Essentials For Growing Grass Seed In Your Lawn

Pretty much everyone at least thinks about seeding areas of the lawn in the spring. Now, for me, the best time to throw down and grow grass seed is in the fall, but if your lawn has major thin areas or bare spots, you may need to go ahead and get it done now.

Growing Grass Seed

The first thing to realize is that you are not gonna be able to throw down any crab grass pre-emergent this year. Crab grass controls stop crab grass seed from germinating, and they do the same to your Kentucky Bluegrass or Perennial Rye. So if you’re gonna seed, learn to live with a little crab grass, too.

Next, remember the three “musts” for proper grass seed growing:

1) Moisture: If you cannot keep the seed wet, it will severely hamper the germination rates you get. Don’t just rely on the rain — go out and water the seeded areas for a few minutes each morning, just to keep the little beauties moist. It does not take a lot of water, but it does take consistent water… get it?

2) Warmth/Heat: Another thing to realize is that grass seedlings are susceptible to extreme temperatures, and in the spring time, night freezes and frosts are the main concern. You want temps to be above 50 consistently day and night for optimum seed growth.

3) Seed-Soil Contact: New grass roots need somewhere to dig in and that is why there has to be some soil around. Grass seed that collects in your lawn’s thatch layer is gonna have trouble, so make sure you rake out areas before seeding. If you really wanna get results, cover the top of the seed with soil, as well.

That’s it guys, pretty simple. If you can follow these tips, you should be able to grow grass seed anywhere, anytime!

How to seed and fill in bare and thin spots in your lawn

Spring and Fall are the best times to fill in bare and thin spots in your lawn with grass seed. Any area the size of a basketball will probably fill in on it’s own by the end of summer if you fertilize, water and mow properly, but for larger areas, fresh grass seed can help speed up the process. Keep in mind, if you are going to plant grass seed, you will use these tips for large or small areas. First, choose the right seed for your lawn by reading this article.

seed germination ingredients

3 Keys to Growing Grass Seed

  1. Moisture: it seems obvious, but no plant can grow without proper watering. This is especially true with grass seed, as the moisture triggers the actual germination process. The secret here is constant moisture. Allowing the seed to dry out in between waterings will kill it. Grass seed germinates at different rates. Ryegrass sprouts in about 7 days, whereas Bluegrass can take up to 2 weeks … BE PATIENT! :)
  2. Seed-to-soil contact: The seed must be wrapped in soil. The soil beneath is used for rooting, and the soil above supports the young sprout as it reaches for the sky. Soil also retains moisture and heat.
  3. Heat and sunlight: Temperatures must be above 40 degrees at night in order for most grass seed to germinate. Ideally, temps will be in the upper 50s and lower 60s during the day. Sunlight is important because the young seedling needs to create its own food through photosynthesis so it can keep growing. The energy stored in the seed is only enough to give it an initial push.

The pictures below illustrate the seeding process. In this example, I am using Scott’s Tall Fescue blend seed and Scott’s Lawn Soil as a seed covering. Normally, landscapers use a slurry mixture of peat moss and top soil in equal parts to cover the seeds, but Scott’s now sells their “lawn soil” as a seed covering which saves you the hassle of mixing.

Another very good quality grass seed is the Eco Lawn Fescue seed sold online. It is cold hardy and can be grown in sun or shade with outstanding results!

The lawn soil bags are $3.50 each at Menards. One bag is enough to cover an area 3 feet by 3 feet when seeding.

Here are 2 other articles that relate to this one if you care to learn more.

“Grass seed types for your lawn”

“Growing Grass in Heavy Shade”

lawn bare spot

seed in bare area of lawn

cover the seed with soil peat moss mixture

pat soil for good seed-soil contact

finished bare spot seeding

Below are a couple updated pictures taken just 2 weeks after the above pictures. You will see the germination is very favorable.
Keep in mind that quality seed is very important!

bare sport seeding 2 weeks later

bare sport seeding close up

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