All about Grass and How to Plant it
A green lawn is something you must have in your back yard or front yard. Having a lawn can make you are exterior look more spacious. Moreover, it can minimize injury if your kids fall down when playing on it. That’s why it is a must for you to have a green and plush lawn. Unfortunately, it is not always easy to create such a lawn. In order to have it, you must know how to plant grass seed.
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Everything about Grass You Must Know
Some people may think that growing grass seed is easier than planting flowering plants or vegetable plants. However, it is not always so. There are times when planting grass becomes a challenge. Drought can affect it badly. Moreover, certain grass varieties take a lot of mowing. Therefore, you need lots of time to maintain it.
To face the challenges of how to plant grass seed, you can follow these tips.
1. What to Consider in Choosing The Right Grass
Not everyone needs the same grass. It is because different grass has different characteristics. Therefore, they need different methods of how to plant grass seed and how to maintain it. There are several things that you need to consider in choosing the right grass type.
Before you choose the grass type, you must consider the hardiness zones of your area. Different grass may thrive in certain zones but cannot grow well in another zone. Warm-season grass is good for warmer areas. Moreover, cool-season grass is good for the coolest areas. Therefore, it is important for you to know which grass that is suitable for your area.
How Much Water Do You Have?
Another thing you need to consider is the water in your house. Certain grass needs more water to grow. Meanwhile, others need less water. Therefore, if you have a limited amount of water in the summer, you had better choose a grass type that needs less watering. But, if you have lots of water throughout the whole year, it is okay to choose one that needs more water.
How Much Time Do You Have to Take Care of Your Lawn?
To make your lawn looks green and luxurious, you need to mow the grass regularly. However, not all grass types require the same frequency of mowing. Therefore, if you don’t have enough time to do it, you can choose one that requires minimal mowing.
Cool-season grass usually needs to be mowed when its height is more than 2.5 inches. But, warm-season grass needs to be mowed when its height is more than 1.5 inches. Different grass type also requires different fertilizing and watering frequency. As a result, you must find out how to maintain the grass lawn before choosing its type.
In addition, it is also important for you to consider how much sunlight that your lawn has. A part of your lawn may get full sun. Meanwhile, another part of it may be partially shaded. In consequence, you need to plant a grass type which can grow well in full sun to partial shade. Therefore, your whole lawn will have a uniform green color.
Before you start the process of how to plant grass seed, you must consider the foot traffic on your lawn. If you have heavy foot traffic on the lawn, you need to choose a grass type that can handle this kind of environment. It is because certain grass type cannot stand well to high traffic because it cannot recover quickly.
2. Grass Types
In order to find the right grass, you must first get to know more about grass type. Moreover, knowing it will also help you to perform the process of how to plant grass seed smoothly. These are some grass type and varieties that you can choose.
This particular grass is suitable to USDA hardiness zones 8 to 10. Its texture is coarse. But, it does not affect its look. This grass can adapt well to various types of soil, moist, and moderate shade. Moreover, it offers excellent coverage with lots of mowing.
However, it cannot stand drought very well. Therefore, this grass is not suggested for areas with drought. In addition, it is also not good for areas with heavy foot traffic. But, it is great for area with mild winter temperature. It is also perfect for coastal areas, such as Florida.
This type of grass is suitable to USDA hardiness zones 2 to 7. It is perfect for cool season since it grows well in the fall, winter, and spring. Meanwhile, in the summer, this grass goes dormant. It adapts well to moderate shade to full sun and moderate foot traffic. In addition, it is good for golf courses, play areas, sport fields, and lawns.
Kentucky bluegrass is available in several varieties. Each of them has different level of drought tolerance. In order to make this grass stays lush and green; you need to fertilize it regularly. In addition, it requires deep and thorough watering.
This particular grass is suitable to USDA hardiness zones 4 to 9. It is a warm season grass. This perennial grass is perfect for you who live in an area with prolonged drought and extreme heat. In addition, it requires minimum mowing and no fertilization. However, if you neglect it completely, it can grow very tall.
Buffalo grass is not recommended for shady areas. Moreover, it is not good for areas with high traffic areas either.
This warm season grass is suitable for USDA zones 7 to 10. It can stand extreme heat and drought very well. Moreover, this particular grass is also recommended for areas with heavy foot traffic.
In addition, Bermuda grass requires good drainage and full sun to thrive. Moreover, it also requires regular fertilization and high maintenance. This grass is salt tolerant. Therefore, it can grow in coastal areas.
This particular grass is perfect to USDA hardiness zones 6 to 9. This warm season grass will thrive in shady areas at the southern U.S. However, it requires full sun if planted in northern U.S. Moreover, this perennial grass has excellent tolerance for drought and wear. However, it may turn a yellowish brown in response to extreme drought.
