Fall Lawn Seeding Guidelines

Originally posted at newgarden.com

By seeding to create or maintain thick, healthy turf, you will decrease the amount of weeds the following season as they are choked out by the lawn itself.  Even fairly thick lawns can benefit from fall seeding- every year some of the grass in your lawn dies of “old age”.  Having new young plants ready to replace it will keep it thick.

For an average lawn, use 5 lbs of seed per 1000 square feet.  

For thin lawns, use 7 lbs. per 1000 sq. ft.

For thick lawns, use 3 lbs. per 1000 sq. ft

Avoid the temptation to use more seed than needed.  Crowding the young grass plants as they germinate can result in poor survival and ultimately a thinner result than using the proper amount. 

Go over the area to be seeded at least twice at right angles using ½ of your calculated quantity of seed each time for even coverage. 

At the same time you seed, use a high-phosphorus starter fertilizer.

For the first few weeks after seeding it is critical that the new seed is properly watered.  The guidelines for watering established lawns and newly seeded lawns are different so if you use an irrigation system with a controller, you will need to adjust it. 

While an established lawn should be watered deeply but infrequently, new seed should watered lightly twice every day until it sprouts.  

Automatic timers should be set for about 5 to 10 minutes early in the morning and again at mid-day, and should run enough to wet the top 1” of soil without causing puddles, or worse, runoff.  

Watch your newly seeded lawn and adjust as needed. Skip watering if rainfall supplies an equal or greater amount of water.

If you water by hand or with hose-end sprinklers, be as consistent and even as possible.

A week after the seed begins to grow, reduce to once per day.

Observation is critical-as the weather pattern changes you may need to adjust irrigation settings.