Grow the Right Grass
Scout for Problems
Like any landscape planting, lawns can suffer from a variety of problems. Weeds, bare spots, insects and diseases can weaken and, if left untreated, even destroy a healthy lawn. Keep an eye out for problems in your lawn.
Do not use on any other turf types: bahiagrass, bentgrass, ormond variety of Bermudagrass, buffalograss, carpetgrass, dichondra, fescue, kikuyugrass, ryegrass or seashore paspalum lawns.
Anytime in early spring or fall
Keep the soil moist, but too much water is as bad as too little. Overly vigorous watering could wash the seeds away. So keep the soil moist but not soggy. A misting attachment on your hose can cut down on the amount of force you use.
You have one final decision to make — whether to buy a seed product that incorporates fertilizer and mulch, or whether you will purchase fertilizer and mulch separately.
Rake the seeded surface lightly to mix the grass seed and fertilizer in the top 1/8-inch of soil. If you have access to one, roll using an empty roller to improve the germination rate.
Grass seed germination rates, by grass type
A simple moisture and pH tester can be found for $10.
If you live in a Northern state, select a cool-season grass. Cool-season grasses thrive in the late spring and early fall months in the northern two-thirds of the United States. Northern grass seed products grow best when temperatures are 60-75 degrees Fahrenheit.
Even if you planted just one turfgrass variety, the grass seeds won’t all pop up at once. Some will be buried a bit deeper or have a different rate of water absorption. Stay with your watering regimen until you are sure you have given all the seeds the best shot you can at taking root.
From a 1902 seed catalog
Whether you establish your new lawn from sod or seed, all the personal and environmental benefits that natural lawns offer can be yours. Both approaches lead to beautiful, healthy, sustainable lawns, but the methods differ significantly from the start.
Get to know your soil and its challenges before you move on to sod or seed. Take a tip from the pros and test your soil; it’s an integral part of any successful lawn project. Test results and recommendations eliminate guesswork with an in-depth look into essentials such as soil pH, organic matter and potential availability of necessary nutrients. With your starting point confirmed, you can fertilize and amend your soil with confidence and improve its ability to support dense, healthy grass.
When faced with an existing lawn, your first decision is whether to work with what’s there or start over. Carefully examine the lawn for weeds, undesirable grasses and areas that look weak or diseased. As a general rule, if your lawn has less than 40 percent weeds, improving what you have is a viable option. It takes diligence, but overseeding existing grass and eliminating weeds can turn marginal lawns around. If your lawn has more than 40 to 50 percent weeds or numerous areas of dead or struggling grass, it’s best to start from scratch and totally renovate.
Examining Options for Sod or Seed
Pennington is committed to helping you grow the finest lawn possible. With a hand from Pennington’s educational resources and premium lawn and garden products, your new lawn can be everything you want it to be.