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Give Your Lawn a Mini Makeover With a Dose of New Grass Seed

by Kristin Marino, All About Lawns Columnist

grass, grass seed, grass seeding
Grass Seeds

Is your grass looking a little age-worn and not quite as perky and youthful as it once was? It might need a face-lift. After all, everyone needs a little work now and then.

How would you like to improve your lawn?
  • Make it greener
  • Eliminate patches
  • Less weeds
  • Make it thicker
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There are conflicting opinions regarding the best season for grass seeding. Some experts believe fall is the best time, as this gives time for the grass to take hold in cooler weather before it goes dormant.

Others feel that April and the early spring months are just as desirable of a time for planting grass. You can only do this if you didn't add a weed retardant to your grass in the winter. If you did, you won't be able to reseed in the spring. You'll have to wait until the fall.

Regardless of when you decide to plant grass seed in your lawn, here are some tips to help you give your lawn a "lift."

Six Tips for Planting Seed

  1. Rake the lawn with a broom rake. You want to remove the thatch from your grass and give the grass seed room to grow. A "double duty" rake can rake with one side and dethatch with the other side.
  2. Loosen the soil in the bare spots to a depth of about 1" or more with a soil-loosening tool/cultivator.
  3. Sprinkle the bare spots in your lawn with a good grass fertilizer and then rake it level.
  4. If bare spots are heavily compacted, you'll need to loosen soil to a 6" level. You'll need to add some peat moss to the area to keep it loose after applying the seed.
  5. After the soil has been completely prepared, seed the bare spots by hand. Lightly sprinkle the grass seed on the bare areas. Choose a grass seed appropriate for the area you are working on. There are good grass seeds available for shady areas as well as areas that receive direct sunlight. The people at your favorite nursery should be able to point you in the right direction.
  6. When you have applied a light application of grass seed, mist the area lightly with water.

Some Helpful Things to Remember

  • Keep the freshly seeded area moist at all times until the grass seed has had a chance to germinate. You can then water the seeded area when you water the rest of your lawn.
  • Birds love seed, right? So what's to stop them from feasting on your newly laid grass seed? Put a little fence around the seeded area. Use wooden stakes to delineate the area and tie a generous piece of red "flash tape" around each stake. This is supposed to scare birds away from the seeded area.
  • Cover the area with a thin layer of organic matter, such as compost or straw. The key here is to be sure the layer is thin.
  • Gently cover the area with clear sheets of polyethylene plastic. Secure your edges with some rocks or stakes. It works almost like a little greenhouse. Remove plastic when you see sprouts of new grass. You'll still need to keep the little sprouts constantly moist until they're about an inch tall.
Pretty soon, the seeded areas will blend in with the rest of the grass. Your grass will look perky and young, with a little help from you.

About the Author
Kristin Marino has been a homeowner for ten years and really does have the greenest lawn in her neighborhood. Kristin holds a bachelor degree in English from the University of Nevada.

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