If it happens, you can give subsequent irrigation to it. Zoysia grass has nice texture. As a result, it is good for lawns, play areas, and golf courses.
This type of grass is suitable to USDA hardiness zones 5 and up. It will thrive in area with full sun. But, it can adapt to semi-shaded areas. Perennial grass seed offers fast germination. Therefore, they will fill your lawn quickly. Moreover, this cool season grass has good cold tolerance. But, its drought tolerance depends on the variety.
3. Grass Seed Sowing and Germination Tips
It is commonly debated whether it is better to grow grass from seed or sod. Both of them have their own advantages and disadvantages. However, if you want to cut some budget, it is better for you to grow your grass from seed. Planting from seed is not that difficult, if you know the method of how to plant grass seed.
It takes between 5 to 21 days for the seed to germinate. Moreover, it takes at least a season for your lawn to have a green and lush look. It is true that growing grass from seed takes more time. However, this practice allow you to have the right grass type because not all grass types are sold in the form of sod.
Many people are worried that their grass seed will fail to germinate. However, you can minimize that risk if you follow some of these tips.
Choose The Best Grass Seed
Different grass seed varieties have different ability to germinate. Some of them have excellent germination rate. Therefore, they can transform from seed to sod fast. But, others may take longer time to germinate.
However, you can increase the seed germination chances if you choose grass seed from the best label. This kind of label usually offers high quality seed. Meanwhile, high quality seed usually have better germination rate. Therefore, you don’t need to be worried about being failed in sowing the grass seed.
There are various labels of grass seed that are available in store, such as Pennington grass seed. When you are shopping for the seed, it is better for you to read the review first. As a result, you will be able to buy grass seed from the best label.
Sow The Seed at The Right Time
If you want to be successful in germinating the grass seed, it is essential for you to sow it at the right time. Different grass type requires different sowing time. For example, the best time to sow cool season grass seed is in early fall or when the temperature has cooled down. Meanwhile, the best time to sow warm season grass seed is in late spring or early summer.
Before you sow the grass seed, it is important for you to prepare the lawn. You need to loosen the soil first. In addition, you also need to add enough fertilizer on it. Therefore, the seed will grow successfully. Another thing you need to do is make sure that the soil is moist enough and has the right pH level. The recommended pH level is between 6.0 and 7.5.
To create good grass coverage, you must spread the seed properly. If you have a small lawn, you can spread it by hand. But, if you have a larger lawn, you need to consider lawn spreader to spread the seed. This tool helps you save time and energy. Moreover, it will help you spread the seed evenly. Once the seed is spread, no one is allowed to step on the lawn.
Consider Hydroseeding Method
One of the things that cause poor germination is erosion. To minimize this risk you can use hydro seeding method to spread your seed. Hydroseeding, such as Hydro Mousse, will stick the seed to ground. Therefore, erosion will not affect it.
Moreover, it allows you to spread the seed easily. All you need is just mix the seed and the formula. After that, you can spray the mix to the lawn. This mix usually is green. Therefore, you and other people will not mistakenly step on the area.
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How to Plant Grass Seed
The process of how to plant grass seed varies between the types of the grass and the environments. Sowing in an existing lawn and in hard dirt is not the same. Therefore, you really need to consider the environment and the grass type in doing it.
These are the steps of how to plant grass seed that you can follow.
1. How to Plant Grass Seed on Existing Lawn
Is your existing lawn looks unattractive? It is usually caused by bad coverage of your grass or thinning. This problem can be solved easily by overseeding. You can follow these steps of how to plant grass seed.
- Mow your lawn extra short.
- Clean the thatch and all debris from your lawn. You can do it with a rake dethatcher.
- At the same time, loosen the soil with the rake.
- Aerate the lawn so that the soil is more airy and have better water absorption.
- Use a spreader to spread fertilizer on your lawn. You will need 3.8 pounds of fertilizer for a lawn size 1000 feet.
- Spread the grass seed. You will need between 2 or 4 pounds of seed for a lawn size 1000 feet.
- Water the lawn twice a day until the seed germinates.
2. How to Plant Grass seed on Hard Dirt
Hard dirt will cause some problems when you are trying to plant grass seed. However, it is not something impossible for you to grow this seed on this kind of soil. With the right method of how to plant grass seed, you will be able to have a plush green lawn on it. These are the steps that you can do.
- Clean the stones and any debris from your lawn.
- Work the soil on your lawn with rototiller to 6 inches deep.
- Mix the soil with compost to 18 inches deep. You will need lots of compost since the amount of compost needed is half the weight of the soil.
- Use a rake to make the surface of the soil even.
- Spread the grass seed evenly using a drop seed spreader.
- Press the seed to the soil using an empty lawn roller.
