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5 Steps for Planting Grass Seed

Planting grass seed is a cost-effective way to increase lawn appeal and can be done successfully by anyone. Follow these five steps to grow a vibrant green lawn:

  1. Buy the Best Grass Seed
  2. Prepare the Soil
  3. Plant Grass Seed
  4. Cover Seeds
  5. Water Often

Step 1 – Buy the best grass seed

A great lawn can only be grown from great grass seeds. To find top-quality grass seed, look for an NTEP-rated variety, which means it has been independently evaluated and rated by the National Turf Evaluation Program (NTEP). The NTEP rating on grass seeds means you are purchasing grass seeds that have been specifically bred for superior green grass color, disease and insect resistance, and drought tolerance.

Make sure to choose a grass seed that is suited for your climate. There are two kinds of grass: warm-season and cold-season. Warm-season grasses are the best fit for southern climates, growing most during summers. Warm-season grass will typically go dormant during winter. Cool-season grasses are the best fit for northern and transitionary lawn zones, growing best during moderate summers and cold winters. Cool-season grass typically remains green all year but can go dormant during high temperatures and drought.

Also, consider the location where you will be planting the grass seed. If growing grass in the shade, choose a grass seed that is specially formulated for low-light conditions such as GreenView Fairway Formula Dense Shade Grass Seed Mixture. If you are growing in an area of your lawn with abundant light, consider GreenView Fairway Formula Sunny Grass Seed Mixture.

The price of grass seed is small compared to the time that will be invested in building a great lawn. To get the best lawn results you need the best grass seed.

Shop GreenView Fairway Formula's top-rated NTEP grass seed »

Step 2 – Prepare the soil

For planting new lawns:

  • Loosen the top 2 to 3 inches of soil.
  • Remove debris (sticks, stones, etc), from the area.
  • Break up soil clumps larger than a half-dollar.
  • Avoid too fine soil, small clumps are acceptable.
  • Level the areas where excess water might collect.
  • Do not use weed killers before or after planting seed.

For overseeding an existing lawn:

  • Mow grass as short as possible.
  • Loosen the top ¼ inch of soil in bare spots.
  • Remove debris and dead grass.
  • Level the areas where excess water collects. Use existing topsoil; added soil may have weed seeds.
  • Fertilize the bare spots after overseeding with a starter fertilizer like GreenView Fairway Formula Seeding Success

Step 3 – Plant grass seed

  • Spread the seed evenly by hand in small areas.
  • Use a hand or lawn spreader or a mechanical seeder in large areas.
  • Apply approximately 16 seeds per square inch. Too many seeds too close together cause seedlings to fight for room and nutrients. The grass may be weak or thin in these areas.

Step 4 – Cover seeds

  • Lightly drag the grass seed bed so no more than ¼ inch of soil covers the grass seed.
  • Cover the grass seed bed with GreenView Fairway Formula Seeding Success to hold seeds in place and retain moisture.

Step 5 – Water often

  • Keep the grass seed bed moist to enhance germination.
  • Water lightly (don’t saturate), and frequently (at least once daily) until the new grass is two inches high.
  • Water new grass regularly to keep roots moist.

When to plant grass seed

Grass seeds can be planted in the spring and fall with good results. If you are planning a spring planting of grass seed, do not apply weed control products to the grass. Delay the weed control application until the grass seed has germinated and you have mowed the grass at least 3 times.

For a fall planting of grass seed, follow the same weed control precautions and time the seed planting to allow the grass seed to fully germinate before freezing temperatures arrive in your region.