Spring is the ideal time to start a new lawn or revitalize one. The rainfall and colder temperatures create a conducive growing environment that allow you to perform lawn care. The best grasses for the warm season are centipede grass and bermuda grass. Read on for instructions on planting grass seed that will make your landscaping look great.
Prepare Bare Soil
1. Till the top 2 to 3 inches of the soil with a tiller or a garden rake.
2. Pick up any rocks, branches or other debris that the tiller turned up.
3. Rake the entire seedbed to help level out high and low spots and remove any clumps of dirt larger than 1 inch in diameter.
4. Apply fertilizer to the area with a drop or broadcast spreader. Follow package directions for the amount of fertilizer to spread; a typical application for new lawns uses 2 1/2 pounds of fertilizer per 1,000 square feet of lawn.
Prepare Seedbed in Established Lawn
1. Set the lawnmower to cut the grass as low as possible, removing most of the vegetation from the lawn and making it easier for the grass seeds to reach the soil.
2. Rake the grass and the top one-quarter inch of the soil underneath it. Dispose of rocks and other debris in the lawn.
3. Fertilize the lawn following manufacturer’s guidelines. A typical recommendation for an existing lawn is 5 pounds of fertilizer per 1,000 square feet of lawn.
Plant Grass Seed
1. Put half the grass seeds in a drop or broadcast spreader. Sow the seeds onto the prepared ground, walking back and forth creating parallel rows. Add the remaining seeds to the spreader and sow these seeds in the opposite direction. For example, if you sow the first half of the seeds walking north and south, walk east and west as you sow the second half.
2. Turn the rake so the tines are facing up. Drag the rake across the yard to cover the seeds with no more than one-quarter inch of soil.
3. Cover the ground with a thin layer of mulch made from wheat straw, if your lawn is uneven and prone to erosion. Rake the mulch away once the grass begins to grow through it.
4. Water the lawn lightly each day until the grass is 2 inches tall. Take advantage of spring rain showers to water less as long as you are getting rain.
5. Mow the lawn for the first time when it reaches 3 inches tall. Only use a sharp blade to cut the grass.