Grass Seed Calculator
Before seeding, first identify the type of turf currently growing in your lawn. If starting from scratch, select a turf type suited to grow in your region, and remember the specific requirements of your yard.
Grass seed labels help you determine characteristics of the grass, such as amount of daylight, hardiness and moisture requirements. Turfgrasses are either cool-season grasses or warm-season grasses. In general, where you live determines your lawn type.
Seeding a New Lawn
Using seed is the most common method of planting turfgrass. Whether you have an established lawn or you are starting a new one, the basic principles are the same.
1. Dig or till to a 3-inch depth.
2. Rake to remove clumps and clods.
3. Smooth and level the surface. Remember, you are establishing a finished grade so include any contours needed for drainage.
4. Add compost, topsoil and starter fertilizer and work them into the soil.
5. Roll with a weighted lawn roller.
6. Spread the seed. To ensure even coverage, sow half of the seed in one direction and the other half at a right angle.
7. Rake and roll again.
8. Mulch with a weed-free straw, such as wheat straw. As an alternative, you can use a seed starter mat or seed blanket to help keep the seed and loose soil from washing or blowing away.
9. Water frequently to keep the seeds moist (don't saturate). Cut watering back to once a day when the grass reaches about 1 inch in height.
10. Mow when the grass reaches 2 1/2 inches - 3 inches.
11. After it's been mowed three times, use a regular watering schedule of 1 inch per week.
12. Apply a pre-emergent crabgrass control to stop germination of unwanted grass.
Overseeding an Existing Lawn
To fill out an otherwise healthy lawn or to add extra green for the winter months, you can overseed:
1. Mow lower than usual.
2. Dethatch if needed or rake to thin the existing turf.
3. Aerate to reduce soil compaction.
4. Amend with compost.
5. Add starter fertilizer.
6. Apply seed.
7. Rake in loosely.
8. Top-dress with mulch, compost or peat moss.
Fixing Bare Spots
If your only problem is a bad spot or two, spot seeding can do the job:
1. Make sure the damage is not from a pest.
2. Remove dead grass and loosen the soil.
3. Spread grass seed and rake it in.
4. Mulch with a thin layer of weed-free straw, such as wheat straw. As an alternative, you can use a seed starter mat or seed blanket to help keep the seed and loose soil from washing or blowing away.
Repairing or Renovating a Lawn
If 50% of the lawn is still good (not bare of grass or full of weeds), repair. If not, start a new lawn. Follow these steps in the area you're repairing or restarting:
1. Mow lower than usual.
2. Apply nonselective herbicide.
3. Wait 10 to 14 days (or as directed by the product label).
4. Seed as a new lawn.
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