Important Facts to Know about Planting Grass
The crowning glory to any landscaped yard is a beautiful, lush carpet of grass; a view that can be enjoyed by any homeowner who knows a few things about planting grass. While it may grow all on its own, following this foolproof guide can reward you with a lawn that your neighbors will envy.
Many people may not be aware that there is more than one variety of grass. This is an important fact to know, since different regions require different types of grass. Once the proper type of grass is chosen, it must be planted and cared for correctly in order for it to develop into that perfect lawn of green. So before you get started in your own yard, do some research to ensure that you do it right the first time.
Types of Grass
Where you live could dictate the type of grass that you need to plant. There are 11 planting zones in the United States, which vary according to the climate. There are charts available online that will detail the different hardiness zones, which show the lowest average temperatures that occur in that area. Certain plants are not able to withstand freezing temperatures, meaning they are not cold hardy. Planting seeds and plants that are not hardy for your zone will be an act of futility.
There are also grasses that are available for planting in sunny areas and others that should be retained for shady areas. Different looks; different textures; different needs for moisture; many situations need to be addressed. Taking these features into consideration before planting grass seed will ensure that you will have success from the beginning.
Once you have determined the best type of grass for your particular region and lawn, you will need to know how much seed you will need. The amount of seed needed will depend on whether you are reseeding an existing lawn or if you are seeding a newly plotted area. Each type of grass has its own specifications on the amount needed, also. The instructions for each type of grass seed will be printed on the package, and will be expressed in per pounds for a specific number of square feet. Heavier coverage will be needed for new areas, while lighter coverage will be ample for reseeding projects.
The average daily temperature should also be ideal for planting grass. Some grass seeds are best planted during the cooler seasons, while others need warm temperatures to germinate effectively.
Most types of grasses should be planted at a depth of ¼ inch. This depth allows the seed to germinate easily while also being protected from a possible washout after a heavy rain. The best method of spreading the seed is to use a hand crank seed spreader; a device specifically for that purpose. Grass seed requires solid connection with the soil, so tamping the ground lightly after seeding and covering the seed with soil will help provide this. The soil should be well watered with a fine mist after planting.
Care During Germination
Keeping the seeds moist at all times will help the seeds to germinate. Once the first sprouts are noted, watering can change from the light mist to a slightly heavier watering. Take care not to disrupt the soil. After all of the grass has sprouted, begin to water at a rate of about 1 inch per week, taking into consideration any rainfall received.
After your new lawn has reached a height of 2-3 inches tall, you can begin to mow. Two inches is an ideal height for grass; long enough to provide that gorgeous green color you look for in a lawn and also shading the root system to avoid drying the soil, but still short enough to give a well manicured appearance. Following the first mowing, a turf fertilizer can also be added that is high in nitrogen. After fertilizing, water the grass to get the fertilizer into the ground and keep it from possibly burning the tender shoots.
When mowing your grass, try to do so at frequent intervals to keep grass clippings short. Leaving these tiny grass tips on the lawn will reintroduce the many natural nutrients that grass possesses back into the soil through the fast decomposition of the plant material.