Planting grass seed into pure tilled and freshly prepared soil beds yields the best results especially where there is good soil [Soil Testing] and seed contact.
It provides the best conditions for little seedlings to grow by eliminating any competition between weeds and other plants enabling the grass seed to get adequate nutrients and water.
A prepared seed bed also allows the roots to push through during growth as the soil compaction is reduced.
Warm season grasses rarely germinate unless covered by soil. Grass types include Buffalo, Zoysia and Bermuda. Germination requires good seed and soil coverage at the correct depth.
Other cool season grass types do not necessarily have to be covered by soil though there should have some contact with the soil along with the required elements of aeration and raking for increased germination.
Seeds require the necessary planting temperatures in order for germination to take place. It is important to know which seasons the seeds grow well and geminate in, whether early in season or out of season.
Some seeds called ‘un-hulled’ seeds have to be prepped for quicker germination by removing hulls on the seed or they lie ‘dormant’ waiting for the right conditions in the appropriate season for germination and growth.
During grass seed selection, mixing seed types ensure survival from diseases. Certain grass types such as the perennial ryegrass, Kentucky Blue grass and fine fescue have complementary properties that assist and take advantage of each other’s strengths to flourish in the areas they are planted together.
Other types of grass seed are drought resistant which may be of advantage to those that cannot survive in drought areas.
Constant watering is essential for the growth and survival of the grass seeds. Allowing the lawn to dry may cause the seeds to die. Watering 3-4 times a day for a period of 3-4 weeks after planting will help, however be careful not to apply too much as this can cause pooling and uneven growth or even erosion.
Seeds can be covered by ‘erosion mats’ that help protect the seeds from getting washed away but they do not however aid in the germination.
The use of grain drills is another method which involves planting seeds into the soil by making narrow holes and dropping the seed through tubes providing adequate seed and soil contact.
These machines can be used for planting in existing lawns to create and improve variety in the area.