We are excited to provide you with some tips on how to transform your backyard into the best spot in the neighborhood! Find out when you should begin fertilizing and seeding your lawn and which Estate products you should use. Also, we’ll take you through the step-by-step process of how to apply lawn fertilizer and plant grass seed.
When To Plant Grass Seed
In order for your grass seed to germinate and turn into the luscious lawn you desire, you must know when to plant your seed. Deciding when to begin is determined by the type of grass you are planting. Cool-season grasses such as Kentucky Bluegrass, Perennial Ryegrass, or Tall Fescue is best to plant in spring and early fall when the soil temperature is just right. If you are planting warm-season grasses such as Zoysia, Centipede, or Bermudagrass, early summer is the best time to plant because the soil is warm enough for the seeds to germinate. The Estate grass seed sold at Blain’s Farm & Fleet is formulated with a blend of cold-season grasses that are built to survive the rugged Midwest climate.
When To Fertilize Your Lawn
Knowing what type of lawn fertilizer to use and when to apply it is vital to sustaining a healthy lawn all summer long. The difference between only feeding your lawn once a year versus feeding it four times a year, with the proper fertilizers, will make a world of difference. Learn about which types of Estate Fertilizers to apply in early spring, late spring, summer, and fall to keep a solid root system established to combat the heat, cold, drought, mowing, foot traffic, and other stresses.
How to Fertilize Your Lawn
Fertilizing your lawn is very simple as long as you have the proper equipment and follow the appropriate steps. It only takes about 20 minutes to fertilize the average subdivision lawn.
Step 1: Water your lawn – It’s essential to water your lawn or allow it to rain a few days before you add fertilizer. This will allow the soil to gain the necessary moisture to ensure it’s fertile and ready to accept lawn fertilizer. Just be careful and only water in moderation because if your lawn is too saturated, the fertilizer will only wash away.
Step 2: Choose the Best Spreader for your lawn – There are two different types of lawn spreaders to use: a broadcast spreader or a drop spreader. A broadcast spreader dispenses the product in a broad overlapping pattern and allows you to cover a lot of ground in a short amount of time. Typically, a broadcast spreader is recommended for most lawns because it speeds up the process of fertilizing and spreads everything out in an efficient manner. On the other hand, a drop spreader dispenses the fertilizer directly underneath the spreader as you push. It is much more precise than a broadcast spreader but will increase the amount of time it takes to fertilize your lawn. After you choose which spreader works for your lawn, adjust the spreader settings. Each type of fertilizer has a unique spreader setting for the correct coverage. Check your bag of fertilizer to make sure you are using the proper setting for your type of spreader. View a full list of residential spreader settings found at Blain’s Farm & Fleet.
Step 3: Apply the Fertilizer – Spread the fertilizer around the perimeter of your lawn first so that you don’t have to worry about missing any of the edges of your lawn. Be careful not to spread fertilizer on your driveway and unwanted areas to avoid wasting fertilizer. Next, fill the middle of your lawn. In a similar fashion to how you mow your lawn, walk your spreader back and forth in a straight line while slightly overlapping each pass.
Step 4: Properly Handle Leftover Fertilizer – Once you are finished fertilizing return any unused product to the bag and store it for future use. Be sure to keep your fertilizer in a cool, dry place away from pets and children.
How to Plant Grass Seed
Save money by successfully starting a new lawn from seed rather than relying on the professionals or using sod. Follow these steps in order to begin growing your lawn.
Step 1: Timing – We have already discussed this earlier in the blog but be aware if you’re planting a cool-season grass seed or a warm-season grass seed. This will determine what time of year you should plant. In the Midwest, we need cool season grasses that should be planted in the spring.
Step 2: Picking out the Correct Seed – Choose the Estate grass seed that is right for your climate, lifestyle, and location. All of our Estate seed contains a mixture of cold season grasses to help withstand the Midwest climate. You must decide the amount of sunlight your lawn receives in order to pick the correct Estate seed for your lawn. We offer a Shady Lawn Grass Seed, Sunny Lawn Grass Seed, and a Sun to Shade Grass Seed.
Step 3: Prepare Your Soil – Remove all dead grass and weeds from existing lawn (if there is any) with a sharp shovel. Also, be sure to remove rocks and fill in any low spots with soil so everything is compacted. Use a power rake or hand rake to scratch the soil surface. For new lawn, till the soil 6-8 inches deep and improve the soil texture if necessary. Sandy soils may require organic matter such as compost or peat moss. Finally, work the seed lightly into the soil for germination.
Step 4: Apply the seed and Starter Fertilizer – Spread a slow release starter fertilizer at the recommended rate for your spreader. For best results use an Estate Starter Fertilizer. Water your fertilizer one to two days prior to seeding to get your soil moist and fertile. After you’re done watering, it’s time to set your spreader to the correct setting for the grass seed you’re about to spread/plant. If you have a spreader not listed on our bag of Estate Grass Seed or on our Residential Spreader Settings Sheet, pour approximately one pound of seed and set the spreader to the middle setting. Mark off an area 35′ x 10′. Spread the seed over the entire area. If you have seed remaining, move your setting up. If you run out before finishing the area, move your setting down. For best coverage, plant the seeds in two passes at half the desired spreader setting. Apply a small 1/4″ layer of soil over the newly planted seed and rake or roll the seeds into the soil. Optimal mulching will hold in more moisture and hold the seed in place.
Step 5: Water – Light, frequent watering is an essential step to ensure success! For new lawns, water just long enough for puddles to form. Once the seed germinates, be sure to water on a regular basis to keep the soil moist.