How to Plant Grass Seed in Spring
Nobody wants to be the person on the block with the unattractive lawn. In fact, 66 percent of lawn owners said they feel embarrassed if their lawn doesn’t look as good as their neighbor’s.
But for some, maintaining a healthy lawn is no easy task. After all, grass can be finicky and go brown for the slightest reasons. The good news is that it’s just about to be reseeding season, where you can give your lawn a new opportunity to grow healthy grass.
To do so, you’ll need to do a little research first to know what seed is best for your region and how to plant it properly.
Which Grass Seed Can You Plant in Spring?
When you are determining which grass seed is best for your lawn, you first have to find out what species do best in your climate.
One of the easiest things you can do is refer to the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Plant Hardiness Zone Map. Here, a simplified version shows the best areas for warm-season grasses, cool-season grasses, and transitional zones:
Warm-season grasses do well in hot, humid climates and usually go dormant during the winter months. They are most commonly found in the southern regions. Cool-season grasses have excellent tolerance for harsh winter months and do well in the shorter summer months, so they are more prevalent in the north.
Cool-season grass seeds should be planted during late summer, fall, or early spring. You don’t want to seed too late in the spring, since they are at risk for overheating and drying out during the summertime. Some species include Kentucky bluegrass, fescue, and perennial ryegrass.
Transitional grass is a small group of grasses that do well in both hot and cold weather, like buffalograss (a warm-season grass) and tall fescue (a cool-season grass).
Warm-season grass can be seeded in fall or spring. Some species include St. Augustine, bermudagrass, and zoysia grass. So, if you missed the fall deadline to seed your lawn, then the good news is you still have time in the spring!
How to Plant Grass Seed in Spring
If you plan on planting grass seed on your lawn this spring, then you’ll need a few things to prepare:
- Grass seed
- Drop-seed spreader
- Lawn roller
- Watering can or hose
Every healthy lawn starts with high-quality grass seed, but you don’t want to make the mistake of buying a bag of mixed materials. That’s why it’s crucial to understand the label on the bag to determine whether or not you should buy it.
#1: Purchase High-Quality Grass Seed
Many people are tempted to buy seed from big-box stores because of their low prices — but doing so could be the biggest mistake you make for your lawn.
Unfortunately, most of these store-name brands will not yield desirable results. If you take the time to browse through the products, you might be surprised to find that there’s nearly 50% of filler material in each bag, which means you’re paying full price for half the quality.
Instead, it’s best to shop locally or from trusted companies like Nature’s Seed. Learning to understand what the label says is your best bet to having a healthy lawn. For starters, here are a few crucial pointers to recognize when purchasing grass seed:
- Germination rate should be below 85%
- Inert matter (non-seed material) should be below 5%
- Avoid if the label says it is mixed with “other crops.”
- Grass seed matter should be over 90%
#2: Prepare the Lawn
After several months of being dormant, your lawn will need some serious attention. Start with a rake and leaf blower to clean the lawn of any debris, dead vegetation, branches, and leaves. You might want to do a final leaf-blow to ensure the lawn is ready and clear.
#3: Till and Fertilize the Soil
Once you’ve cleared the yard, it’s time to till the soil. Garden tillers are excellent tools to have handy because they remove weeds and unwanted roots from the soil. It also turns over the sod, which mixes organic matter and produces a gentle base for seeding.
After tilling, it’ll be time to lay down the fertilizer. Like seeds, finding the right fertilizer helps produce healthy and beautiful grass by introducing necessary nutrients to the soil. Be sure to read the NPK (nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium) ratio, which is essential in many ways:
- Nitrogen: For plant color and growth
- Phosphorus: For root establishment
- Potassium: For increasing tolerance
Most of these labels will have three numbers, which are its NPK ratio. You might see something like 5-10-5. Each number represents the percentage by weight of these three major nutrients in the bag. If you’re not sure what ratio to start with, consider performing a soil test. A soil test will tell you what nutrients your lawn is missing.
#4: Use a Drop-Seed Spreader
A drop-seed spreader is a must-have device when you are planting grass seed. This tool helps prevent overseeing, missing patches, and evenly spreads seeds and fertilizer throughout the given area.
#5: Rolling the Seed
Although not required, rolling the seed is the best way to ensure your seeds will stay put. They are used to set the seed into the soil by applying a slight amount of pressure, which pushes them in. This helps prevent the seed from being blown or washed away by harsh weather conditions.
#6: Cover with Mulch
When you plant in the spring, your seeds will have a lot to face over the next coming weeks, which is why you’ll want something to protect them. The good news is that mulch enriches and protects the soil by holding moisture, preventing weeds, protection from freezing temperatures, and more.
You can use bark, woodchips, leaves, grass clippings, straw, newspaper, or compost as mulching options. It’s always a good idea to go with organic materials like these since they’ll eventually decompose and provide organic matter back into the soil.
#7: Water Daily
Your yard might not look like much just yet, but it’ll all come through with frequent watering. During germination, be sure to water 2 to 3 times daily when the soil temperature is over 55F. You can do this until the grass shoots come through, and the seeds begin to establish. Then, you will have to figure out what watering routine works best for your lawn, whether it’s once or twice a week.
Seeding your lawn doesn’t have to be an overwhelming or daunting task. By following this simple procedure of tilling, fertilizing, seeding, and mulching, you’re setting your lawn up for years of healthy success.
But a healthy lawn always starts with a high-quality seed mix. That’s why at Nature’s Seed, we believe in a high-quality seed mix with no fillers or added inert matter. When you choose one of our spectacular seed mixes, you’re purchasing the best for your lawn — and come summertime, we guarantee that you’ll be impressed at how beautiful your yard looks!