Grass Seed: Why, How & What Kind To Use
Are you worried that neighbors are gawking at your unsightly lawn? Perhaps, you’d simply like to expand the amount of “green” around the perimeter of your home.
These are just two out of many cases in which a homeowner would like to bulk-up and optimize their grass. Today I’ll be discussing with you what options are available once you decide to go down this road.
Grass Seed VS Sod
So, you’ve decided to take the plunge and upgrade your lawn. However, this begs to question “do I go with grass seeds, sod, or some other combination?”
Sod is when you transplant already mature turf that is rolled out across your lawn in strips and usually requires a professional with special expertise to do it properly. If you go the seed route, it involves planting the seeds and sprouting your very own grass from the jump. Since planting seeds is less complicated, this can be done yourself or hired out if you wanted someone else to take care of it. The biggest difference is pricing.
Sod is by far the most expensive option. You can get the “Rolls Royce of grass seed” for significantly less money than you would spend for sod. Assuming you’re on a budget – let’s explore the option of planting your own grass seed for the remainder of this article.
Types of Grass Seed
Now that you’ve decided to plant your own grass seed – you’re probably wondering what kind you need to get, how much it will cost, etc. If you take a top-down approach, you’ll come to find that there is two main categories of grass seed – warm season and cold season.
The warm season type is made up of species hailing from the south of the country and they grow best in hot weather. This type of grass tends to go dormant in the winter time, degrading into a brownish color until spring arrives.
Cool season grass has its origins in the northern half of the country. Cool season grass tends to grow rapidly throughout the spring and fall. On the downside this kind of grass tends to turn brown during periods of intense heat during the summer.
Beyond this, there are all types of seeds with subtle differences and it would probably be best to speak with the associate at your local retailer so they can suggest the best combination of quality, value and function to fit your needs.
Grass Seed Planting
It’s best to plant warm season grass seed in late spring. The cool season seeds should be planted in late summer or early fall. Once you’ve determined when to plant and what seed to use – it’s time to get your hands dirty.
First off, you’ll want to prepare the soil by loosening up the top few inches, removing stones / debris and breaking up any clumps of dirt that are bigger than a golf-ball size. Following the preparation, it’s time to begin planting the seed. You can spread it evenly across the designated area either by hand or using a seeder, following a guideline of about 16 seeds per square inch. Don’t put too many seeds too close together, though, as they will be forced to fight for nutrients.
After your seeds are snuggled away in the dirt you will want to cover them with a very thin layer of soil. Covering them will hold them in place and help retain moisture so they grow healthy. Keep your grass seed moist to push the germination process along, while being careful not to make the ground oversaturated which will drown the seeds.
Grass Seed Wrap-Up
Hopefully you’ve gained some insight into why, what and how to go about bulking up the green grass around your home or optimizing the grass you already have. This is a great way to get outdoors and occupy your time in a healthy, productive way. You can even get your kids involved and make a family project out of it.
Landscaping and lawn care is our passion and we hope to inspire you with a little bit of our enthusiasm so you too can enjoy the wonders of Mother Nature.