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Tips for Planting Grass Seeds in Tough-to-Grow Areas

by Jeffrey Anderson, All About Lawns Columnist

Grass can grow just about anywhere--you simply need the right type of grass, proper nutrients and moisture, and protection from insects and weeds.

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Planting Grass Seed in a Barren Area

One of the first steps in planting grass seed is checking the soil to see if it has all of the nutrients needed for healthy grass growth. Take a sample of the soil to your local agricultural extension, and they should be able to tell you what type of fertilizer your soil needs. Spread the fertilizer over that tough-to-grow area, and mix it in with the top soil. You should have about 4 inches of top soil for planting grass seeds--add soil if needed.

  • Know Your Growing Zone: Warm weather grass types have a tough time thriving in cold weather growing zones, and the opposite is also true. Know your growing zone and choose the appropriate grass seeds. The National Arboretum has a helpful zone chart.
  • Try a Blend: Certain grass seeds do better in different situations. Some seeds thrive in high-traffic areas, others flourish in high-moisture areas. Instead of planting grass seeds of one type, try a bag of blended grass seeds.
  • Shade Provides a Challenge: Shady spots are the toughest areas to get grass seeds growing. Planting the right seed types is crucial, and you may have to do a little tree pruning to allow some sunlight through. Iowa State University has some good suggestions on seed types and other methods for tackling a shady area.
  • Mixing Soil and Seed: Try mixing topsoil and seed together before spreading--this may produce successful results.

Follow these grass seed and planting tips for difficult-to-grow areas, and this may be the year your whole lawn turns green.

About the Author

Jeffrey Anderson has a Degree in English from V.M.I. and served as an officer in the Marine Corps. He worked in Residential and Commercial construction management for 25 years before retiring to write full time.

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