When it comes to a garden there are no other plants more synonymous with the concept than grass. Rich, green lawns that spread wide and far, inviting people to sit down and just bask in nature’s verdant carpet.
The luscious coverage of a green garden is something nearly every gardener will strive for, putting down seeds in hopes that they can look out a few weeks later to their lovely, grassy plane.
Still, despite its simplicity grass can take some care and consideration for it to blossom into the best it can be. No one wants patchy, uneven grass and yet the issue still plagues the yards of the world. So not only will we give you the basics in the article, but we’ll let you know when to plant your grass seed, how long it takes for grass to grow and the tips and tricks to keep it happy.
When to Plant Grass Seeds
Grass is a picky little plant, with it requiring specific conditions to germinate and grow correctly. Much of this depends on temperature, but other factors such as wind, rain, and even the scavenging birds will impact grass seed germination.
Because of this most climates will require that grass seed be planted around the end of spring – beginning of summer. Early autumn is also viable as long as it isn’t too cold or hot, which depends on the climate.
The best temperature to aim for is between 8ºc and 10ºc. The strategy is also key here, as keeping up with weather forecasts can help in avoiding the snow, rain, or cold fronts that may affect the germination rate.
How to Plant Grass Seed
Before you start planting anything, make sure to have a look at the quality of your soil. Soil can be a large determining factor on how well the grass will grow, with poor soil quality requiring a top layer being added to ensure the grass grows the way you want it to.
This also includes loam, sandy, and clay-rich soils. The best way to prepare the soil is to remove any debris (i.e sticks and stones), loosen the top 2 – 3 inches of soil, and level any dips or pits so that rain doesn’t collect there.
When planting the seeds you can also use a spreader, but spreading the seeds with your hand also works. Make sure you are evenly distributing the seed over your patch with a sifting motion to ensure the seed scatters in the area.
Cover the soil after you’re happy with your seed distribution skills, covering them with a very thin later of soil (around ¼ of an inch will do). You can use seed formula if you want to maintain the moisture in the soil, but this is optional.
The last thing to do is water the grass and keep on top of it. Grass needs to be watered slightly daily to ensure there is moisture, at least until the grass is starting to poke out at around 2 – 3 inches. If it is raining you can leave it be, but make sure to check for any water puddles that have formed as a result.
Caring for Grass
Grass may look simple, but it does take a fair amount of care to keep it looking luscious and green.
The most obvious form of care is to mow your lawn every so often, routinely and properly. But how often should you mow your lawn?
Every week is the given amount, but it really depends on how fast the grass is growing. If it looks to be growing slowly, then wait for it to be around 3 – 4 inches off of the ground before you get the lawnmower out.
Although, it is definitely worth leaving newly grown grass to grow a bit more than usual, allowing the root system to grow. If you’re stuck for lawnmowers, then definitely check out this guide to find out which one is right for you.
How to Avoid Birds
Where there is grass seed there will be birds, it’s an unavoidable fact and the seed you plant will be pestered by this group of winged menaces.
There are a few ways you can deter birds from your seed, with the main one being a scarecrow. A scarecrow doesn’t have to require a full-on human-esque effigy, instead, a simple stick and trash bags can suffice in some cases.
Even covering it with reflective tape or hanging CDs from trees can work in a similar way, birds will be scared nonetheless. If that isn’t enough, you can also use wind chimes or similar noise-making devices to keep the birds at bay.
Birds may still be an issue after all of this, so you may need to buy a grass cover to protect from birds, which can be found in gardening stores.
With all of this information you should be ready to turn your garden into the green and grassy wonderland it should be. All it takes is some tiny understanding of how grass works and the best time to plant the seed.
We also have a further, comprehensive article here with more information on planting your grass.