It is important to plan ahead when growing grass so you can make sure you have everything done by the optimum growing time.
Time of Year
Planting your grass seeds in early autumn is prime time for healthy grass growth. There is still adequate sunlight and soil will still be warm to help germination, while the cooler air and rain will help the seeds to not dry out.
There is also time needed for prepping the soil and correcting it if needed. Soil prepping involved removing all old sod and cleaning out any unwanted visitors in the soil. Soil testing must be done next in order to gauge the pH, structure, and nutrient level of the soil and then correcting any problems. This whole project is going to take three to eight hours depending on the size of the plot and how much work you need to do to clean up the soil.
It is important to choose the right seeds for your location. There are warm seeds which grow best in 80 to 95 degrees (Fahrenheit) and cold seeds that thrive in 60 to 75 degree weather. Warm seeds will grow during warm weather but lay dormant in the colder months, while cold seeds grow year round. There are also Smart Seeds that can be more expensive but are designed for specific places. Planting your seeds should take a couple hours but take your time and do it right.
It takes four to ten weeks for grass to become established but they still are not mature. Maturity will take a full season and once the grass has reached this point it is safe to walk on without risk of destroying the grass. You should wait three to four weeks after you plant your seeds to see where your blank spots will be and then you can replant in those specific areas. Doing this too early does not give the seeds that are already there a chance to grow and you could potentially ruin that grass. You should water your grass to keep it continually moist for the first two weeks and then you can slowly tapper off. The first mow of this new grass should be when it is three inches tall and you should only cut one inch off. It is important to use a good mower with sharp blades to keep your grass healthy.
If you are having difficulty growing grass on your land or you are not seeing the results as quickly as expected there could be a problem in the seed germination process that creates the grass.
One common problem that can hinder grass growth is the amount of water the seed is getting. Too much water drowns the seeds and not enough water makes it impossible for the seeds to germinate. A good rule of thumb when watering grass is to keep it continuously moist so the seeds never get a chance to dry out and you do not need to worry about overcompensating with too much water. The seeds will not all grow at the same speed so keeping the entire area moist will help the seeds grow at their one pace and will make it less likely for you to have bare patches from giving up on spots too soon. The full cover of moisture should be continued until there is thick green growth.
Even though seeds are tiny, less is more when planting them. Putting too many seeds in one area can make it hard for them to all get enough water. Different types of grass seeds mixed together can also make the germination process more difficult so try to stay with a single type of seed and space them out for optimum growth.
Where you choose to plant your grass seeds can also be an issue. If you are planting in a “high traffic zone” where people will be walking or disrupting the seeds in any way can make it difficult if not impossible for seeds to germinate and grass to go. Another common problem is wildlife like birds and squirrels stealing the seeds. It is a good rule of thumb to never plant anything near bird feeders where they expect to find food. Lastly, make sure there is a lot of sunlight where you plant your seeds so photosynthesis can occur.
If everything is done correctly you should have full green grass in six to twelve weeks. It is important to note that this grass is still young and susceptible to damage so please keep off it as much as possible for the full season for best results. The prepping may seem excessive but it is important for the healthiest grass. To keep this grass healthy for years to come water it (don’t drown it) three to four times a year and apply fertilizer three times a year.