Do you have unattractive bare spots in your lawn? Weeds can overtake these barren areas and are tough to eradicate. Consider covering up those spots with grass seed for a seamless cover-up. Once this new seed sprouts and grows, it will blend into the rest of your yard. Before you get seeding, there are some steps you will need to take to prepare your lawn for the grass seed. From debris removal to selecting a liquid fertilizer, it’s vital to understand what type of soil environment is necessary for successful grass seed growth.
With the right conditions, your new grass seed will germinate and flourish in its new growing environment - and your established grass can reap the benefits. When it comes to preparing your soil, applying liquid fertilizer, and planting new grass seed, we have you covered. With our tips and tricks on how to encourage seed growth and maintain proper grass care, you can achieve a thick, luscious lawn.
Repairing those patches
The path to a thick, durable lawn does not have to be hard. Before you can start the repair path, you will need to get to the root of the issue.
The following issues can cause bare, patchy, yellow, or dead grass spots:
- Pet urine
- Sun overexposure
- Inadequate water
- Nutrient deficiency
Each one of these issues requires its own separate plan of action to be corrected. If the underlying issue leading to the bare, patchy areas in your lawn are not remedied, the problems will continue to rear their head down the road. We will take a deep dive into proper lawn care that can treat and prevent these lawn issues later on. For now, let's focus on fixing that dead spot. Our first step involves preparing the ground for seeding.
Grass Seed Prep
Preparing the area for new grass is crucial for germination to occur. Germination is the process of sprouting from new seed after it has received adequate moisture and nutrients. Before laying down new grass seed, you will need to prepare the ground to ensure that there are no obstructions that could get in the way of new grass seed establishing roots in the soil. The first step is to remove any rocks, weeds, or other debris from the area. When clearing out the debris, make sure you get 1-2 inches deeper than the top level of the soil to clear any old roots or possible obstructions that are not visible at the surface level. You will want to make sure the soil is softened and not compacted. Using a tiller, you can break up the soil into smaller particles. A tiller also gives you a chance to level out the soil if you see any lumps or bumps. Another great way to prep your soil is to apply a liquid starter fertilizer before planting new grass seed.
Depending on your soil test, you may want to consider tilling a lawn food treatment, like liquid fertilizer, before applying new grass seed. You want to make sure that the new grass seed will have the proper nutrients to sprout, grow, and thrive.
Types of Grass Seed
Before you start laying any new grass seed, you will want to understand the different types of grass seeds available. When picking a new grass seed, you want to make sure that the grass type you choose is appropriate for your climate. There are different properties that warm-season and cool-season grasses hold - learn more about these two types of grasses. If you are patching bare spots, you will want to match the current grass type of the rest of your lawn. Ensuring you are using the same type of grass seed will make your lawn look seamless once your new grass has grown. Having the knowledge and understanding of your grass type will also help you tailor your grass care for what is the most suitable for that specific grass.
Proper Grass Care
When it comes to preventing or combatting yellowing or dying grass, look no further than adequate grass care as an overarching lawn care solution. Whether or not you’re experiencing grass issues, there is never a wrong time to enhance the way you care for your yard. Depending on your lifestyle and the needs of your lawn, grass care can be as simple as you make it.
Proper grass care includes:
- Improving soil health
- Weed control
- Lawn aeration
- Consistent mowing
- Adequate water
Along with implementing these different types of grass care treatments, remember that you can use a liquid fertilizer to improve your soil's health. When you care for your grass the right way, you prevent lawn issues like weeds and diseases from occurring in the first place. Don't wait for a red flag to start properly caring for your yard by following our outline of grass care techniques and treatments. Let us discuss some ways that you can enhance your soil for optimal grass growing conditions.
No matter what type of grass you are growing in your yard, one thing remains constant - the soil. Soil is the source of nutrients that will provide the food and energy for your grass. One of the best ways to counteract unhealthy soil is to replenish it with the necessary nutrients for the grass to thrive, including nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Whether you are looking to improve your lawn care or have a better understanding of your soil, an excellent first step is to understand the need for these macronutrients in the soil. Phosphorus is especially crucial for new grass seeds or young plants. This nutrient acts as a building block for plant growth. Nitrogen is important in photosynthesis, while potassium aids in water regulation. With the previously mentioned liquid fertilizer, you can obtain a blend of macronutrients suitable for your soil's needs.
You can find out more about the type of soil in your ground by conducting a squeeze test. This easy at-home test is done by picking up a fistful of soil and observing how it falls apart in your hand. You can use this guide to determine if your soil is clay soil or sandy soil. Your soil type will tell you more about the optimal growth environment for plant life in that specific soil type.
One of the annoying parts of maintaining a lawn is the seemingly never-ending stream of unwanted lawn weeds. These weeds are unattractive in your lawn, and further, these pests pose a threat to your grass's health. Weed overgrowth will result in a deteriorated state of the grass, but you can combat these lawn pests. With consistent weed removal, you can begin to chip away at these invasive plants.
We recommend taking a phased approach to weed removal to make this task more manageable and less overwhelming. When working with weeds, it is vital to carefully discard any removed weeds or clippings to avoid further seeding and spread. Weekly weed removal is sufficient if you are experiencing an overgrowth. Once the weeds are at bay, you can take specific preventative measures to prevent any future outbursts. With consistent grass care, homeowners can resolve weed issues in the lawn. Learn more about common lawn problems and their solutions and stop the spreading of weeds.
Aerating your lawn is not a standard, everyday grass care practice. Lawn aeration creates small punctures on the surface of your lawn that allow water, air, and nutrient applications to penetrate deeper into the soil. This treatment can be done once a year, but can take place more frequently to resolve lawn issues that would benefit from the following:
- Reducing soil compaction
- Improving draining
- Greater air exchange
- Dry, dehydrated soil
- Prevents crusting
Mowing Your Lawn
Mowing the lawn is often a mindless, repetitive task. There are small changes you can make during your weekly mowing to improve long-term grass care. Make sure to adjust the length of your lawnmower blades or mowing frequency so that you are only cutting a third of the grass blade; otherwise, you can over cut and damage your grass. A quick rule of thumb: Multiply your desired height of cut by 1.5, and mow before your grass reaches that height, to avoid removing more than 1/3 of the leaf tissue.
Changing your mowing pattern will not only give the look of your lawn a fresh look but also will aid and encourage upward growth. Grass blades tend to lean in one direction, so you do not want to get stuck in a rut and be overly repetitive with your mowing pattern. Mowing when the grass is dry and not damp or moist will eliminate the chance of damaging softened grass blades when cutting them. To make sure you are mowing when the grass is sufficiently dry, try to avoid mowing in the morning and opt for an evening mow. Another grass care tip for mowing is to keep your mower blades sharp so that your cuts are clean and straight. A sharp mower blade is one of the best tools in your toolbox as a DIY lawn manager.
Watering the Right Way
Believe it or not - there is such a thing as too much water when it comes to your lawn. Overwatering your lawn can drown your grass. Grass roots need oxygen to survive, but overwatering can restrict the roots' access to oxygen.
By paying attention to your watering frequency and duration during grass care, you can make sure your grass is watered correctly. You can check these signs to tell if your grass is receiving too much H20. If you are dealing with a fresh liquid fertilizer application or have planted new grass seed, you will want to adjust your watering schedule as needed.