Spring Lawn Seeding Questions
Every year about this time, the Scotts Help Center answers thousands of questions. Among the most common are questions dealing with seeding. Here are some of the most common:
Q. We have a lot of bare spots in our lawn this spring. Do we need to plant grass seed in these places?
A. It depends upon the size of the bare spots. If they are only a few inches across, these spots will eventually fill in themselves if you feed your lawn in early spring and again in late spring. If there is a thick layer of matted tree leaves in the bare spot, raking will speed the process.
Q. Do I need to spade up the soil before seeding bare areas?
A. Spading or rototilling is usually not necessary for seeding bare spots in thin areas. However, it is important that the soil be broken up to a depth of about one inch, so that your seed will have a lodging place where it can take root and grow. This can be done with a sharp tool, such as a spade, edger, trowel, or hoe. In larger areas, a machine called a slit seeder, which cuts grooves in the soil and plants grass seed at the same time, can be rented.
Q. Do I need to mulch the seeded area with straw?
A. If you are seeding into thin areas where some grass already exists, the mulch in Scotts EZ Seed does the job of helping to keep your seed from drying out. If the seeded area is a slope, mulching with straw will help hold the seed in place in case of hard rains. Do not put straw down too heavy. You should still be able to see about 50% of the soil when looking down through your straw mulch.
Q. Do I need to fertilize when I seed, or can I wait until after the new grass sprouts?
A. Your new grass will develop faster when you feed it. Use a special food like Turf Builder Starter Food for New Grass.
Q. How do I keep weeds from sprouting where I am trying to grow grass seed?
A. Use a special weed preventer that will prevent weeds seeds, like crabgrass, from growing while allowing your new grass to sprout unharmed. Scotts Turf Builder Starter Food for New Grass plus Weed Preventer is especially designed for this purpose.