How to Seed a New Lawn to Perfection

gardening tips

A long-living, healthy lawn starts from seed. It doesn't matter if you are a homeowner or professional turf farm. Lawns start from seeds. Although sod is a very popular way to green up the landscape, it can take a lot more effort, care and expense to get firmly established than can turf from seed. It's easy!

Don's Garden Shop wants you to see just how easy it is to start a new lawn from seed. We've put the process together in these very manageable steps.

Step 1. Amend your soil. You'll never have a completely healthy lawn in this region of the U.S. unless you amend your topsoil. Untreated, the topsoil that you think is rich because it may be black, actually contains zero life-giving nutrients for plants. Worse, depending upon where it came from, the dirt could be full of harmful chemicals. Untreated Colorado topsoil could be the principal cause of your garden's failure, your lawn's distress, and your drained wallet from paying utility bills for the water that you keep pouring onto the turf on your property. Invest a little in your lawn and garden before planting, and you will save significantly later in maintenance and water bills.

Step 2. Prepare your seed bed. One additional growth and irrigation aid available since the early nineties are water absorbing polymers. These really became popular throughout the U.S. during the drought years. They are not a requirement, but they sure will save watering bills as time goes on. So, as you apply the soil amendment that we recommend for your lawn, spread these polymers at a rate of 15-lbs per 1000 square feet of lawn area. Then, root-till your entire amended topsoil to a depth of 3-6 inches, uniformly distributing the added amendments and blending them into your existing soil. You'll then have a seed bed prepared and cultivated to grow grass.

Step 3. Select the Right Grass Seed and Blend. Colorado does have grasses native to the area that will give your lawn a rich, manicured appearance. Blended with others grass seed varieties, you can come close to duplicating the appearance of lawns that you are accustomed to from more hospitable climates. Come into either of Don's locations, and we'll help you select the grass seed and blend that is right for what you seek.

Step 4. Spread the Seed Evenly. We and our landscape contractor customers have found the best way to plant grass seed for a rich new lawn is with the use of a hand spreader, open half-way; not a walk-behind spreader. This broadcast dispersal method helps spread the seed evenly and in sufficient quantity to take hold and germinate. Wait for a calm day very light or no wind.

Step 5. Apply New Lawn Starter. You may not now it, but a new lawn starter is a terrific method to kick-start your seed. An application of this product gives the soil and seed the nutrition it needs until you are able to fertilize your new lawn. Our recommendation is not to fertilize until you lawn has been mowed at least three times.

Step 6. Cover your seed bed with 1/4-inch of cow and humus mulch. It's not much. It's light weight. And, you can spread it with shovel tosses. This kind of covering will help keep moisture in, and hungry birds out and add additional nutrients to your germinating seeds.

Step 7. Water. Water. Water. Keep the seed moist at all times and the new turf irrigated at all times. Until you see germination and roots beginning to take hold, hand-water instead of using your sprinkler system or area sprinkler. An irrigation system will tend to water some areas more than required and create seed pools. Instead, lightly water by hand with a gentle spray, 4-6 times per day until you see green sprouts coming through the humus that you have applied. Germination depends on moisture and the heat of the soil.