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6 Tips for Seeding a New Lawn This Spring

March 18, 2016

We started a new lawn several years ago when we moved to Georgia.  Here’s how our new grass filled in along with my 6 tips to help your new lawn succeed.

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

Our new Atlanta lawn the day 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.  (Our new vegetable garden is on the hillside to the right.)

  1. Cheap seed will give you problems down the roadScotts 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 seed, feed and prevent weeds. I like to 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. Feed your new grass a second time. 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.
  6. Don’t kill your new grass with a weed control. It is best to hold off using a weed control for dandelions and other weeds until your new grass has been mowed 4 times.

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