There may be times when you would like to landscape your yard using grass seed. You may have a bare yard that needs the entire area seeded or you may wish to spread new seed over an existing lawn. Here are some tips to help you get the best results when planting new grass seed.
Bare Soil: Planting on bare soil is the preferred method for new lawns. The reason for this is simple. A bare yard means that you have already removed much of the competition by killing off weeds or other plants. Doing this allows your new grass seed to take root faster as they do not have to fight for food, water and sunshine.
The second reason bare soil is preferred is because a prepared seed bed has had its soil loosened which allows the roots to push through easier and faster.
Planting Over Existing Grass: If you already have a lawn, you may want to enhance it. You can do this by broadcast planting seeds onto an existing lawn. This method can present some problems, however, as it is often harder to obtain good germination. The reason for this is usually due to the seeds not making good contact with the soil. You want to maximize the amount of seeds that come in contact with the soil in order to make this method work.
One tip is to use grasses that are cool season growers. These usually germinate easier when spread out over existing grass.
Another tip is to use aeration delivery systems. These systems use some form of spike or plug aerator that helps the seeds to get down into the earth.
In either case, make sure you buy plenty of seeds to make up for those seeds that will be lost due to not making it into the soil.
Some tips to keep in mind:
Warm season grasses are notorious for not germinating if they are simply left on top of the exiting grass or ground. When planting warm season grasses, you have to make sure that the seed is covered by the dirt.
Some of the cool season grasses will germinate but they, too, need to have as much soil contact as possible. Any method used such as aeration, covering with top soil, raking, and the like will help to increase germination. Even walking or having the kids play on the lawn will be useful in getting the seed down to the soil.
Always check the planting season information on the grass that you want to use and follow that schedule. Some grasses if planted out of season will not grow at all, and you have wasted your money. Others may grow, but only poorly.
If you have any doubts about the seed that you are using or planning to use, contact your local landscape contractor. He or she will know exactly what will work for you and what will not. It is much better to get this information before you buy or begin planting your grass seed.