How to Grow Grass From Seed Quickly
If you want to have a lush lawn, you probably need to plant some grass. While planting sod is common, many people like the idea of planting their lawns from seed. It’s more cost effective and much less risky. If you’re looking into this idea, here’s what you can expect and how to go about the process to help your grass grow quickly.
Prepare the Soil
The first step is getting rid of the old sod. Weeds obviously have to go too. Any plant life that is already in your soil will soak up resources and choke out the new seeds. Depending on the scale of the project, shovels, rakes, pickaxes, or even backhoes are required for this work. The idea is not to remove the topsoil. Instead, we are getting rid of those pesky competitive plants in the soil.
After everything is removed, the soil needs to be tested and adjusted. Alkalinity levels are extremely important. Most new grasses will thrive in soil with a pH between 6.2 and 7.0. It also helps to test for nutrients. Nitrogen and potassium levels need to be high enough to support new grass. If they aren’t, then the soil needs to be fertilized before planting.
Get the Seed
Clearly, you need seeds to plant grass. The first step in all of this is picking the right grass. Ideally, you will pick your grass before the soil is prepped, so here is a quick tip for that. In Texas, the most successful types of grass are bermuda, buffalograss, centipede, and zoysia.
Once you do pick, acquiring seed is its own journey. The general rule is to have two to eight pounds of seed per 1,000 square feet of planting. The variation depends on the type of grass. You also can pick from different blends of grass based on what the lawn will experience. If there is a bunch of shade, you want a shady mix. If you’re going to have a bunch of kids playing on the lawn, a high-traffic mix is a must.
The last choice is whether you do just seed or a mixture that includes fertilizer and/or mulch. The mixes are more expensive, but they save a lot of time and labor, which can make up for that cost.
Planting methods are either by hand or using a seeder. What really matters is that the area is properly saturated. The ballpark is to have 15 to 20 seeds per square inch, and the seed is best distributed in more than one pass. Two passes are pretty standard, which means that only half of the seed density is delivered in each pass. It is important for the seed to be evenly distributed, so if the first pass goes from north to south, the second pass should go from east to west.
After the seed is laid, it’s important to lightly rake the ground. This helps to mix everything and get the seeds into the topsoil.
Once the seed is down, you need to keep the top layer of soil moist. That requires frequent watering. Typically, you will want to water every morning. If the soil is drying out by the end of the day, water again. The watering cycles do not need to be long and deep. The grass doesn’t have roots yet.
Keep in mind that even with the best sprinkler system, you’ll see variations in water distribution. This comes from inconsistencies in water, sunlight, and everything else that exists in nature. Pay attention and adjust how you water to compensate and keep the soil moist.
The grass will grow if you keep it watered, and eventually, you will need to mow. This is a great milestone. For the first mow, you want to cut the grass at two inches or higher. Make sure the blade is as sharp as possible so you don’t rip up grass. Also, never remove more than one-third of the grass’s length in a single mow. That means the first mow doesn’t happen until the grass is three inches tall.
After the first mow, you can change the watering cycles to normal. That means watering should be less frequent and last longer. This will get water deeper into the soil to encourage better root development.
The entire process usually takes six to eight weeks. At this point, the lawn can be fertilized again. Growing grass from seed requires plenty of effort and know-how. Outsourcing both of those things makes life easy. Clearfork Lawn Care can design and plant your lawn to ensure it grows well from the start. Contact us today to learn about some of the amazing Clearfork lawn service options we have available.