Grass Planting Guide

March 24, 2020

With spring on the rise, it’s time to start planting! Not just beautiful flowers, or delicious vegetables, but grass seed, too. Whether it’s a space for your family to enjoy outdoor activities, or a patch of native grass to attract wildlife, you want to do it right! Follow these steps to establishing your lawn.

Timing. If you want to plant a cool season grass, such as ryegrass or fescue, spring or early fall is the time to do it. There is a good chance the seeds will not establish or survive in winter or summer due to extreme temperatures. Early summer is the time to plant warm season grasses. Warm season grasses, like bermudagrass or buffalo grass, need warm soil conditions to germinate.

Seed. It’s important to choose a grass seed that fits your budget, lifestyle and location. Before deciding, consider the growing conditions, and soil quality of your lawn. Survey your planting area to determine the sun/shade conditions and calculate the square footage of your lawn so you can determine how much seed is needed. Once you gather this information, you can decide which grass seed is best for your lawn. For sunnier lawns in West Texas a good option is the warm season grass, bermudagrass. The cool season grass, tall fescue grass, is an option for shadier lawns.

Soil Prep. Once you have scoped out your planting area, it’s time to start preparing the soil for optimal growth. Remove any existing grass with a shovel, or a sod cutting machine. Another option for grass removal would be to use a non-selective herbicide, which kills both grass and broadleaf plants. Get rid of any debris that could delay plant growth such as large rocks or old roots. If soil compaction is a problem, use a tiller to break up the soil. Soil should be reduced to pea-sized particles, and friable to allow the grass seed to work itself in.

Level Out. You want a flat, even surface for planting grass seed. Use a bow rake to even out the soil surface while also removing any loose rocks, or other debris within the soil. Add soil to fill in low spots.

Feed & Seed. Once you have prepared your lawn area, it’s time to start planting. It is important to feed the seed you’re planting. Choose a phosphorous-containing, starter fertilizer for optimal results. Grass seed can be applied by hand for smaller areas, or by using a spreader. Check the bag of seed to find the right setting to use on the spreader. Apply fertilizer with a spreader, and also check the bag for its required settings. The choice is yours on which one you apply first. Begin applying by starting with the perimeter of your lawn. This will allow you to fill in every area without missing space on the edges. Avoid spreading seed into any garden beds, sidewalks or driveways.

Water. Newly seeded lawns should be watered daily keeping the top inch of the soil consistently moist, but not soggy. To encourage germination, you will want to mist the lawn daily. Once germination begins, keep the top two inches consistently moist until the grass reaches a mowing height of 3 inches. At that point, you can reduce watering to twice a week while soaking the soil deeper at six to eight inches to encourage deep roots in the soil.

Cover It. Once you have completed seeding and feeding, time to cover it up! Cover the planted area with about ¼” of soil. This will keep the seed from drying out and washing away. For more protection, you can also apply a thin layer of mulch—not too thick because it could choke out the new seedlings.

Maintenance. Once your new grass reaches a mowing height of three inches, you’re ready for the first mow. Only remove the top 1/3 of the grass blades. If you cut it too short, it weakens the grass and allows weeds to pop up. Avoid as much foot traffic as possible when allowing the grass to establish properly. At six to eight weeks you can begin a regular lawn fertilizer program to keep your grass lush and green.

Palmer Feed & Supply carries bulk and bagged grass seed, and a full line of lawn fertilizer. Click here for more information on seed and fertilizer we currently stock. Visit, or call us today for availability and pricing. Our friendly staff can't wait to help you grow the lawn you've always wanted! 


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