Common Answers About Grass Seeding
It’s easy to get confused about grass seed. Which grass is right for my lawn? How much seeding is too much? How much water will my chosen grass type need? Knowing this, we had our lawn care experts answer some of the most commonly asked questions about planting grass seed.
I Planted My Grass Seed and It Didn’t Grow. What’s Wrong?
There are many things that could have happened. Too much or too little water, weather conditions, use of weed control products, and/or poor soil conditions can all be possible causes. Because each situation is different, it is best to speak with one of our lawn and garden associates to help diagnose the problem. Find your nearest Ace Hardware location here!
What Is Overseeding? Why Should I Do it?
Overseeding simply means spreading grass seed over an existing lawn to thicken the turf. Over time, seasonal stresses such as heat, drought, winter conditions, and can cause your grass to become thin and weak. Overseeding is a fast, inexpensive way to help bring your lawn back to its lush, green self without tearing everything out and starting over.
How Do I Overseed My Lawn?
To overseed a lawn, start by mowing your lawn short and bagging the clipping. Then, rake the lawn to loosen the top layer of soil and remove any dead grass and debris. This will give the grass seed easy access to the soil.
If your lawn is a cool-season grass type, use a spreader to apply Scotts® Turf Builder® Thick’R Lawn™, a product developed specifically for overseeding that combines high performance grass seed with fertilizer and a soil improver to create an easy-to-use product you apply with a Scotts® Spreader.
How is Reseeding Different from Overseeding?
While overseeding is thickening up a thin lawn, reseeding is a complete lawn renovation. When there is more bare soil or weeds than grass in your yard, it’s best to just start over from scratch. The process for reseeding the lawn is the same as installing a new lawn.
What’s the Best Way to Seed a Thin or Bare Spot?
There’s no need to overseed your entire lawn if you’re only worried about a few thin or bare spots. Fill them in quickly and easily with Scotts® EZ Seed® Patch & Repair, a powerful combination of high-performance seed, super-absorbent growing material, and continuous-release lawn food that’s guaranteed to grow anywhere if you apply and care for it properly. Be sure to read the label before using and follow these simple steps:
- Remove any dead grass and loosen up the soil.
- Evenly apply EZ Seed® so the area is covered but the ground is still visible.
- Water deeply, stopping only when the product is saturated and won’t absorb any more.
- Water again whenever EZ Seed® begins to turn light brown.
- Keep kids, pets, and mowers away until the grass reaches 3 inches high.
How Long Can I Store Grass Seed Before It Goes Bad?
If stored in a cool, dry place, grass seed can last for 2-3 years. However, the germination rate (the number of seeds that will grow) will decrease over time, so you may not get the same results you would if you were using fresh seed. For best results, use fresh product and try to plant it within a year.
How Much Grass Seed Should I Buy?
It all depends on how large your lawn is and how thick you would like your grass. If you already know how many square feet you are seeding, then proceed to Step 2.
Step 1: Sometimes it’s hard to guess how big your lawn is just by looking at it. Square footage adds up fast. Use the Scotts mobile app to quickly measure the square footage of your land.
Step 2: Once you know the square footage, the next step is to look at the package to determine how many bags you need to buy. There are usually 2 coverage numbers listed on a grass seed package:
- The first number is usually for Overseeding Coverage: Typically, the overseeding coverage is the higher of the two coverage numbers. This is how many square feet the package will cover if you are planning to overseed, or spread grass seed into your existing lawn.
- The second number is usually for New Lawn Coverage: The lower of the 2 coverage numbers is normally the new lawn coverage. This is how many square feet the package will cover if you are completely reseeding or planting a new lawn.
It’s important to read each grass seed package carefully to make sure you buy the right amount. Most grass seed products have the coverage listed on the package.
I Used a Weed Control Product. How Long Should I Wait To Plant New Grass?
All weed control products are different, but in general, it is not recommended to plant new grass within 4 months of using a crabgrass preventer, or within 1 month of using other weed control products, unless the product is designed to be used when seeding. Always refer to the product label for specific information related to the weed control product you are using.
Why Should I Use a Starter Lawn Food?
Starter Food products for new grass provides your lawn with the nutrients it needs to build strong roots. As a result, your new grass will grow in faster and thicker than if you didn’t feed it at all.
How Long Does It Take for Grass to Begin Growing?
The length of time varies by grass type. The product package should tell you how long it will take for your new grass to begin growing.
Questions About Caring For Newly Planted Grass
How Much Do I Need to Water My New Grass?
Watering is crucial for seeding success. Water frequently for the first 2-3 weeks while seedling are young and developing. This means keeping the top 1 inch of soil consistently moist, but not soggy. Mist your seedlings daily or as needed. After your new grass has filled in and has been mowed at least once, begin to cut back watering intervals to twice a week, applying about a half inch of water at each watering.
How Soon Can I Mow After Planting New Grass?
If you reseeded or planted a new lawn, avoid mowing until the new seedlings have reached three to four inches in height. Make sure your mower blade is sharp, and only cut your grass when it’s dry to avoid damaging the new grass blades. Do not remove more than a third of your total grass height in a single mowing. If you overseeded your lawn you can continue to mow as needed, but try to limit the frequency to reduce traffic on the new seedlings.
When Can I Use Weed Control Products like Weed Preventer or Weed Killer on My New Grass?
All weed control products are different, but in general, it is recommended to wait until the new grass has been mowed at least 4 times before using a crabgrass preventer or other weed control product. You can make an exception here if you buy a weed control product designed for use when seeding, but follow the package instructions to the letter to avoid having to do your grass seeding all over again after the new coverage dies out.
If you need more answers about grass seeding, lawn care, or general lawn & garden questions, just ask our helpful store associates. Or visit the Ace Hardware Helpful Tips for Lawn & Garden section online.