Tips and Tricks for Planting New Grass

by Ben SanfordAugust 30, 2016

The Grass Is Always Greener

Do you have lawn envy? If your neighbors’ lawns are lush and verdant, and yours looks like a wasteland of thatch and dandelions, then it may be time to plant new grass. Here are some tips and tricks to help you get your lawn thriving again.

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Out With the Old, In With the New

First things first: it’s a good idea to get rid of that patchy, thatched old turf before you plant a new lawn. There are a few ways to accomplish this; one is to mow it on your lawnmower’s shortest setting and cover it with plastic for two months. You can also smother it under old carpeting or cardboard weighed down with wood chips. If you’re in a big hurry to get started, rent a sod cutter.

Should You Test Your Soil?

You don’t actually have to test your soil, but it’s certainly not a bad idea. Knowing your soil’s makeup will help you enrich it with nutrients that will help your lawn thrive. It takes a little bit of extra patience to complete this step, but you’ll have your lawn for a long time, so why not take it to the next level?

Warm Grass vs. Cool Grass

When choosing the right grass seed for your lawn, there are a few things to consider. First, you’ll want to choose a grass that will do well in your climate.

Warm-season grasses such as Bermuda, centipede, and St. Augustine love the heat, so they’re an ideal choice for regions where summers are long and hot.

Cool season grasses tend to dry up when the sun beats down, so they’re best for climates where the weather stays relatively cool for much of the year. Examples include perennial ryegrass, Kentucky bluegrass, and tall fescue.

Durability Matters

It’s also a good idea to consider how your lawn will be used. If it’s mainly for ornamental purposes in a low-traffic area, delicate grasses like fine fescue will be fine. However, if you have kids who like to play in the yard or plan on having frequent backyard BBQs, you’ll be better off choosing a strain of grass more tolerant to foot traffic, such as buffalo grass or Kentucky bluegrass.
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Think About Drought Tolerance

Some grasses are thirstier than others. If you live in a part of the country where rainfall is plentiful, then you don’t have to worry too much about your water bill. But if your region is prone to droughts, then you’re going to want a variety that does OK without regular drenching; Bermuda grass, Zoysia, and St. Augustine are all excellent picks.

Pick the Best Season for Planting Grass

So what’s the best season to plant grass seed? Well, that depends on where you live. In most parts of North America, there’s a window of opportunity both before and after summer. New grass requires a generous supply of water to get started, and so planting during a cool (but not freezing), rainy season is ideal.

If you plant during the spring, you’ll be racing against the summer heat – weeds love heat, and a new lawn is especially vulnerable to weed infestation. If you plant during the fall, you’ll need to leave enough time for the grass to get established before the winter frost arrives. Of course, these considerations will vary depending on weather patterns in your locale.

Cut Sparingly

When your new grass starts to get thick and abundant, you’ll want to start mowing it, but don’t overdo it. Only mow the top third of your lawn. Longer grass deprives weed seeds of sunshine and makes it difficult for them to get established. The shade also keeps the grass roots healthy and conserves water.

Hey, Nice Lawn!

Good work! Pretty soon, your lawn will be lush and luxuriant, the envy of the neighborhood, all thanks to you (and our helpful tips).

And before we part ways, if you happen to be searching for a house where you can plant new grass, we’d love to help you out. We’re Homes.com. We’re good at planting new grass, but homes are our main thing. Get in touch!


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About The Author
Ben Sanford
Ben, a real estate agent and freelance writer, lives on the East Coast with his wife and kids. In his free time, he loves to be outside with his family or working on projects around his house. He deeply appreciates a good cup of coffee and loves strapping into his snowboard after the first snow of the year.

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