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Checklist for Planting Grass Seed

by Kelly Richardson, All About Lawns Columnist

To the contrary of how simple it may sound, planting grass seed requires attention to a variety of tangibles for success. Time of year, method of seeding, and after care are just a few of the aspects that, if ignored, will result in less than optimal growth and a subsequent waste of your time, energy, and money.

If you ask 100 people about the best methods for planting grass seed, you're liable to get 100 different responses. While everyone may have their own particular ideas about how to get the best results, there are some concrete guidelines that must be followed no matter what part of the country you live in. Follow them and reap the benefits of a stable lawn. Ignore them, and you might have a mess on your hands when it comes time for growth.
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Keep in mind that these are only suggestions for ensuring that the grass seed that you plant will have the best chance of survival and growth. These guidelines will vary from region to region. Check with your local home and garden professional for specifics to your state.

Planting Grass Seed

  • Planting at the Correct Depth. To achieve maximum germination, most grass seeds should be planted at a depth of 1/8 to 1/4 below the soil.  While other types of seeds might do better when planted deeper, grass seeds must be placed at this depth to keep them from washing away at the first good rain.
  • Planting for Contact. When planting grass seed, make sure that you achieve a good contact between the seed and the moist dirt surrounding it. This may mean that you have to roll or pad the area once the seeds have been placed in the soil. 
  • Planting During the Right Temperature. Plant your cool season grass seeds when the temperatures reach 75 and are dropping as fall and winter approaches. Plant your warm season grasses when the soil temperatures are above 70 degrees.
  • Planting the Right Seeds. Planting the right grass seeds depends entirely on the region of the country in which you live. Check with your home and garden professional concerning what grass seeds work best in your state.

Planting grass seed doesn't have to be mystery. If you follow these basic rules, along with those recommended by experts in your area, you'll end up with a beautiful, durable lawn.

About the Author
Kelly Richardson has obsessive compulsive lawn disorder and is afflicted with the need to share his knowledge with the world. Kelly writes lawn columns for a variety of home and garden magazines and e-zines.

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