The process of planting grass seeds in a lawn is called seeding. Seeding the lawn is an easy DIY process that needs no expertise. The amount of money, time, and energy spent in seeding is often very small compared to what would be invested in building a great lawn. Nonetheless, in order to get the best lawn, you need the best grass seed for your seeding.
In case you are thinking of planting grass seed on your lawn, here is the best DIY guide that you could follow all through to an awesome lawn for your home or property. Read through carefully.
Step I: Test the PH of Your Lawn Soil
- Take your plastic test kit.
- Put small amounts of soil and water into the test kit.
- Shake the test kit’s plastic test chamber well.
- Wait a minute or two for the soil to settle for the mixture and the color to develop.
- Hold up the comparison vial to compare
- Compare the color of the soil solution against the color-coded chart.
- The color coded chart is printed beside the test chamber.
Typically the color coded chart will read between 6.0 and 7.5. If your reading shows a pH lower than 6.0 then your soil is too acidic. What this means is that you’ll need to add lime in Step IV. However, if it’s above 7.5 then your soil is too alkaline. If you need a moderately alkaline soil add peat moss in Step IV. But, for a very alkaline type of soil, use sulfur.
Step II: Remove Rocks, Pebbles, & Debris
- Remove all the rocks, pebbles, and debris.
- Remove anything that can hinder the growth of seedlings.
- You can use a hoe, pointed shovel, or trowel to dig up all rocks.
- Remove the roots too/ stones that won’t fit through a garden rake’s tines.
- Dig top soil and refill any left out holes/ depressions.
- Turn the soil until there are no big clumps – use a rotary tiller.
It is important to use the lawns top soil to refill the depressions when planting grass seed as any new or foreign soil might accidentally carry weed seeds and this would be bad for the new grass seedlings. Always dig up topsoil from a high spot in the lawn as it helps to level up the lawn.
Step III: Add Sand and Compost to Lawn Soil
- Add 1 inch of sand to cover the planting area.
- Transport the sand using a wheelbarrow.
- Distribute the sand evenly as possible – use a trowel/ shovel.
- Mix up the sand with lawn soil using a rotary tiller.
- Once done bring in 1 inch of compost. Distribute it like you did the sand.
Incorporating sand and compost into the lawn soil is really important when planting grass seed. This is because it improves the porosity and creates a highly suitable type of soil for seed growth.
Step IV: Now Amend Your Soil Appropriately
- Depending on your soil’s PH amend the soils to make it ideal for planting.
- Add lime, peat moss, or sulfur to balance your lawn soil’s pH level.
- If you are using peat moss, distribute it with a shovel from a wheelbarrow.
- If you are the lime or sulfur guy, you can use a walk-behind broadcast spreader.
- Go with the right / recommended distribution rate.
- Make sure the entire area is coated – don’t miss out on any spots.
Amending the soil also boosts soil nutrients during when planting grass seed. When done with this process it is advisable that you use the broadcast spreader to apply starter fertilizer to the whole lawn. Adjust the spreader to distribute fertilizer as outlined on the fertilizer packaging.
Step V: Rake the Entire Lawn Soil Mixture
- Try to use a garden rake carefully work the lime.
- Make sure the raking level is entirely leveled upon finishing.
Don’t spread the fertilizer, lime, or sulfur by hand. Don’t mix fertilizer, lime or sulfur together in a broadcast spreader. This is because the manual for planting grass seed requires them to be applied differently and on specifically unique rates.
Step VI: Start Planting Grass Seed in the Soil
- Planting grass seed is a piece of cake. With all done all it takes is spreading out the seeds.
- Do this by hand and make sure it is evenly distributed.
- For best results use a hand held broadcast spreader.
- Make sure the seeds are dispersed over the soil – don’t leave a spot.
Larger lawns won’t work so well by hand or by simply using a handheld spreader. You can substitute the two with a walk-behind spreader. Even distribution of lawn seed is important as it promotes uniform growth. It also allows for the healthy consumption of available food and nutrients.
Step VII: Rake in Your Grass Seeds Uniformly
- Previously you used a metallic rake to rake in fertilizer, lime, sulfur, and compost
- Now use a plastic rake leaf rake. Turn it upside down. Gently rake work seed into the soil.
- Make light but short strokes without necessarily sweeping the seed out of the way.
- This will help you to maintain the even distribution of the seeds.
When planting grass seed it is important to use the back of plastic leaf rake as it also prevents the creation of depressions that could collect water and lead to the root of grass seeds before they germinate.
Step VIII: Water Your Lawn Regularly
- Start watering immediately the planting is done.
- This initial watering should be light.
- Use a fan or oscillating type of sprinkler.
- Make sure the entire lawn is dampened.
An oscillating sprinkler will water evenly and prevent depressions. It is important to water two or three times a day for the first 8-10 days. Don’t over water though. Light watering is highly recommended. Once the grass germinates you can improve the watering but make it once a day; only water during the cool times of the day.
The best time to water your newly germinating grass seedling is during the morning hours. This is because there is less evaporation. Watering in the evening has been found to cause fungal diseases as it increases dampening without any evaporation. Meanwhile, when applying your seeds you can go with the standard levels of approximately 16 seeds per square inch.