Pennington Seed has been a staple in the industry for over three generations, earning the respect of both amateur gardeners and paid landscapers. If Pennington tells you that you can do something, then you probably can. If you follow these 10 simple instructions for planting grass seed, you'll soon have a lawn you can be proud of.
You can give your lawn a good start by seeding it during the optimal time of year to plant grass seed. The seasons of autumn and spring are optimal for grass maintenance in northern regions. The end of spring and the beginning of summer are the best times to sow warm-season grasses in the south.
This is the time of year when grasses reach their maximum height, and the temperatures are just right for the seed to germinate and take root. Getting your lawn off to a good start requires you to work with nature rather than against it to offer the grass an advantage.
2. TEST YOUR SOIL.
You can avoid uncertainty and wasted time by taking the time to do a soil test. Your soil's conditions, such as its pH and organic matter percentages, affect the viability of your new seedling.
Doing your own soil sampling will make you feel like a professional landscaper. What you're dealing with and what you should do can be learned from the soil lab's findings and suggestions. You can acquire information and test kits from your local extension agent.
3. AMEND AND IMPROVE YOUR SOIL, ACCORDING TO TEST RESULTS.
With your soil test results in hand, you're ahead of the game. You can fix your soil "just right" for healthy seedling growth. When soil pH is gets out balance, your grass can't take up nutrients, even if your soil is packed with what grass needs. Amendments fix that.
If soil is overly acidic, so pH is too low, your lawn may need lime to restore proper pH balance and nutrient availability. If your soil's short on organic matter, adding soil amendments such as compost upfront improves seed and grass growth down the road.
4. CHOOSE THE BEST SEED.
If you use cheap seed, you'll end up with an ugly lawn. There's simply no denying this fact. The seed tag is a label that is attached to each and every seed package for sale. Important quality criteria, such as germination rates and weed seed percentages, are listed on the seed tag, along with the various grass kinds included within.
Looks like a steal, but is that grass seed of questionable quality? When grass seed fails to germinate but weed seed does, your perspective will shift. In the long run, it makes the greatest financial and emotional sense to invest in high-quality grass seed made by a reliable company. Pennington Seed's proprietary Penkoted seed technique coats each individual seed with a fungicide and a growth stimulant before it's planted. This guarantees a stronger, more robust crop right off the bat.
In order to ensure your lawn thrives through the harsh winters and scorching summers, it is recommended that you purchase grass seed from a local business. Look for labels that specify grass for shaded lawns if your yard is filled with trees and other sources of shadow. By replacing your lawn's old grass seed with Pennington Smart Seed, you'll be doing your part to make your lawn more environmentally friendly. Once Smart Seed has been planted, it will conserve up to 30% more water than traditional grasses on a yearly basis.
5. PREPARE THE SOIL FOR PLANTING.
Make sure the area is free of debris that could stunt the growth of your seeds before you plant them. Pick up loose pebbles and other rubbish left behind by construction or Mother Nature. You may get rid of any clumps of dirt or uneven areas by raking the area with a yard or garden rake.
Before or after sowing your new grass, don't use any weed killer. Seeds that come into contact with residue may not germinate, and young grass plants may perish. Wait at least three weeks after applying weed killer to the seeding area before sowing grass seed.
6. FERTILIZE YOUR SOIL.
Newly germinated seed need nourishment, so be sure to stock up on fertilizer. New lawns can be given a head start with Pennington UltraGreen Starter Fertilizer 22-23-4, which provides up to three months of continuous feeding. To prepare the soil for planting, use a standard lawn spreader to distribute fertilizer over the area. You may find instructions on how much fertilizer to use and what settings to use for your spreader on the container.
A premium lawn fertilizer, such as Pennington UltraGreen Lawn Fertilizer 34-0-4, can take over a regular fertilization schedule after your lawn is established. These fertilizers prevent nitrogen from leaching into the soil, ensuring that your seedlings have access to all the nutrients you've applied.
7. PLANT YOUR SEED.
Use a lawn spreader to distribute seed uniformly across your new lawn area. Just follow the instructions on your seed bag label, and you'll get your spreader settings and seeding rates right.
Once your seed is down, rake the area again to work seed into the soil about 1/8 to 1/4 inch deep. Seed needs light to germinate so don't plant too deep—and don't worry about birds eating your seed. Pennington's green seed color camouflages seed so birds leave it alone.
8. WATER YOUR SEED.
A new grass can't survive without regular watering. Keep the freshly planted area moist by watering once or twice a day. Be sure to water so that the top half an inch of soil is always moist, but that water drains away from the soil and does not pool on the surface. In order for your new grass to sprout and develop to a manageable height, you must keep the area damp.
It might take anywhere from five days to twenty-one days for grass seed to germinate. Just read the label to find out what features this product has. Gradually adopt a regular lawn watering routine as the grass develops. Most established lawns require roughly an inch of water per week, either from irrigation or natural rainfall.
9. MAINTAIN YOUR NEW LAWN.
Growing grass from seed can take a few of months. Before you start cutting the grass, let it at least 1.5 times as much time to grow as the manufacturer recommends.
Follow proper mowing procedures and never cut more than a third of the grass's height in one cutting. The grass's ability to recover from such a drastic cut is compromised. Do not apply any weed killers or weed and feed fertilizers to your new lawn until you have mowed it at least three or four times.
10. ENJOY YOUR NEW LAWN.
After the first three or four times you mow your new lawn, the roots will be ready for foot movement. It's important to be gentle with new grass during its first growing season, but after that, you may reap the many rewards of a sustainable lawn. Grass improves the quality of the air and water in your immediate environment, while also increasing the aesthetic value of your property. Most importantly, a lush, green lawn is a great place to spend time with loved ones and reconnect with nature.
Following these ten easy steps will get you well on your way to enjoying the pride and joy that come from tending to a beautiful, thick, lush lawn. Pennington is here to help you from the very beginning, with premium lawn care products and the highest quality grass seed, to the very end, when you have a beautiful, healthy lawn you can be proud of.
Does Grass Seed Grow if I Throw It on the Ground?
It’s unlikely that grass seeds will grow on top of flat, bare soil. The seeds may germinate but the roots won’t be strong enough to penetrate the soil. It’s best to rough up the soil before sowing for the best seed-to-soil contact.
Does Grass Seed Need to be Covered?
Don’t cover grass seed with topsoil. The seed needs light to germinate. To protect the seed from birds and washing away, use straw (weed-free) or an erosion-control blanket.
How Long Until My Grass Pops Up?
Expect to see tiny grass blades in 10-14 days. Other varieties of seed may take up to 30 days.
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DIY or LSE (Let Someone Else)?
While many homeowners and renters like participating in weekend warrior activities, others would rather be doing something else.
If you're like me and would rather relax on the lovely grass someone else sowed and groomed, it might be worth it to invest in a professional lawn care service. So they can start testing seeds and planting them when it's optimal for your area, make sure to notify them early.