Starting a new lawn from scratch may seem like a formidable task, especially if you're new to home ownership or working on your first lawn. But planting a lawn from seed is easier than it seems at first glance. All you need is the willpower to make it happen—and good information to guide your steps.
Homeowners and lawn professionals have been trusting Pennington Seed for more than three generations. When Pennington says you can do this, you can. Just follow these 10 steps to plant a lawn from grass seed, and you can enjoy a thick, lush green lawn you'll be proud of:
- Time your planting right
- Test your soil
- Amend and improve your soil
- Choose the best seed
- Prepare the soil for planting
- Fertilize your soil
- Plant your seed
- Water your seed
- Maintain your new lawn
- Enjoy your new lawn
Grasses peak in growth during these times, and moderate temperatures help seed germinate and take root. Working with nature to give grass an advantage gets your lawn started on the right foot.
Soil sampling is simple—and you'll feel like a DIY lawn pro. Plus, results and recommendations that come back from the soil lab will tell you what you're working with and what you need to do. Your county extension agent can help with test kits and info to get you started.
If soil is overly acidic, so pH is too low, your lawn may need lime to restore proper pH balance and nutrient availability. If your soil's short on organic matter, adding soil amendments such as compost upfront improves seed and grass growth down the road.
That low-quality grass seed that seems like a great buy? You'll think differently when grass seed doesn't germinate, but weed seeds do. Buying quality grass seed produced by a trusted company is the most economical and satisfying choice in the end. With Pennington Seed, exclusive Penkoted seed technology also protects seed with a layer of fungicide and growth stimulant that ensures healthier, better growth from the start.
Your local retailer will generally have grass seed suited to where you live, so your lawn can handle your area's winter cold and summer heat. If your lawn has lots of shade and trees, look for labels that specific grass for shady lawns. With Pennington Smart Seed grass seed, you'll also improve your lawn's sustainability. Once established, Smart Seed saves you up to 30 percent more water than ordinary grasses, year after year.
Avoid using any weed killer before or after seeding your new lawn. Residue can prevent seed from germinating or kill tender young grass plants. If weed killers have been used on your seeding spot, wait at least three weeks before you plant grass seed.
Once your lawn gets rolling, a premium lawn fertilizer such as Pennington UltraGreen Lawn Fertilizer 34-0-4 takes over a regular fertilizer schedule. Both these fertilizers protect against nitrogen loss to the environment, so the nutrients you add stay available to your seed.
Once your seed is down, rake the area again to work seed into the soil about 1/8 to 1/4 inch deep. Seed needs light to germinate so don't plant too deep—and don't worry about birds eating your seed. Pennington's green seed color camouflages seed so birds leave it alone.
Depending on the type of grass you plant, germination can take between five and 21 days. Your product label will tell you what to expect. As the grass grow, gradually transition your watering to aregular lawn watering schedule. Established lawns generally need about 1 inch of water every week, from irrigation or from rainfall.
Once you mow, following best mowing practices and never take off more than one-third of the grass's height in a single mowing. Taking off too much as once affects the grass's food and energy reserves. As a general rule, don't use any weed killers or weed & feed fertilizers on your new lawn areas until they've been mowed three or four times. home's curb appeal. Perhaps most of all, a healthy, well-maintained lawn provides a beautiful green backdrop to reconnect with nature and with family and friends.
With these ten simple steps, you're on your way to experiencing the satisfaction and pride that comes from creating a beautiful, thick, lush lawn. At Pennington, we're here every step of the way—from the finest grass seed to premium lawn care products to help your lawn thrive—so you can grow a lawn you're proud to call your own.