7 Steps To Seed A Lawn
At Hingham Lumber we answer many questions in the early spring about how to prepare a lawn to look it’s best in the summer. The process begins with knowing when and how to seed. The beginning of May is a usually a great time to plant grass seed in the greater Boston area and South Shore. The ground has usually warmed into the 50-60 degree range, we have adequate rain and the sun is up for a longer duration every day. There is one exception or caveat; if you used a pre- emergent crabgrass preventer on your lawn you cannot plant until four months have passed. The chemical that works on the crabgrass seeds will also work on your grass seed which defeats the purpose.
For those of you that anticipated seeding and bought the “safe” pre- emergent, or didn’t use a pre-emergent crabgrass preventer at all, you can seed now.
Here are the steps you want to take to seed your lawn:
- Turn over the soil in the area you want to seed to a depth of 2”. This helps create a seed bed; a place for the grass plants to put down roots and grow deep into the soil. If you simply spread very expensive seed on “ hard pan” you will not get good results. This is user error, not the grass seed’s fault!
- After you have turned over the soil break up any clogs of dirt,remove any debris and level the area.
- Spread your seed. Small areas should be easy to spread by hand, but to get a uniform application (and save your elbow) we recommend using a spreader on large areas. Just follow the directions on the back of the seed package.
- After the seed comes the starter fertilizer. This is the only type of fertilizer for new grass for the first two or three applications. The reason is because it is the only fertilizer that has phosphorous in it. Phosphoruous is essential for root growth. You want the roots to grow deep into the soil so when dry weather arrives later in the summer, the roots will be down where there will still be some moisture.
- After you have the seed and fertilizer down take a leaf rake and draw it slowly through the seed bed to turn the seed into the top 1/8” of the soil. It does not have to be any deeper than this. It needs the sun and moisture to help in the germination.
- Use a roller to tamp down this newly seeded area which will help to keep the soil in place when it is being watered, whether by you or the rain.
- Water your grass between 5am-8am if possible
It’s really quite a simple process but there are some tips you want to keep in mind to have the greatest results from your lawn seed.
- More seed does not equal a fuller, better lawn. Each seed is going to produce one plant and putting large amounts of seed in one area is a waste.
- This is a process that is going to work to its’ best over two growing seasons so be patient and follow the process.
- When watering, remember, keep it moist, do not drown it because you will cause the seed to move and you will have bare spots. This can happen when it rains but you can’t help that.
- Don’t water during the hottest part of the day, the water will evaporate in the sun. You should never water at night, either because it can encourage fungus, which appears as brown or gray fuzzy patches.
- Remember, this is a process that will take the better part of two seasons to get the area looking full and have healthy plants with a good root system.
We love Scotts Lawn Care products here at Hingham Lumber and we recommend downloading the helpful My Lawn app from Scotts. The My Lawn app offers a complete guide to caring for your lawn and tracks what you do and offers next steps and products. Of course we also recommend visiting Hingham Lumber. We have lawn care specialists ready to help and answer your lawn care questions. You can visit us Monday – Saturday from 7am-5pm.