How to Plant Grass Seed

It is Late Summer here in Cincinnati and Dayton.  The lawns are entering Summer Dormancy.  September is right around the corner and that is the ideal time to plant grass seed.  You want to get your grass seed in the soil before Mid-October.  If you have any bare or thin areas it is time to plant grass seed.  So how do you do this?

  • Use turf type tall fescue grass seed – Make sure it DOES NOT say K-31 or Kentucky 31 Tall Fescue.  You want the newer turf type tall fescue that is not as wide bladed.
  • Work the soil using a slice seeding machine, aerator, metal rake, or a garden weasel.
  • Sprinkle the proper amount of grass seed evenly over the areas. Turf Type Tall Fescue should be spread out evenly at 7-10 lbs of seed per 1,000 square feet.
  • If you didn’t use a slice seeding machine or aerator, we would suggest working the soil again with the metal rake or garden weasel to get good seed to soil contact. The grass seed should be mixed into the existing soil.
  • Optional: Apply a thin layer of peat moss, compost or topsoil (make sure it is high quality with no weed seeds).  If you use straw as a mulch, don’t put down too much and suffocate the new grass coming in.  We suggest peat moss, compost or topsoil over straw.
  • Water lightly and frequently. Water for 10-15 minutes per spots 2-3 times per day for 2-3 weeks.  Don’t be discouraged if you do not see any grass coming in after a week.  Most good grasses take 14-21 days to germinate.  Once the grass is established, go back to watering deeply and infrequently (60-90 minutes every 3-7 days if it doesn’t rain).  Make sure to mow the new grass once it reaches your mowing setting of 3-4 inches.  This will help it fill out.


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