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Seeding - New Lawn Care

Seeding a new lawn can be done in spring or fall, although fall (September) is the absolute best.  If necessary, summer seeding can be done as long as you can keep the area you've seeded moist at all times.  Grass seed can also be sown in late winter.



For New lawns:

  • Rake and grade the area fairly smooth.  Remove rocks, twigs, and construction debris.

Renovating Established Lawns

  • First mow the existing grass as short as possible. If you simply need to over seed or to reseed bare spots, rake the areas so they are crumbly, then skip to the 'Fertilizing' section.

  • Spray with Glysophate to kill off any remaining seed.

  • Wait 7-10 days for the vegetation to brown and then proceed with the raking out process.  Use a thatching rake or a stiff garden rake to remove all thatch and other loose vegetation.  It is not necessary to remove the dead grass.  It is necessary to prepare the soil so that the grass seed will make contact with the soil when it is planted.

  • If there are any bare spots, chop the soil 2" deep leaving the clods between golf ball and marble size.  You can rent a slit seeder which will make preparing the soil for larger areas much easier. Run the slit seeder  East and West and the North and South to create a grid pattern.  On a hillside, run the slicer horizontally across the slope.  DO NOT ROTOTILL!!  If you do you will turn over thousands of weed seeds that will be happy to grow all over your lawn.  (back to top)


Now you are ready to apply your fertilizer.  Use a low nitrogen formula such as Greenview Fall Lawn Food, which is best applied with a broadcast spreader.  A drop spreader can be used, but be careful not to over apply.   If you are re-seeding in the spring, DO NOT apply Greenview's Crabgrass Control plus Lawn Food as a fertilizer while seeding.  Crabgrass Control plus Lawn Food is the first step in Greenview's 4-step program.  This product will kill germinating crabgrass AND regular grass seed.  If you need to re-seed a lawn in spring and you would also like to apply a crabgrass preventive, then you will need to apply Greenview's Starter Fertilizer Plus Crabgrass Preventer.  It "knows" the difference between crabgrass seed and regular grass seed and is safe to use.


At Dayton Nursery we will be happy to assist you in making the right seed choice for your yard.  Seed can be applied by hand, which is fine for bare spots, or with a spreader, which is best for larger areas.  It is extremely important for the seed to make soil contact, it simply will not grow if it doesn't.  A seed mix is generally better than sowing just one variety.   Fairlawn brand is excellent for the sun while Fairlawn Shady or Dura-Shade is good for shade areas.  Seeding rates are 5-8 lbs. of seed per 1000 sq. feet depending on the type of mix.  

Grass Seed Calculator


At this time, a light covering of straw can be applied.  Although straw is optional, it does help keep the area moist, which is essential to seed germination.  One bale of straw should cover between 500-600 sq. feet.  You should be able to see 50% soil and 50% seed.  When straw is applied correctly it does not need to be removed later on.  

If you donít want to clean up messy straw, then apply a new product called Encap Lawn Starter Mulch.  This formula retains moisture and soil nutrients. One 20 pound bag covers 1,000 sq. ft. It sparkles when dry to let you know its time to water.


Grass seed must be kept moist until it germinates.  Water thoroughly.  At first provide fairly short but frequent waterings.  As the seed begins to germinate, you will not need to water as often, but remember not to let the seeded areas dry out for long periods of time.  Try to water early in the day or early in the evening.


When the new grass is 3-4" tall it is time to mow.  Set your mower at a mowing height of 2 1/2 - 3" high.  Cutting the lawn high is a good, natural weed control, as cooler soil temperatures discourage weed seed germination.   Mow often!  The more cuttings you make, the faster the new lawn will mature.   Mow as late into fall as necessary. Your last cutting of the season should be 1 1/2 - 2" high.  This will help prevent lawn disease such as Snow Mold.  Remember to rake up as many leaves as possible before the ground freezes.  Leaves left on the ground will smother the grass trying to live beneath it, which means you'll have new bare spots in the spring.  


After you have mowed the new lawn at least three times it should be safe to apply a weed killer if weeds are a problem. Be sure to follow label directions for the product you are using and be sure to use a product that will eliminate the type of weeds you have. Greenview's Weed Control plus Lawn Food will control weeds with its active ingredient Trimec and fertilize the grass with a slow release fertilizer at the same time.  The 2-Way Greenpower should be applied May 1st - May 15th or Sept 1st - Sept 15th.  Greenview's Starter Fertilizer Plus Crabgrass Preventer will prevent crabgrass from germinating if the lawn is sown in spring.  The product can tell the difference between germinating grass seed and crabgrass seed.


If you cannot seed in the spring or fall, you may seed in late January or early February.  Remove any twigs and leaves in the areas to be seeded. Apply your seed to those areas.  The freezing and thawing soil will create a natural seed bed.   Be aware that the success of winter seeding depends on our weather.  Don not seed on top of snow.  Remember, do not use a "regular" crabgrass preventer in spring when winter seeding.  Use Greenview's Starter Fertilizer Plus Crabgrass Preventer will prevent crabgrass from germinating if the lawn is sown in spring.  The product can tell the difference between germinating grass seed and crabgrass seed.   (back to top)


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