Growing Grass from Seed

by April Reinhardt
(last updated March 6, 2015)

If you're reading this article, then you've probably already contemplated growing grass from seed, and now need to know how to do it. First, let's start by briefly exploring a few of the different ways you can grow grass from seed, and then you can better determine the method you'll need to use for your unique situation.

There are several methods for planting seeds, and some of the more common methods are:

  • Planting on bare soil. This is the best choice for growing grass from seed, since you will have prepared the soil by removing all of the vegetation from the area, including any weeds and competing grass. Since seeds grow better when they don't have to compete for water and nourishment from other plants, planting on bare soil is the best choice, provided you've prepared the soil adequately. Once you plant into bare soil, you then cover the seeds with a predetermined amount of top soil and/or fertilizer to encourage seed to soil contact.
  • Planting on existing lawn. If you plan to seed over an existing lawn, then plan to use quite a bit more seed. Some seeds will fail to thrive, since they will need to compete with established grass for water and nutrients. Cool-season grasses germinate easier than warm-season grasses when planting on an existing lawn. In preparation of seeding, consider aerating the soil to produce slits or holes in the lawn to increase the chances of the seeds falling below soil level. Doing so improves the chances of new seed germination since the seed will have direct contact with the moist soil below. They will also be protected from wind and thieving birds.
  • Distributing on top of the soil or lawn area. The least effective way to plant new grass seed is to simply broadcast it by hand or seed spreader, especially if you're planting a warm-season grass. Warm season grasses will not germinate unless they are raked or pushed into the soil. On the other hand, cool season grasses might have a chance to germinate if you simply broadcast the seed, since they require less soil coverage.

While the type of grass you want to grow mostly determines the method of planting, you also need to consider local temperature and conditions. Make sure that the weather and temperature are optimal for the type of grass you want to grow. For instance, you wouldn't try to grow a grass that isn't native to your area and one that won't thrive naturally. Take a look around the parks and wildlife areas in your location to see what types of grasses grow naturally and then choose a seed mix that mimics that type of grass. You can also choose a seed mix geared for an exact condition in your yard, including dry, sunny, shaded, damp, and dappled shade.

Author Bio

April Reinhardt

An admin­istrator for a mutual fund man­age­ment firm, April deals with the writ­ten word daily. She loves to write and plans to author a memoir in the near future. April attend­ed More­head State Uni­ver­sity to pursue a BA degree in Ele­men­tary Edu­ca­tion. ...


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