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Seeding Your Lawn brought to you by the Scotts Company

Seeding Your Lawn brought to you by the Scotts Company

There are three basic things you need to do to get good results when planting grass seed:

  1. Buy good seed.
  2. Prepare the soil properly.
  3. Keep it moist after planting.


These are described in detail below.

NOTE: In warm-winter climates with lawns of St. Augustine grass and centipede grass, you may need to plant sprigs, plugs, or sod.

What to consider before you buy grass seed

 


The result of " bargain " grass seed.
For just a few dollars more, get results like this with Scotts 99.99%-weed-free seed.

 

All grass seed may look alike, but there's a world of difference in results. And once the seed is sown, you have to live with the results for a long time -- or else tear the lawn out and start over. So before purchasing grass seed, it's wise to consider the following:

There's no such thing as " bargain " grass seed. Buying grass seed by price is asking for trouble, because it's often filled with unwanted weeds and grasses that create unsightly clumps in the lawn. The few additional dollars it costs to buy top-quality grass seed could well be the best investment you'll ever make in the outside of your home.

Forget package size! It's coverage and quality that count. Lawn owners often ask how Scotts grass seed can cover more area than larger packages of other seed. Here's why:

 

  • Exclusive blends and varieties. Scotts top-performing blends maximum performance, and resistance to disease and other enemies that attack young grass plants as they mature. So fewer seeds are needed to get a great stand of grass.
  • Fewer immature seeds. Scotts removes the immature seeds that produce weak plants ... the ones that often die off in the first few weeks of life. Only the mature seeds are packaged, so less seeds are needed to produce a lawn.
  • Fewer empty hulls or filler. Scotts seed undergoes vigorous cleaning to remove the empty seed cases, stems, and chaff. And Scotts never adds filler material as many other companies do to produce larger-size packages.

How to Read a Grass Seed Analysis Label
Click here to learn how to read a label.







How to Seed a New Lawn from Scratch
1. Prepare the Soil
The soil must first be tilled by plowing and disking, or by using a rotary tiller. The ideal seedbed is composed of soil particles from pea to marble size, to create a good lodging place and protection for the seeds. A common mistake is to work the soil too finely, so that after watering the surface tends to crust over and dry out quickly.

2. Add Top Soil Only if it's Needed to Fill Low Areas
Top soil that is trucked in often contains large amounts of weed seeds, including some that can not be selectively controlled. So it's usually best to work with the soil you already have.

3. Level the Area
After tilling and removing any large clods, the area should be leveled. Assuming that a general leveling was done previously by the contractor, this can usually be done using nothing more than garden rakes and other garden tools.

4. Seed and Fertilize the Same Day

 


After 6 Weeks
Left Side: Fertilized Same Day
Right Side: Not Fertilized Same Day The grass seed can be spread using either a drop or rotary spreader, using the setting indicated on the seed package. It is important to fertilize the same day with Scotts Starter Fertilizer to get the seedlings off to a fast, strong start. It doesn't matter which you apply first.

 

5. Cover Seed and Mulch if Necessary
To cover the seeds, simply drag the back of a leaf rake, or any lightweight object such as a door mat, lightly over the area so that no more than 1/4 inch of soil covers the seed. On sloping areas, or to reduce the frequency of waterings, the area can be lightly mulched with straw. The tendency is to mulch too heavily, however. Only a small amount is needed, so that the seedbed is clearly visible through the mulch.

6. Watering is Critical
Keep the seedbed constantly moist to start germination. Water often, rather than deeply. Only the top inch of soil needs to be kept moist. Once germination starts, keep the area moist until the seedlings are well established.

7. Early Follow-Up
Begin mowing as soon as the seedlings are about 1-1/2 inches tall. Do not mow when soil is so wet as to allow the mower to damage young plants. If weed seeds that were in the soil start to grow, do not use a weed killer until the young grass plants have been mowed four times.

8. Long-Term Follow-Up
As soon as the new seeding is established, the lawn should be started on an Annual Lawn Program for best results.

How to Seed Bare Spots and Thin Areas
1. Prepare the Soil
The soil must be worked up to a depth of approximately one inch to provide a lodging place for the grass seeds. In small areas, this can be done using any sharp garden tool. On large areas, a power slicing machine can be rented from most equipment rental stores.

2. Sow the Seed Evenly
Seeding of the area can be done using any Scotts lawn spreader, either drop-type or rotary. On very small areas, the seed can even be spread by hand, although the tendency here is to apply more seed than is necessary.

3. Be Sure to Fertilize
Apply Scotts Starter Fertilizer the same day you seed, to get the seeding off to a fast, strong start. (This is an extremely important step although it doesn't matter which you apply first.)

4. Watering is Critical
Keep the seedbed constantly moist to start germination. Water often, rather than deeply. Only the top inch of soil needs to be kept moist. Once germination starts, keep the area moist until the seedlings are well established.

5. Early Follow-Up
Begin mowing as soon as the seedlings are about 1-1/2 inches tall. Do not mow when soil is so wet as to allow the mower to damage young plants. If weed seeds that were in the soil start to grow, do not use a weed killer until the young grass plants have been mowed four times.

6. Long-Term Follow-Up
As soon as the new seeding is established, the lawn should be started on an Annual Lawn Program for best results.

Information and images courtesy of Scotts lawn care.

 

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