After the snow melts, you might notice several areas on your lawn that have been destroyed by the cold weather. Patches of missing grass is unattractive and gives you mud pits when it rains. The best thing you can do is reseed your lawn in the springtime to make it look fabulous again. If you have never reseeded a lawn or it didn't work out for you in the past, here are some tips to make sure it turns out right.
Type of seed
Not all grass seed is alike. Different grass seed with germinate in different temperatures. The area you live will determine which type of grass seed you should plant. There are warm-season seeds that germinate when soil temperatures are between 70 and 80 degrees, and cool-season seeds that germinate between 55 and 65 degrees. Warm-season seeds include:
- Bermuda grass
- Zoysia grass
- Buffalo grass
Cool-season grass seeds include:
- Perennial ryegrass
- Kentucky bluegrass
- Fine fescue
- Tall fescue
If you live in Texas, California, or Florida, you have some other options as well. You can choose where you live on this map and it will guide you toward the top choices for your lawn. Or you can look at sites like https://californiasodcenter.com/. Once you figure out which seed types are the best for your area, you need to consider how much sun and water it will receive for the best decision.
Test your soil
Testing your soil before seeding will let you know if it is in optimal condition for grass growth. A pH level of 7 means that it is neutral and grass will grow well. If the pH level is less than 7 it means your soil is acidic, and above 7 means your soil is too alkaline. You can buy a soil test from any local home improvement store to test it yourself.
If your soil Is too acidic, you can add a lime component specifically made for soil that will naturally increase the pH level. If your soil is too alkaline, you can buy a soil conditioner that contains sulfur or gypsum that will naturally reduce the pH level.
Mix soil with sand
Mixing your grass seed with damp sand the day before you seed will jump start the germination process. Use equal parts of seed and sand when you mix it.
Don't try to seed by hand
When you seed your lawn, use a seeder. It will make sure the seed is spread evenly throughout your lawn. It will ensure you don't miss any spots and/or seed to heavily in other places.
Keep seeds moist
After you spread the seed, you need to keep the seeds moist so they will germinate properly. Dry seeds will not sprout. You don't want to overwater either. Too much watering will make the grass seeds float away and clump in places, leaving you bald spots on your lawn. For best results, water your lawn for a few minutes about three times per day (morning, afternoon, and night). Don't stop when you see the first couple of sprouts; seeds will not all sprout at the same time. A few may sprout within a week, while others take three to four weeks. For best results, keep up your constant watering routine for the first month.
Cover your grass
After you seed, protect your lawn with either peat moss or straw mulch. You only want a thin layer so the seeds will still receive proper sunlight and water. Both will fertilize your soil as they decay, completely disappearing by the time your lawn is full of grass.
Reseeding will make your lawn look beautiful again. However, not doing it properly will be a waste of time and money. Test your soil, use the proper type of seed, and keep it watered and fertilized.