The steps to plant grass seed are amending the soil and prepping for optimal soil health, choosing the right type of seed and applying the seed according to the instructions on the packaging. Keeping the seeds moist during the germination period is the most important step to ensure seedling growth. Instructions will specify the right time of year to plant based on whether the grass seed is a warm-season or a cool-season variety. For a more detailed look at how to complete each step, read our article "How to Plant Grass Seed."
Most existing lawns need the equivalent of 1 inch of rainfall each week to retain their health and attractive appearance. This includes water from natural precipitation and any supplemental irrigation you provide. However, this can vary depending on where you live and what type of grass you have. Learn more about specific grass maintenance needs to ensure you adhere to proper water guidelines here.
For newly planted grass seed, water twice daily so that the top half inch of the soil always remains moist. Stop watering when puddles begin to appear on the soil surface. Once the seeds germinate and grass seedlings begin to grow, gradually transition to watering less frequently but more heavily. Taper off watering as the grass becomes taller and more mature. Learn more about new grass seed maintenance in our "How to Plant Grass Seed" article.
Keeping grass seeds and seedlings constantly moist but not soggy is critical to successful grass-seeding efforts. Water newly seeded areas two to three times a day with a light spray to keep the seeds moist. Stop watering when puddles begin to appear on the soil surface. Once the seeds germinate and grass seedlings begin to grow, gradually transition to watering less frequently but more heavily. Taper off watering as the grass becomes taller and more mature. Learn more about new lawn maintenance in our "How to Plant Grass Seed" article.
Animals and children should be kept off the seeded area until the seed has been initially watered in and dried. Be sure to consult the safety label on the packaging for additional instructions.
Cool-season grasses are varieties that flourish in northern regions, where their growth peaks in the cool temperatures and plentiful moisture of fall and spring. Popular cool-season grasses include fescues, bluegrasses and ryegrasses. Learn how to care for cool-season grass here.
Warm-season grasses are grasses that have their most active growth during warm seasons, from late spring through summer into early fall. Warm-season lawn grasses do best across the country's southern tier of states and up into the challenging midsection known as the transition zone, where cool, warm, humid and arid regions meet and merge. Popular warm-season grasses include Bermudagrass, Centipede, and Zenith Zoysia. Learn more about warm-season grass varieties here and how to choose the right variety for your lawn.
Seed germination is when the seed begins to root and develop beneath the soil. Seed emergence is when the growing blade of grass emerges from the topsoil. For more information to ensure proper seed germination check out our article "Your First Lawn? Start Here!"
All seeds and fertilizers can require different spreader settings. We recommend that you refer to the manual of the spreader you wish to use for the correct spreader. To learn more about spreaders please visit our article "Demystifying Lawn Spreaders."