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Grass seed can be used to grow a lawn from scratch or sprinkled onto existing turf to make it thicker and patch up bald areas. It can also address spots where fungus, poor sunlight, insects, or pet urine have caused your grass to go brown or thin out. Whether you have a small yard or multiple acres, any homeowner is wise to have some seed on hand.

Only for existing lawns

Best Overall: Scotts Turf Builder Grass Seed Sun & Shade Mix

If you’re in the market for low-maintenance grass seed, look for an option that contains fertilizer. That way, your seedlings will have the nourishment they need to grow quickly and flourish. Some blends also contain mulch, which helps keep the soil healthy, retains water, and prevents weed growth.

Each individual seed is wrapped in a special WaterSmart coating, which absorbs twice the amount of water as its uncoated counterparts. The coating also protects your seedlings from various lawn diseases and feeds them essential nutrients to jumpstart growth. You can count on fast-growing turf that’s thick, green, and healthy.

Another thing to consider is the level of sun exposure your seedlings will get. Species like bermudagrass and some types of ryegrass need at least a few hours of sunlight a day to thrive, whereas fescue can grow in densely shaded areas.

This means most regions of the United States can apply into late October. This will strengthen roots and increase nitrogen storage for an early spring green up next year. Try Scotts Turfbuilder with WinterGuard or Sta Green Weed and Feed Winterizer.

Feeding your lawn in the spring strengthens roots and gets it off to a good start. Crabgrass control is the number one reason to use a pre-emergent fertilzer. If you had crabgrass last year, apply a combination fertilizer with a pre-emergent to control it.

Note: Scotts Bonus S, Sta Green Southern weed and feed and most crabgrass control products should be applied to a dry lawn.

Planting Grass Seed or Aerating after Weed and Feed

Weed & Feed prevents seed germination, so you should avoid planting new grass or aerating your lawn for at least four weeks. If you apply weed and feed in the spring and summer, spread new grass seed and aerate in the fall each year.

One easy to follow rule is to use the summer holidays as your guide.

Fall brings back ideal conditions for your lawn. Cool nights, ample rainfall and morning dew all contribute to new growth for your lawn and prime time for Step 4. If you missed an early spring application of weed and feed, now is the time to apply.

The best way to avoid damaging your lawn after too much fertilizer application is to flush out the weed & feed. Water your lawn with 1 to 2 inches of water for about 4 days. It would be best not to apply any other weed & feed fertilizer until the following year. Unfortunately, over watering can create run-off in certain drainage situations, so be aware of your location and where the water is going.