Although grass seems to be a ubiquitous plant grown all over the world, even grass has specific requirements for growing and thriving. Most important to grass growth is the time of year it's planted. Most grasses have trouble getting started when planted in hot weather, so professionals recommend planting grass in early spring or late fall. If you have no choice but to sow your grass seed in hot temperatures, there are steps to ensuring the grass will still grow.
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Things you need
- Soil tiller
- Grass seed
- Seed spreader
- Starter fertiliser
- Peat moss
- Ground roller
Till the soil in your lawn to a depth of at least 8 inches to break up any weed roots in the area. Weeds thrive in warm weather and can easily choke out the young, vulnerable grass seed. Remove all weeds with tilling or pulling before you begin.
Pour half of your grass seed into a seed spreader and set the appropriate rate for your seed and planting area. Consult specific product instructions for your seed or spreader.
Walk in parallel lines across your lawn to spread half of the seed. When you have covered the lawn walking in one direction, pour in the rest of the seed and work perpendicular to your first pattern to ensure you fully cover the lawn area with seed.
Apply a starter fertiliser to your grass seed to encourage the seeds to germinate. Follow specific instructions for the starter fertiliser, as application and dilution rates vary by product.
Cover your newly seeded area with a thin layer--no more than a half inch--of peat moss. The peat moss will protect the seeds from hot sun and maintain soil moisture, which helps the seeds to germinate in hot weather.
Fill a ground roller halfway with water and roll your entire lawn surface, beginning with the perimeter and working your way in. This will ensure the seed and prepared soil are in direct contact to start germination.
Water your newly planted lawn with a spray nozzle or watering can to avoid washing the seeds away. Water deeply so the soil is damp at least 6 inches below the surface.
Water the seeds at least twice a day and never let the top inch of soil dry out. This is crucial in hot weather; if the seeds become completely dry, they will not germinate. Do not water if it rains or the soil feels completely damp, as over-watering can cause the seeds to rot.
Fertilise the seeds and young grass again four weeks after planting, following specific product instructions for application rates. Heavy watering will wash away soil nutrients, so add this second application to ensure growth.
Gradually reduce watering as the seeds grow. Monitor your grass and only water if the grass appears dull or grey. Eventually, you will only need to water once or twice a week.
Tips and warnings
- Various species of grass grow best in different climates. If in doubt as to what type of grass to plant, consult a local garden centre or nursery for recommendations.
- Buy liquid or granular lawn fertiliser at nurseries or home improvement centres.
- If you have wildlife or pets in your neighbourhood, protect your newly seeded lawn. Mark off the area with nylon cord or cover the seeds with metal fencing.
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