Growing a lush, green lawn doesn't happen overnight. It's going to take some work, especially if you want the first seeds to germinate. Many different factors contribute to successful germination, such as weather and timing.
We've developed this program not only to help you understand more about how germination works but also which products to use to increase growth.
If a vibrant green lawn has escaped you in the past, get ready to learn what it takes to grow a successful lawn on the first try.
How Seed Germination Works
Seed germination is the process of imbibition by which the seeds take in water from the soil. The first thing that happens is root growth, giving the seeds a way to take in nutrients such as minerals and water from the soil. The second thing that happens is shoot development, which grows from the soil and reaches for the sun to start photosynthesis. This entire process is influenced by the amount of sunlight in the area, how much water is in the soil, and whether or not the seeds are able to take in vital nutrients.
Planting Seeds? What You're Doing Wrong
Seeds might not germinate for several different reasons. If you spread the seed when the soil temperature and moisture are subpar, you won't have much success growing any grass. You also have to make sure to water the seeds at the right time and amount. Too little or too much water can halt seed germination. If you plant the seeds too deep, the shoots will have too far to go. You might also be spreading the seeds at the wrong time of year or watering at the wrong times.
Tips for Planting Seeds
Everyone has advice when it comes to planting seeds in your lawn. Some people say to hire a professional lawn service to do it for you. However, you'll save more money if you learn to do it yourself the right way.
Check out our Top 5 tips for starting a new lawn even if you've never done it before.
Wait for the right time.
It all starts with timing. If you're planting Kentucky bluegrass or other cool-season grass seeds, you'll want to wait until spring to plant them. You can also spread the seeds in early fall. Warm-season grass seeds, such as zoysiagrass, are best planted in early summer. Know your seeds, and plant them when the soil conditions are right for the best results.
Use the right grass seed.
Are you growing an ornamental lawn? Will your kids trample over the turf every day? You'll want to pick a grass seed that fits your lawn and needs. Think about the environment as well, such as if your lawn will receive abundant sun or if it will be in full or partial shade. Take these things into consideration before choosing the first grass seed that you find.
Prepare the soil for planting.
You'll want to start with a clean slate before starting a new lawn. If you're simply adding seed to an existing lawn, you can skip this step for the most part. Aeration is the key to getting those seeds in there with established grass. If it's a new lawn, get rid of any existing grass in the area. Remove any rocks, debris and other obstacles. Level out the soil if it's uneven. Disturbed soil, not compact soil, is the best for planting your new grass seeds.
Feed your seeds.
Once you've planted the seeds, it's time to feed them vital nutrients for proper growth, development and health. A granular fertilizer is ideal for the job, making sure to spread it evenly throughout the lawn. It's up to you whether you want to start with fertilizer or the seed. It doesn't really matter as long as you use the right fertilizer at the right amounts for your seeds.
Cover everything up.
You don't want your seeds to be a meal for birds in the area. After you've spread the seeds, you'll want to cover them with a fine layer of straw. Not only will the straw keep the seeds protected from birds, but it'll also keep them from washing away every time you water the area.
Four Must-Have Products for Seed Planting
This program optimizes the conditions necessary to germinate seed, to improve seedling survival, and to help with the soil structure and water management. It should be emphasized that we must keep the seed bed moist when trying to germinate seed. A good rule of thumb is to water normally at night but also to add light syringe cycles during hot times during the day to keep the seeds moist.
Want to grow a lawn that stands out in the neighborhood? Start with these products for maximum results:
- PGS Coated 50% Bluegrass, 50% Ryegrass – This seed blend contains bluegrass and ryegrass, two hardy seeds for optimal growth. It's also been treated with Gravity PGS, a plant growth stimulator that contains plant hormones for increased germination and establishment. Tests show that PGS improves germination by up to a week after seeding.
- 13-13-13 Starter Fertilizer – This fertilizer has a balanced blend of nitrogen, phosphorus and potash, which are vital to seed development and overall plant health. It will increase germination and shoot establishment, providing the seeds with the necessary nutrients for growth.
- 21-3-7 with Synergy and 46 Black – This mixture adds organic matter, humic and fulvic acids, as well as a wetting agent to help maintain better uniform moisture in the soil while also increasing irrigation efficiency.
- Gravity Humic L – This is a supplemental liquid application of humic and fulvic acids, which further improve the soil structure. The humic L also has additional micronutrients and seaweed kelp to improve overall plant health.
The Easy Guide to Growing Greener Grass
Want a healthy, vibrant and lush green lawn? Just follow this guide. Understand the seeds for your environment. Know when to water, when to plant and how to maintain your lawn while the seeds germinate. Before you know it, you'll have the finest lawn in the neighborhood and the envy of everyone passing by.