Dormant Grass Seeding Tips for Homeowners

Does your lawn suffer from thin growth or bare spots? Early fall may be the right time to address these issues with dormant grass seeding. Ensure germination and lush growth in the spring by following these tips from The Grounds Guys®.

What is Dormant Seeding?

Dormant grass seeding is when you apply seed when temperatures are low enough to prevent germination, but the ground hasn’t frozen yet. Dormant seeding helps to fill out bare spots, thin grass, or areas with poor growth to encourage a beautiful lawn once spring arrives.

Tips for Fall Lawn Seeding

The success of dormant seeding depends on many of the same factors as planting grass at other times of the year. Follow these tips to see positive results.

Select the Proper Grass Seed

Choosing the right type of grass for your lawn can be a challenge. The most important consideration is whether the grass is cool season or warm season, which determines how well it will grow in your climate.

If you know what type of grass already grows in your yard, plant seeds of the same species to fill in bare spots. If not, let The Grounds Guys help you choose between the most popular options, including Kentucky bluegrass, fescue, ryegrass and Bermuda

Prepare the Soil

When planting a new section of lawn:

  • Rake the top two to three inches of soil and level out the area.
  • Break up any large clumps and avoid making the soil too fine. Small clumps are acceptable and even desirable.
  • Remove sticks, stones, and other debris from the area.

When dormant seeding an existing lawn:

  • Mow the grass using the shortest setting on your lawn mower.
  • Rake the top quarter-inch of soil in the bare spots you plan to seed, and level out the area.
  • Rake the existing turf in the thin areas you plan to seed to remove thatch and other debris. This encourages soil-to-seed contact, the most important aspect of fall lawn seeding.

Plant Grass Seeds

  • Check the weather forecast and try to sow the seeds shortly before a snowstorm or heavy rainfall.
  • Spread the seeds out evenly by hand. For large areas, use a hydraulic seeder or handheld spreader.
  • Sowing too many seeds close together causes seedlings to fight for sunlight and nutrients, which may result in weak or thin grass growth.

Cover & Water Grass Seeds

  • Mulch the seeded area to avoid erosion and losing seeds to water runoff. This also helps to keep the seeds moist longer between watering sessions.
  • Choose light-colored mulch to avoid soaking up too much spring sun that could overheat the germinating seeds.
  • Consider choosing a mulch product with starter fertilizer included. This provides your grass with the nutrients it needs to grow strong and fast once spring arrives. If the mulch you choose doesn’t contain fertilizer, add some of your own. Follow the label’s directions.
  • Water the area well after seeding, and don’t over-saturate.
  • In the spring, water the seeded areas lightly at least once a day. Continue this pattern until the new grass reaches two inches tall to keep the roots moist.

Lawn Services from The Grounds Guys

If you want beautiful spring grass without the hassle of fall lawn seeding, let The Grounds Guys take care of this maintenance service for you. Our lawn experts know just how to promote the lush, vibrant grass you crave. Trust us to perform your residential lawn maintenance, and you can expect your yard to look its best year-round.

For more information about our services, or to schedule an appointment, please contact us today!

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