When you plant new seeds in the grass it’s a period of watchful suspense that can take days or even weeks. If you need topsoil for growing a fresh patch of grass you can search for “topsoil near me” and buy some from a nearby store. Let’s check out how you can germinate grass seeds in the best possible way:
- Prepping seeds – Whether you grow warm-season or cool-season grass, it’s a good idea to prepare or pre-germinate your grass seed. That’s because the grass seeds you buy from the store often contain mixes with varieties that may be slower to germinate than the rest. Pre-germinating the seeds gets every grain at the same pace.
For pre-germinating your seed, you need to measure out your seed and wrap it up in cheesecloth, cotton bag, or burlap. Tie the top of the cheesecloth or cotton bag and place it inside a vessel with a tight lid. After that pour water inside the container and cover the seeds. You can store the container at any place as long as the temperature is stable at around 70 degrees. Keep changing the water in the container every 12 hours till you see some visible germination.
When you notice visible germination, you can remove the bag and let the excess water drain out of it. After that empty out the container on a clean baking sheet or a piece of newspaper. Now the seeds are pre-germinated and ready to be planted in the ground. After planting them in the yard you can use a rake to distribute the seeds evenly and keep them moist while they develop their roots.
- Germinating methods – There are three primary methods to germinate grass seeds – planting, using cold stratification, and thorough scarification. The seeds need the right temperature, water, light, and oxygen to germinate easily and quickly. However, certain grass varieties are a bit different and may need the extra nudge for growing easily.
To plant your grass seed through regular planting, prepare the soil by loosening two to three inches of soil. After that, dig six inches deep and remove stones, sticks, roots, and other debris. Large seeds would need to be planted deeper in the soil. Now, break up clumps of soil and level out areas so that water doesn’t pool in one location.
Mix in a bit of seeding soil and smoothen it out with a rake. Before you sow the seeds, mix compost or manure in the soil as well. When the seed contacts this soil it gets all the necessary ingredients readily available to it.
If you’re in the transition zone states, you may need to use the cold stratification method with a blend of cool-season and warm-season grasses. To create the right growing conditions for the mix, you need to cover the cool-season grass in moist paper towels and put them in zip-lock bags. Store these bags in the refrigerator for around 1 to 4 months. After that period is over, you can plant the seeds in prepped soil without any problems.
The final method for germinating grass seed is scarification. This is usually necessary for seed mixes where some are tougher than others. The harder seed shoots have a tough time breaking through the harder and thicker shell. For that reason, you need to give those seeds a bit of extra help. You can do that by damaging the outer shell carefully with a sharp knife or rubbing them with sandpaper. After that, they can go with the rest of the seeds in the soil.
- Watering the seeds – watering is a very important factor for germinating grass seeds. The amount of water that goes into the soil is directly related to the cause of seeding. New grass seeds need plenty of moisture and respond well to high levels of moisture. However, excess watering can become a problem. You need to hit the balance by watering a few days before seeding and prep the soil to optimal conditions for germination.
A few days before planting the seed, water the land up to 6 inches deep once every day. After you plant the seeds, water up to 4 inches deep once every day. Until the seeds germinate and sprout water up to a shallow depth of a couple of inches twice every day. This method helps you germinate the seeds with the perfect amount of moisture.
- Watering in special circumstances – Overseeding your lawn is an easy way to thicken your lawn for the next season. With overseeding, you can bring back greenery to a patchy lawn. While overseeding with new seeds, water twice every day till you see new grass blades shooting out of the ground. After a week goes by, you can reduce watering to once a day.
For a patchy lawn, the amount of watering depends on how big the patch is. If you need to fill up small patches of dead or burnt grass you can use hard watering instead of sprinklers. Keep new seeds moist by watering twice a day. On the other hand, for large patches, you’re better off reverting to overseeding and following the watering techniques mentioned above.
Finally, there are new lawns. To germinate seeds on new lawns, you need to go through rigorous soil preparation and watering. You also need to figure out post-planting irrigation and germination irrigation. Keep watering limited to 3 or 4 minutes for new lawns so that you don’t risk overwatering it. If you’re overwatering the lawn the signs would be very apparent. If you’re on level ground, you’ll find water puddles in certain areas. If you’re on a slope, you’ll find water running off at certain places.
As you can see, grass seed germination is a lengthy process that needs a lot of patience and care. You may also need a few bags of fresh topsoil for growing a new patch of grass. For that, you can search for “topsoil near me” and buy it from a store near you.