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How to sow seed for cool season grass

How to plant grass seed


I get this question all the time so i figured id share my expertise on this .The bottom line is nothing will happen unless you prepare the seed bed. I see a lot of people throw seed on the ground and nothing happens and they wonder why! Or they prepare the seed bed then dont cover the seed with soil or add fertilizer or mulch the area you have to do all the steps or else your lawn will look like this after 2 weeks.
Notice how only 60% of the grass seed germinated here? its because someone did not prepare the seed bed correctly so always prepare the seed bed so you wont have to water the grass for another 2 weeks then run out and order more grass seed.

#1 Prepare the seedbed - Remove any debris-leaves-twigs-weeds-bring in top soil if you need it. Work in some peatmoss and or top soil to your soil with garden rake.Aerate.Throw down some starter fertilizer. it really does not matter if you put the seed down first or starter fertilizer as long as you have the fertilizer is all that counts
#2 with hoe or garden rake or -garden weisel make furlows up and down  the soil then criss cross so you have some where for the seed to fall into and take root
#3 using your hand apply only the right amount of seed per sq feet as it says on the package(make sure you have seed to seed contact-do not put seed on top of grass that does not need seed) not over crowding the area cause the seed will end up dying off or drying out as it will be fighting for its own place. So only plant the necessary amount. The key is to just put a little bit of seed down so you can see the soil beneath it.Remember seed spreads when it grows so once it grows it will fill in large areas .Do dont try and fill in an area like had it been a crayon and you were trying to color in the whole area or if you had a salt shaker dont pour the whole salt shaker into one bare spot. You get the picture.
#4 after youve got the seed down on where you want it to grow use the garden rake and turn it upside down and roll some soil on top of it to protect it and speed up germination.
#5 Mulch the area i prefer  to use greenview seed accelarator instead of using hay as hay can have some weeds in it. They both will stay damp and change color when its dry and wet. Its really up to you. 
#6 then water right away then water only in mornings for next 7 days then every other day for five days.
then let mother nature do its rest .The fact is too much water is not a good thing as over watering could wash your seeds away and bring in more weeds.
So just water in morning before 5am for like 8 minutes once a week or twice a week 5 minutes each watering.  Then after like 7 days just water it in morning for like 5 minutes every other day for 5 days at the fifth day stop watering it. At the end of that fifth day you should see grass starting to come in if you followed what i outlined .
WI cannot stress enough how important the watering stage is

I see a lot of people do it wrong by over watering but,the fact is the key is to water less. What do i mean by that you dont want it soggy! You dont want any puddles you dont want any run off. Your main goal should be to just water it enough so it stays moist during the seedling stage. Using the mist setting or one close to it on your sprinkler is handy as you wont dislodge the seeds or anything. The key is to keep them moist so they will get t he germination started then sprout in a few weeks.

One thing is a must you must not do is! Do not confuse watering grass that has been established on your lawn for years with ,watering grass seed. They are not the same ,you should not treat them the same and they should not be watered the same.

Grass that returns each year in the spring that is established should not be watered until the end of  May when the grass is thirsty. And when it gets warm in summer and so forth say an inch of water a week. Watering grass that is established you would want to use a different sprinkler also mostly an oscillating sprinkler you would use.For reseeding and starting new lawns or bare spots you would use an impact sprinkler as it is better for new seed while the oscillating one is more for established grass. So in a few months when your grass is looking nice and all filled in when it gets warm outside by then the impact sprinkler should be in your garage until your next seeding project.


Growing grass without watering it


This may sound silly at first but,it is a handy way to grow grass when you want to conserve water as water bills can be high.

I actually am doing this project myself right now just forgot to take some before pictures.
Anyhow its pretty simple to do in spring or any other month when its cool with occasional light rain and lots of morning  dews.

So when you know this will happen when you will have lots of cloudy days,occasional rain and morning dews,and of course a few warm days mixed in then you basically let mother nature take course.

Just sow the seed like you normally would lightly mulch it with hay or green-view seed accelerator
so it gets enough light and irrigation. Then just water it that first day slightly then observe the area say 14 days later and youll be surprised as to how well it comes in with no water actually it got its water on its own you just did not have to pay for it. Just one thing do not try this before heavy rain as it will wash the seeds away.
You want a week where it barely rains like one day 20% then the next 40% then next 30% precipitation dont want five days of 100% precipitation so hopefully you took my advice id love to see your pictures i will post mine too.



Remember if temperature  is not right the grass will wait

Lets say you sow some seed and you did all the steps ,you prepared the seedbed and everything youve watered daily.
Now 2 weeks have went by and still nothing .Then you look at the weather forecast for the month and the past 2 weeks then you realize its been
50 to 64 degrees in that span.Dont panic.As soon as the temperature  warms up to 75 the soil will be in the 60s and your grass will germinate and start to grow.Its already germinated  its been a few weeks it just needs the right temperature  to emerge and sprout. 
So you could do 2 things next time wait until its in the 80s to plant new grass .It will germinate  fast like 7 days.
Or put the seed down ├Čn late spring  let the seed get established  water it daily until temperatures warm up.
Either way your waiting your waiting for fall early  august or your waiting for it to get warm in the spring or waiting for your grass seed to germinate  in early spring.So pick your poison.

This is proof below

This picture was taken a month ago around April 16th 

I watered for 3 weeks

then we were stuck in 50 degree weather for thata span it was in the 80s maybe once or twice then as soon as it warmed up i got this last week

Then the magic happened 

like over night when it got so warm all the sudden

This is what im talking about as you see the grass is filling in at a rapid rate as soon as the temps warm up so if you follow my plan and you water for 2 and half weeks and the temps dont warm up yet.Do not worry the grass will fill in like gain busters as soon as the weather comes back.










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