A lawn can be the crowning glory of a home. Thick, uniform grass coverage makes your house look like it’s sitting on a soft carpet of green. New homeowners who are getting ready to seed their lawn for the first time have options open to them. Planting techniques will vary according to the type and brand of grass seed they will be planting, as well as how large of an area they will be covering. Existing homeowners who are in the process of maintaining their lawn, may have to occasionally patch or re-seed certain areas. Even the thickest lawns can have thin spots caused by pets, chemicals or damage from excessive foot traffic.
Where the property is located will determine when to plant grass seed in the spring. Properties located in the southern part of the country will plant earlier in the spring than those farther north. The key to spring planting is to make sure the threat of frost has passed and the grass will have adequate amounts of sun to trigger the germination process. Springtime planting gives grass the longest possible amount of time to become establish and fill itself in before cooler temperatures return.
Planting Grass Seed
The size of the area to be covered and the type of seed will determine the planting methods used. There are different ways of planting grass seed and establishing a lush, green lawn. They include:
- Broadcasting seed – Once the lawn has been adequately prepared, using a seed spreader or broadcaster is the quickest way to cover large areas. If planting from seed, it is wise to start spreading as early as possible in the spring. Determining when to plant grass seed in the spring will rely on the type being planted. People who live in areas wear it is still moderately cool in May, may want to choose a different planting method.
- Seed plugs – Seed plugs are planted by inserting small plugs of grass into carefully placed holes, normally 8 to 12 inches apart. When using seed plugs, the planting process can begin later in the spring. They will establish themselves fairly quickly and begin to fill in the areas surrounding them. In moderate climates, seed plugs are beneficial to establish a thriving, thick lawn in much less time than it takes for seed to take hold.
- Sod pads – Sod pads are used to create a well manicured, lush lawn in the shortest amount of time possible. Individuals who live in the northern regions of the country do not have more than 3 to 4 months to establish a root bed when planting grass seed. The use of sod pads allows them to create lay out their lawn early in the spring. Since the grass is already established, giving the roots ample time to spread and create a secure connection to the ground.
Types of Grass
Where a property is located will determine when to plant grass seed in the spring. It will also play a factor in choosing what type of seed is used. Different types of seed produce different forms of coverage. Some do well for high traffic areas like golf courses and sport fields, while others are better for home use.
Kentucky bluegrass is a fast growing seed type that thrives in cooler temperatures. It can be planted shortly after the threat of the last frost has passed and will grow quickly. It spreads rapidly and within a few weeks, modest ground cover will be established. By the time of the first frost in the fall, the seed should have had ample time to spread and create an adequate root bed that will ensure its survival through the dormant months.
Various types of fescue grasses are also good choices for planting in the cold season and transitional areas. Fescues grow rather quickly and begin to thicken up in a few weeks. They provide extremely thick coverage and, once a root bed has been created, will continue to spread and fill itself in. Fescue grasses are also extremely hardy and can withstand extreme weather conditions, once they have become established.
If there are any questions about when to plant grass seed in the spring, contacting alocal nursery is the best solution. Knowing the amount of time each type of seed needs to become fully established will help to determine the best time to plant. Some do better in the fall, while others need adequate amounts of sunshine and warmth to foster their growth. Landscaping professionals can also provide advice as to what methods will work best in a specific climate. When patching or repairing a lawn, plugs may be the best choice for small areas, while larger patches would do well with sod pads. The key is giving the grass enough to grow and mature before temperatures begin to drop.