How to plant grass seed on hard dirt. It’s not uncommon to have a section of your lawn with shorter or patchier grass when it’s not caused by a lack of water or sunlight.
Compression of soil particles can result in the grass becoming deprived of air, nutrients, and water.
Adding organic materials like mulch, peat moss, or hay can help loosen the soil up again, regardless of whether the compaction is caused by high clay content or heavy foot traffic.
How to plant grass seed on hard dirt
Do a soil test, aerate the topsoil, and till hard ground if needed. Use fertilizer on the topsoil. Select grass seeds suitable for your garden. The best place to spread out your grass seeds is on the tilled soil.
Grass seed germination can be slightly affected by varying levels of pH in the soil, but they will all grow just fine as long as there are no nutrients in low levels that might inhibit growth.
Keep your garden moist until it is fully grown or you are prepared to water it regularly.
Collect 3-inch by 3-inch soil samples from 10 to 12 areas of your yard. Mix the soil samples together. Take the sample in a soil sample box to your county Cooperative Extension Service office for testing. Add fertilizer as directed in the results.
Loosen the soil at least 6 inches deep over your lawn. Add compost, in about a 1:1 ratio with topsoil. Level the amended soil with a rake.
Plant grass seeds
There are two ways to effectively grow and spread grass seed in your yard: the broadcast method and the drop seeding method.
ProScape offers several products that make either of these methods easy for you to perform! For starters, take a look at ProScape Winning Colors this product contains four different types of grass seed to provide optimal results across your entire yard.
Simply divide the total amount of product between two equal halves and apply half of the seed in one direction and the other half at a right angle.
We also recommend using our Broadcast Spreader that’s equipped with a dial-a-spreader technology so you can easily spread any type of granule or spray-on material without ever spilling it.
If you’d rather opt for an easier drop seeding approach, we also offer Broadcast Tamer Soil Stretcher Reel that is ideal for surface staking and planting applications.
Plant seed in the soil
To start growing heirloom grass in your lawn, blend the seeds into the soil of your lawn that is about 4″ deep using a tool similar to this “Lawn Turner.”
Make sure you soak the soil to a depth of at least 6″ with water from the hose or sprinkler. Keep the soil consistently moist and make sure it stays green.
Mud the New Grass
The soil surface should be mulched with a layer of aged straw or hay, using about one small, square bale per 1,000 feet of soil surface.
The seedbed should be watered several times each day during warm weather as well as in the evening before being watered again in the morning.
For a six-inch root zone, about one to one and a half inches of water is required. Do not walk on it for at least a month after germination or until the first time you mow it.
Make sure the new grass is fertilized
The lawn should be fertilized with 4-6 pounds of nitrogen fertilizer applied in four separate applications throughout the year.
Each fall, spring, and summer, apply 1/2 to 1 pound of fertilizer per 1000 square feet of lawn surface. Do this in the spring and summer.
If you did not prepare your soil with fertilizer, you should apply fertilizer 2-4 weeks after planting. Fertilizing before planting is fine; however, it should be done 6-8 weeks later.
Regularly mow your grass
Mow your lawn when it reaches about 3 inches tall. Mow cool-season grass to a height of about 2 inches. Cut warm-season grass at a height of 1 to 2 inches.
Mow frequently enough so that no more than one-third of each blade is removed at a time.
Keep the soil aerated regularly
Core aeration of soil is a good idea. It shouldn’t be done during dry conditions but during active growth. Rotate your aerator 3 inches deep and remove the cores from the soil as you go.