Seeding Your Yard This Spring
With the new season comes a fresh opportunity to refresh and renew your lawn. Many people don’t fully understand how and why grass grows, but they can recognize that their lawn isn’t looking as good as it could be. Fortunately, with just a few tips and tricks on how to seed your yard in the springtime, you’ll have that healthy green grass you’ve been looking for.
Remove Weeds and Existing Grass
Preparing your yard before seeding can be difficult. Picking the right time to plant seed is crucial. You will need to come up with a landscaping plan before beginning. There are a few steps you will need to follow when prepping your yard for planting new seed. The first thing you should do is to kill out all the existing grass and remove the dead grass. This can be done by applying pre-emergent weed killer over the lawn. This should be done about a month before seeding new grass seed. You can allow the grass to turn brown and die before applying the weed killer, but you must be careful that the grass doesn’t get so dry that it starts to burn.
The next step is soil testing. If your soil tests positive for fungal pathogens, you will need to apply fungicide to the soil. To test your soil, you can buy a kit at many garden centers. These kits usually test for seven different pathogens. Your soil should be fine if you have a pH level between 6 and 7, as well as a low level of soluble salts. If your soil is too acidic or too alkaline, you will need to purchase the correct amendments to bring it back down to an appropriate level.
Before seeding, you will need to aerate the lawn by pulling a core aerator over the lawn. This will help with soil penetration. You can also aerate by using a dethatcher, but the core aerator is better for use on taller grasses.
Fertilize the Area
After aerating, you should fertilize the lawn with either an organic or inorganic fertilizer. Organic fertilizers are made from animal by-products, making them healthier for the environment. You can buy organic fertilizer in bulk or in bags, but it is usually more economical to purchase in bulk. Inorganic fertilizers are made from processed minerals and include many chemicals. Inorganic fertilizer may be more expensive, but it can help the grass to grow more quickly. You can use a fertilizer that is specifically for seeding or one that is made for promoting green growth in the springtime.
If you are using inorganic fertilizer, you should only use about 1/4 the amount that is indicated on the package. You can also choose to use organic fertilizer, along with compost. Compost can be used in place of some of the fertilizers that you purchase. Mixed into the soil, compost will help your lawn become healthier.
Till the Soil
After you have applied fertilizer to your soil, you should till the soil again. This will make the soil loose enough for the grass seed to easily penetrate. Once this is done, you should rake up all of the clippings that are on the lawn. You can either bag them or discard them.
Spread Grass Seed
After you have raked the clippings off of your lawn, it is time to spread the grass seed. The best time of year to do this is in early spring. If you cannot get out to your lawn right away to spread the seed, you can throw a tarp over the area to keep it protected while you wait. You will want to use a combination of five different types of grass seed. This mixture will help your lawn to grow more quickly and become healthier than using just one type of grass seed. The five seed types should be fescue, perennial rye, hybrid Bermuda, Kentucky bluegrass, and fine-leaf fescue.
The fescue should be used in areas that receive less direct sunlight. The perennial rye will grow on the full sun areas, while hybrid Bermuda will do well in areas that are partially shady. Kentucky bluegrass should be used on the areas of your lawn that get full sunlight, while fine-leaf fescue will grow on the areas that stay shady throughout the day.
Cover With Straw
Once you have applied all of the grass seed, you should then rake the area gently to spread out the seed and create a smooth surface. You will then want to cover the area with straw since this will help your seed to stay protected while it begins to grow. The straw will also mask the seeded area from the weed killer that you used earlier. You can either use a small amount of straw, or you can purchase large bales of it. If you choose to use small amounts, you will want around 3 pounds of straw for every 100 square feet of lawn.
Once you have your seeded area covered with straw, you should then water the area lightly. Do this every day for the next week or so, but do not overwater your lawn. You will need to continue watering your lawn on a regular basis until the new grass has become established. After the new seeds have started to grow, you can begin watering your lawn twice a week instead of every day.
When caring for the seeded area, you should only use weed killer when absolutely necessary. The weed killer that you have already used is going to kill the weed seeds, but it will not harm your grass seed. You will want to mow your lawn as usual and water your lawn regularly. It will take up to three weeks for the grass seed to germinate and grow into new grass. You can then mow your lawn and continue to care for it like you normally would. Be sure to observe and if you see problems with pests that may be diminishing the growth of your grass, hire a pest control company to come out and take a look.
This process of reseeding your lawn in the springtime is ideal for anyone who wants a healthier and more beautiful lawn. You should keep annual fertilizing and weeding to a minimum so that you do not damage the new growth in your lawn. Keep these tips in mind when reseeding your yard in the springtime, so you can have a healthy and beautiful lawn.