- Fertilize the lawn with nitrogen fertilizer.
- Water the lawn for 15 minutes twice a day.
- Decrease the watering frequency when the seed has sprouted.
- Mow the grass regularly.
3. How to Plant Grass Seed Bare Spots
If your existing lawn looks unattractive due to several bare spots. You can plant grass seed on those spots. Doing it is much easier than removing all the existing turf and sow new grass seed. In doing it, you can follow these steps.
- The first thing you need to do is mowing the existing grass. In doing it, you must make sure that the grass is as short as possible.
- After that, clean the area from debris, such as stones, dead grass, dried leaves, and sticks.
- Loosen the soil on your lawn by using a rake. You do not need to go deeper that is needed. Half an inch is enough.
- If the bare spots are not level to the rest of the lawn, you need to add some top soil on them.
- Spread the seed.
- Fertilize the soil after the seed is sowed.
- Water the seeds twice a day for about two weeks or until the sprouts emerge. After that you can water it once a day.
- Mow your lawn every time the grass in about 3 inches tall. Be sure that the blade of the grass is only an inch tall or two inches tall.
4. How to Plant Grass Seed in The Spring
Planting grass seed in the spring is not that different from planting grass seed in general. Early spring planting is perfect for cool season grass. The process of how too plant grass seed can be started after the last frost is over or when you can work the soil. Meanwhile, late spring planting is perfect for warm season grass.
Before you spread your grass seed, it is important for you to loosen the soil a bit and clean the lawn from debris. Then, you need to spread lawn starter fertilizer to make sure that the grass gets enough nutrients. After that, you can spread the seed. Your grass seed requires moist environment to germinate, therefore, you need to water it 2 or 3 times a day.
5. How to Plant Grass Seed in The Fall
Fall planting is perfect for cool-season grass. However, you must make sure that temperature has fall between 60o F and 75o F. At this temperature, your cool-season grass seed will be able to germinate. The planting process is almost similar to the spring planting. However, about 4 weeks after the germination of the seed, you need to fertilize the lawn.
6. How to Plant Bermuda Grass Seed
This particular grass is more perfect for you who live in the southern of U.S because it is warm-season grass. Moreover, it is tolerant to drought and heat. This perennial grass also loves to grow in full sun. In addition, its root can grow very long. Therefore, it is no wonder that its root system can go up to 6 feet deep. This root system makes Bermuda grass more tolerant to traffic and drought.
Bermuda grass is one of the warm-season grass species that can be planted from seed. The best time to plant it is in late spring or early summer. In cold winter, this grass will go dormant and turn brown. But, it will thrive again when the weather is warmer. Therefore, to maintain a green lawn in winter, you need to overseed the Bermuda grass lawn using cool-season grass.
Planting this variety of grass is similar to planting other grass. But, you need to follow these tips to be successful in planting it.
- Bermuda grass requires soil with a pH level between 5.8 and 7.
- It is important to fertilize the lawn once a month in the warm season
- Mow the grass two times a week during the warm season.
- Extended drought will cause the turf turn to yellow or brown. Therefore, you need to water it more.
- The recommended mowing height for Bermuda grass is 1 and 1.5 inch high.
7. How to Plant Zoysia Grass Seed
This particular grass is also perfect for warmer areas. However, it is more tolerant to shade than Bermuda grass. Moreover, its dormancy is also shorter than Bermuda grass. However, this drought-tolerant grass usually develops thatch. Therefore, you will need dethatching it in the fall.
Many homeowners prefer Zoysia grass because it requires minimum maintenance. Moreover, it is tolerant to traffic, heat, and drought. If you want to plant it, you can follow these tips of how to plant grass seed.
- This grass needs to grow on soil with a pH level between 5.8 and 7.
- You need to fertilize the soil in the fall and in the spring.
- This grass needs an inch of water in a week. If it already gets water from the rain, you don’t need to water it.
- The recommended mowing height for this grass is between 1 and 1.5 inches high.
8. How to Plant Ryegrass Seed
Perennial ryegrass is perfect for you who live in the northern U.S. This cool-season grass has some great characteristics. Some of them are fast germination, tolerant to partial shade, and cold tolerance. To be successful in planting this grass, you can follow these tips.
- Perennial ryegrass requires soil with a pH level between 5.5 and 7.5.
- It needs frequent watering in winter and during low rainfall and heat.
- The recommended mowing height for perennial grass is between 1.5 and 2.5 inches high.
Planting grass is actually not too difficult, especially if you know how to plant grass seed and have the right equipment. However, it may take time and energy in preparing the soil, spreading the seed, and caring for it. But, if you don’t have enough time for it, you can choose grass variety which requires minimum mowing, fertilizing, and watering.
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