I'm sure you want your lawn to be the envy of the neighbourhood, you want to get your lawn to look like a million dollars, if not two! This is definitely possible and we want to help you achieve this. But then, you must have been wondering if you'll get lucky and not have to do much. It's normal to be tempted to look the easy way and just simply throw your grass seed on the ground and expect it to grow, but let's see if it will.
Will grass seed grow if I just throw it on the ground?
Well, grass seeds can actually grow if you just throw them on the ground. However the coverage won't be as good because they'll not be evenly spread as some seeds will die off after some time and the germination rate would be really poor.
If you want to turn your lawn into an impressive-looking one, it's important you have a proper planting and maintenance procedure that'll give your lawn the perfect growing conditions. Here, I'll be discussing all the tips from preparing your garden soil to raking in the seeds that can help you grow lush lawns that everyone will admire.
How To Properly Prepare Soil For Grass Seed
Preparing the soil before planting grass seeds can significantly improve the results. If you want to get that stunning look you desire, then it's important you follow the steps below to ensure you prepare your soil adequately.
Step 1: Test the pH of your soil
Testing the pH of your soil is a very important procedure. It's important that your soil pH is between 6.0 and 7.0. There are several ways to test the pH of your soil within a short time. You can get a product from your local hardware store to test the pH of your soil. Make sure to test your soil while it's dry.
If you find out that your soil is not within the ideal range, you'll need to adjust it. Like I mentioned earlier, grass loves a pH range of 6.0-7.0. You can use lime or wood ash to raise the pH level of your soil. Composted manure and sulfur are good agents that can help you lower your soil pH levels.
Step 2: Clear your ground very well and loosen the soil
The next step once you have gotten your soil ready is to clear the area you are preparing. Try as much as possible to remove weeds, stones, etc. You can use a rotary tiller if your lawn is really large, but a spade should do just fine if the area is small. Loosening your soil will help to get it aerated and bring it better-growing conditions.
Step 3: Rake your soil to get the old grass out
Make sure to remove the old grass as it can poison the roots of your new grass seeds. You'll need to leave your soil for one to two weeks, so you'll allow the weeds to emerge so you can remove them evenly.
Step 4: Spray the area with water and add nutrients to your soil
You'll also need to spray the area with water and add compost or slow-release fertilizer to your soil.
Step 5: It's time to plant!
Buy high-quality grass seed, this will increase the chances of more seeds germinating. If you have a small area, simply use your hand to spread the seed on the ground. A spreader would be much easier and faster for larger areas. Make sure to cover the seeds with a quarter-inch of soil and apply fertilizer.
How To Rake In Grass Seed
Raking your seeds into the ground will help to stimulate germination. Simply spreading the seeds on the ground is not enough to ensure immediate growth. You'll need to take in the grass seeds.
So take your leaf rake and use the back to gently move the seeds into the soil slowly. The seeds shouldn't get too deep into the soil, just light strokes should do the trick.
Raking your seeds into the soil properly will help to speed up germination. And within two to four weeks, you should notice a few seeds poking out of the soil. If you don't take your seeds into the soil, they may die or get exposed to other unfavorable conditions.
Best Conditions For Grass Seed
For your grass seeds to germinate well, you'll need to provide them with the best conditions. They thrive in moist soil. Avoid overly wet conditions that may wash away the seeds. But ensure the soil is moist enough to ensure germination.
Once you've planted your seeds don't let the soil dry out until you notice a fine growth where you've sowed them. Don't plant grass seeds on a windy day, you don't want your seeds to be blown off. This is why winter isn't the best time to plant these seeds.
Summer can be a bit troubling too, as your soil will quickly run out of water at this time. But most importantly, you should choose the best time of the year to plant your seeds. This will depend on the grass seed you are planting and your region.
For best results, it's important you plant your seeds in their natural active period and purchase a suitable seed for your region. Some seeds are sun-loving, some others only need a few hours of sunlight.
For cool-season grasses like bluegrass, and fescue, early fall should be a great time for planting. These species of grass thrive in cooler northern climates. For warm-season grasses like Bahiagrass, late spring would be an ideal time to plant. These grasses grow very well in southern and western regions.
What To Do If Grass Seed Doesn't Grow?
If your grass seed isn't growing after several weeks, it means there's something wrong. It can be frustrating after preparing, planting, and fertilizing and the seeds just won't grow.
First, let's examine some reasons why this may happen. The most common problem is lack of sunlight, it could be that you have planted sun-loving grass under shade.
But most times, the issue is that trees and buildings around the area are shading the area from sunlight. So if you've planted sun-loving grass in an area that has well-matured trees, your seeds might not grow. So what do you do now?
You'll definitely not want to cut down the trees you've enjoyed for years. But you'll have to plant a variety that can deal with your shaded area. Shade-tolerant grass seeds like velvet bentgrass can handle just a few hours of sunlight.
Don't assume that feeding your plants with more fertilizer will make them grow, you must plant the right plant in the right place for it to grow.
Other times, some homeowners discover that an area of the lawn seems stressed. This usually happens during extreme weather conditions when it's too hot and dry. Then the issue could be that there's an underground object stopping the root from getting to the soil reservoir where they can get water and nutrients or you've got hard clay soil.
At this point, you may need to dig up your soil and aerate. Your grass also needs airflow. Airflow decreases the possibility of diseases. If you've got a privacy screen and too many trees, you may need to limb-up trees and shrubs to allow greater airflow. Installing fans is another quite expensive option.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will grass seed grow if not covered?
Yes, grass seed may grow if not covered. But it's always better to add a layer of topsoil at least or compost over your seeds. This will not only keep it moist, but it'll also help to prevent it from being food for the birds.
Will grass seed grow over dead grass?
Grass seed will not grow if it's lying on dead grass. You'll need to remove the dead grass and expose the soil. Tilling the soil will help to loosen the top layer of the soil and ensure your seeds germinate correctly.
Will grass seed die if not watered right away?
No, the grass seed will lay there dormant when not given the right growing conditions. All seeds require moisture for germination to take place. But then, once the seed starts to germinate, if they are not given proper care and they are left dry, they'll die.
Will grass seed grow if you walk on it?
Grass seedlings are very fragile. So it'll be nice to avoid or reduce walking on your lawn for at least a month after planting. The seedlings can be damaged by foot traffic, so ideally you should wait till your grass has been mowed 2 times before exposing it to the usual traffic. Otherwise, simply walking across your lawn to water it shouldn't stop it from growing, but you'll need to be careful so the seeds don't stick to your shoes.