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Spring Grass Seeding Tips

March 16, 2015

These are my six tips for planting grass seed this spring:

  1. Cheap seed will give you problems down the road.  Scotts Turf Builder Grass Seed blends are sold for different lawn situations using the best available grass varieties.  Old seed that has been stored in a garage causing it to experience big temperature changes will germinate poorly. It is best to buy fresh seed and use it all up that season.
  2. Rough up the top inch or so of your soil.  The idea is to make sure the seed is in good contact with soil and that it is no deeper than the top 1/8 inch. If you are seeding into an existing lawn, a slit-seeder can be rented to help the seed come in contact with the soil without damaging your grass.  If you do not use a slit-seeder, you can expect some of the grass seed to find its way to the soil and live after germination, however a good bit of the seed will sprout without finding soil for the roots to spread before drying out.
  3. After you spread the seed, make one pass across the newly seeded area with an upside down leaf rake (tines pointed up). Note: this is a leaf rake, not a garden rake. . It is ok to still see some seed on the surface.  Then spread Scotts Starter Food for New Grass plus Weed Preventer to feed your new grass seedlings as they germinate while preventing crabgrass and other weed seeds from growing.  Note:  This is NOT the same as other crabgrass preventers that also prevent your good grass seed from growing.
  4. Keep your new seed moist until your new grass is established. With colder spring soil you can sometimes count on 2 weeks or more before you see new grass sprouts. In fall this time can be cut down to 7 to 14 days because the soil is warmer. Also understand that no matter when you seed, you will generally see some of the grass seed come up a week or so before the rest of your seed germinates because of the different varieties in the seed blend and their different germination times. This is why it is important to keep up your watering a week or so after you begin to seed new seedlings.  If you suspect you will have a difficult time keeping the soil moist, a thin layer of straw can be spread over the seed.
  5. Anytime you use a weed killer and plan to seed, check the label to see what the waiting period is before you can plant grass seed or how long you need to wait to kill weeds after seeding.
  6. A feeding of Scotts Starter Food for New Grass (without the weed preventer) one month after seeding will really help your new grass fill-in any thin areas.
Our new Atlanta lawn just after putting down Scotts Heat Tolerant Blue grass seed on March 14, 2011

Our new Atlanta lawn just after putting down Scotts Heat Tolerant Blue grass seed on March 14, 2011

Our new Atlanta lawn on May 19, 2011; two months after seeding.

Our new Atlanta lawn on May 19, 2011; two months after seeding.

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  1. Leonard Leone permalink

    do you have area I live in ?

  2. No. If you let me know where you are located I can have a better chance of answering your lawn questions.

  3. Dave permalink

    Hi Ashton, I slit-seeded my yard along with my dad’s. It looked to be very effective and it worked as a great dethatcher as well. Do I need to rake the thatch up, mow it or leave it for a few days? I don’t want to disturb the seed. Thanks.

  4. Hi Dave
    If the thatch is heavy enough to smother/hinder new seedlings I would rake it up. Mow your grass when it is tall enough to mow and you will likely find that a light layer of thatch laying on the surface will be chopped/dispersed. The reason you want to continue with your normal mowing is to allow sunlight to get to the new seedlings as they initiate growth.

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