, you have to sow the seed itself. Grass seed is not like larger seeds such as peas and beans. You do not plant grass seed, instead, you sow it like wheat or other grain seed. You can sprinkle out the seed by hand, paying careful attention to follow the disbursement instructions supplied with the seed. 

If you don’t feel confident enough to do this by hand, you can always use a spreading tool, like a broadcast or rotary spreader. You can then run a rake gently through the areas you spread the seed. Or very lightly sprinkle on new, quality soil. 

You now need to water the grass in order to trigger the seed’s germination. Don’t add so much water that the seed will run off, but enough to make the soil very damp and saturated. 

Grass Seed Germination Temperature 

All grass seeds need the right temperature conditions in order to germinate or to begin growing from the seed. While each species will have its own ideal temperature, but for most cold season grasses you can expect the seeds to germinate between 15 and 24 degrees Celsius. Ideally, you’ll plan so that the next few days after you have sown the seeds, temperatures will remain in this range. 

Watering New Grass Seed 

Even after germination, new grass seed needs to be watered more often than established turf. Depending on the temperature, you may need to water the grass every single day until the grass reaches about two inches tall. Young grass needs the water to nourish its shallow roots and encourage deep growth. 

In our climate, in the spring, a schedule of once every other day is a better watering schedule. Skips days that provide water by rainfall. In sudden high-heat conditions, you may increase to once per day. 

How Long Does Grass Seed Take to Grow? 

The amount of time it takes depends on the seed type, but expect to water the grass more routinely for two weeks or more. 

Are you looking to get more information on how to plant grass seed? Look no further! Contact the landscaping experts at Van Beek’s Landscape Supply today!