In Kansas City we have the unique joy of truly experiencing all four of Mother Nature’s seasons – and then some! This provides us the white-dusted, dreamy, snowy nights; the colorful blooms of vibrant springs; picture perfect, crisp fall days; and sultry, sunny days with friends by the pool, it also creates difficulties in growing and maintaining a beautiful lawn. Ready to get growing? Here are a few guidelines to follow when planting grass seed and nurturing it into the lush, green carpet of a lawn you’ve always wanted.
Tip #1 – Water Before Seeding
What may seem obvious is not always so when it comes to watering your lawn. It is important to water your lawn every day for a few days before planting seed. Critically though, it’s best to skip heavy watering on the actual day of planting. The contained moisture in the soil from your diligent earlier watering will provide a better environment for new seed to succeed. After planting, a light sprinkling of water on the new grass seed for 5 to 10 minutes immediately after planting should do the trick – without washing away new seed in a pool of drain-off.
Tip #2 – Know Your Seeds
If your lawn is already established, you generally need to overseed with fescue, as Bluegrass spreads quickly and is usually well established. When starting a new lawn, we suggest a 50/50 mix of fescue and Bluegrass, which, by weight, is actually a 90/10 mix (90% Bluegrass and 10% fescue) as Bluegrass seeds are much smaller and lighter. Also, be sure to read seed packaging and be sure your grass seed label reads, “0% weed seeds” and “0% other crop” – no sense giving weeds a head start in your yard!
Tip #3 – When to Aerate Your Lawn
If you are simply overseeding an already healthy lawn, consider aerating the lawn first. Aerating pulls small plugs of dirt and grass out of the ground giving the existing grass room to grow – and it also allows rain and nutrients deeper into the soil to better reach the grass roots. Clay soil tends to get compacted quickly, so we recommend aerating that type of soil once a year to keep your lawn healthy.
Tip #4 – Water Your Lawn Regularly
Maybe the most important tip when trying to grow a trophy lawn: Make sure to water frequently enough to keep soil consistently damp. Light, frequent watering is best, and overwatering is a big no-no. Consider this watering schedule:
For the first 3 weeks, water the newly seeded area 3 times per day, at 8am, 12 noon, & 4pm, lightly watering to keep the seedbed moist but not creating run-off.
- For the next 2 weeks, limit watering to once per day about for about twice as long as the watering done during the 1st three weeks.
- Ongoing weeks thereafter, water your new grass deeply once a week, being careful not to overwater when rain is in the forecast!
If you need a little assistance in bringing a newly seeded lawn to life, or just want to provide better care for your existing grass, just give Debbie at Heinen a call at (913) 432-5011 and she’ll schedule a no obligation consultation with a Heinen Turf Specialist!