Grass Planting Tips

When:
For spring irrigated seedings, plant anytime up to early May. Mid-April is an ideal time if an oat hay nurse crop is included in the seed mix. Late summer and fall seeding is acceptable starting in about mid August, after the peak summer heat through about mid September. Allow enough fall growing time for development of an adequate root system in the new grasses.

Fertilize:
As with dry-land seeding, don’t apply herbicides to new grass seedlings until the grasses are in the three to five leaf stage. Consult a qualified professional for herbicide recommendations. Also, most grass seedings don’t require fertilizer prior to establishment. Often applying fertilizer at planting only encourages unwanted weed competition. Wait until the grasses have established themselves, soil test and then fertilize according to recommendations.

Method:

Use either a drop or a cyclone seeder to seed your area. A drop seeder is more accurate in placing seed, especially if wind is a problem. However, if the ground is rough or rocky, the cyclone seeder will be easier to use. Seed at the rates recommended for your grass mix. (up to 5 pounds per 1000 square feet) Divide seed into two equal parts. Sow half of the seed by crossing the area north to south and the other half by crossing east to west. Rake seed into the soil as soon as possible after sowing to reduce the chances of it blowing or washing out. Soil cover also helps to protect the young seedlings from drying out. When sowing on slopes prone to erosion, cover the seeded area with mulch. Recommended mulches include clean straw (straw with no seeds in it), netting or matting of some kind.

Water:
If you have water from a central community system or a well permit that allows outside irrigation, water the newly seeded areas frequently and lightly. Water enough to keep the soil moist but not so heavily as to cause soil washing and loss of the grass seed.

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Extracted From: Colorado State University Extension. 8/99. Reviewed 1/08. www.ext.colostate.edu