Do It Yourself Lawn Care: When And Where To Use Lawn Seed

Wishing for a beautifuly manicured lawn for your home? Learn how, when and where to plant turf grass in your yard, including tips on how much and what type of lawn seed to use.

Anyone who has ever had to start new turf grass on his or her yard knows that it is not as simple as throwing a bag of seed on the dirt and hoping it will take. In fact, when done successfully, it can be a tedious process. However, the rewards will be great when you are able to step out on your beautifully manicured lawn and play a fun family game of badminton, or take a peaceful rest outside in your hammock, just soaking in the rays.

There are many things to consider before you actually begin the journey to the yard of your dreams. For instance, what is the best time of year to plant your grass? Typically, the best time to plant is when the soil warms up and dries out. This is very much dependent on where you live. For instance, for northern climates, any time between May and June would be appropriate. However, for southern climates, it may be sooner.

You also need to determine what kind of yard you have. There are a couple things to keep in mind here. First, is your yard sunny or shady? If your yard receives four hours of sun a day, it is considered sunny. It is not too hard to find seed varieties that do well in the sun. If it receives less than four hours, it is considered a shady yard. Some grass varieties do not do as well in shade. In this case, you can trim tree branches in order to allow some extra sunshine if trees are causing the extra shade.

Next, you need to consider what type of soil you have. Getting a soil sample can help you determine the alkalinity of your soil. Some turf seed, such as centepede grass, does better in acidic soils. Based on what kind of yard you have, you can figure out what kind of grass will thrive in that setting. If it happens that you already have a specific type of seed picked out, and you know that your soil is too acidic for that kind, you can always add lime to the soil to reverse the alkalinity. If it is necessary, mix it 3-5 inches into the soil.

Ridding your yard of all rocks and other debris will help the seed to take root easier. It is also important to clear the perennial weeds out of your yard""or those that continue to come back year after year. Dandelions are an example of these. Using an herbicide, purchased from your local feed mill or hardware store, should be suitable to accomplish this task. Be sure to follow the instructions carefully to be successful.

Once you have figured out the type of soil, and prepared it for planting, you then need to calculate how much seed to use. This can be done by dividing the area of your yard in square feet by 1000. Then multiply that number by the recommended seeding rate per thousand square feet. It should look something like this:

Area: 10,000 square feet

Seeding rate: 5 pounds per 1,000

Calculation: 10,000 sq. ft. / 1,000 = 10 10X5=50

Seed required = 50 pounds

Of course, your work is still not done after you have actually planted your seed. It is a good idea to mulch your yard. This creates a barrier to hold in the moisture and prevent the seed from drying out. If you allow your seed to dry out just once, it tremendously decreases the odds of germination. Be sure to use straw, not hay for mulching. Hay contains foreign seeds that will sprout weeds.

You also need to water frequently. It is advisable to water three times a day, ten minutes each time, being careful not to over water and form puddles until the seed germinates. If you cannot water three times a day because you work or have other daily obligations, then it is best to water both early in the morning and late in the afternoon.

Once you have done all of this, you are sure to have a lovely lawn full of lush green grass. Now you can think about your gardens""but that is a project for another day.

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