Frequently Asked Questions About Grass Seed For Your Lawn

Here's a list of the most frequently asked questions about grass seed from consumers like you.

Confused About Grass Seed?

You're not alone. It's easy to get confused about grass seed. Which grass seed is best for your lawn, how to plant it, and even weather conditions can all add up to one big question mark for many people. That's why we had our experts answer some of the most commonly asked questions about the best way to grow grass.


General Questions About Grass Seed

What Spreader Settings Should I Use?

Spreader settings can vary, depending on what grass seed type and spreader you are using. Our Spreader Settings Tool can help you determine what spreader settings to use. Spreader settings for specific spreaders, such as our Scotts® Elite Spreader and Scotts® Whirl™ Hand-Powered Spreader, can be found on the product label under the Specs and Details tab on the product page. Don't have a spreader? Let us help you find the right one for your yard.

For Scotts® Turf Builder® Grass Seed, select the product you're interested in and download the product label via the Specs and Details tab. You'll find your spreader settings there.

I Planted My Grass Seed and It Didn't Grow. What's Wrong?

There are many things that could have happened. Too much or too little water, weather conditions, use of weed control products, and/or poor soil conditions can all be possible causes. Because each situation is different, it is best to call and speak with one of our experts to help diagnose the problem at 1-800-543-TURF (8873).

How Do I Know What Type of Grass I Have?

Grass types can vary, depending on where you live. Cool-season grass types are found predominantly in the north, and warm-season grass types, in the south. Our Identify Your Grass Type article can help you determine what type of grass is growing in your lawn.

What Is Overseeding? Why Should I Do It?

Overseeding simply means spreading grass seed over an existing lawn to thicken the turf. Over time, seasonal stresses such as heat, drought, winter conditions, and pests can cause your grass to become thin and weak. Overseeding is a fast, inexpensive way to help bring your lawn back to its lush, green self without tearing everything out and starting over.

How Do I Overseed My Lawn?

To overseed a lawn, start by mowing your lawn short and bagging the clipping. Then, rake the lawn to loosen the top layer of soil and remove any dead grass and debris. This will give the grass seed easy access to the soil.

If your lawn is a cool-season grass type, use a spreader to apply Scotts® Turf Builder® Thick'R Lawn™, a product developed specifically for overseeding that combines high performance grass seed with fertilizer and a soil improver to create an easy-to-use product you apply with a Scotts® Spreader.

If you have a centipede, zoysia, or bahiagrass lawn, select the appropriate Scotts® Turf Builder® Grass Seed and apply it over your existing lawn using a spreader.

How is Reseeding Different from Overseeding?

While overseeding is thickening up a thin lawn, reseeding is a complete lawn renovation. When there is more bare soil or weeds than grass in your yard, it's best to just start over from scratch. The process for reseeding the lawn is the same as installing a new lawn.

This article provides any easy guide on how to replant lawn grass.

What About Overseeding Bermudagrass?

If you live in the deep south or southwest and your bermudagrass goes dormant and turns brown in the fall, you may want to try overseeding your dormant bermudagrass lawn with ryegrass for a temporary green lawn all winter long. Scotts® Turf Builder® Thick’R Lawn® Bermudagrass is a 3-in-1 solution uniquely formulated to help turn your thin lawn into a thicker, greener lawn with stronger roots. You might want to try Scotts® Turf Builder® Grass Seed Quick Fix Mix or Scotts® Turf Builder® Grass Seed Perennial Ryegrass Mix.

What's the Best Way to Seed a Thin or Bare Spot?

There's no need to overseed your entire lawn if you're only worried about a few thin or bare spots. Fill them in quickly and easily with Scotts® EZ Seed® Patch & Repair, a powerful combination of high-performance seed, super-absorbent growing material, and continuous-release lawn food that's guaranteed to grow anywhere*. Just follow these simple steps:

  1. Remove any dead grass and loosen up the soil.
  2. Evenly apply EZ Seed® so the area is covered but the ground is still visible.
  3. Water deeply, stopping only when the product is saturated and won't absorb any more.
  4. Water again whenever EZ Seed® begins to turn light brown.
  5. Keep kids, pets, and mowers away until the grass reaches 3 inches high.

Be sure to read the label before using.

*subject to proper care

How Long Can I Store Grass Seed Before It Goes Bad?

If stored in a cool, dry place, grass seed can last for 2-3 years. However, the germination rate (the number of seeds that will grow) will decrease over time, so you may not get the same results you would if you were using fresh seed. For best results, use fresh product and try to plant it within a year.

Buying Grass Seed

Where Can I Buy Scotts® Grass Seed?

Our products can be found at most home improvement centers, mass merchants, hardware stores, garden centers, and

How Much Grass Seed Should I Buy?

First you need to know the size of the area you want to plant. If you already know how many square feet you are seeding, then proceed to Step 2.

Step 1: Download the MyLawn app to help you calculate square footage! This tool highlights your property and will tell you how large your lawn is.

Step 2: Once you know the square footage, the next step is to look at the package to determine how many bags you need to buy. There are usually 2 grass seed coverage numbers listed on a package:

1: Overseeding Coverage: Typically, the overseeding coverage is the higher of the two coverage numbers. This is how many square feet the package will cover if you are planning to overseed, or spread grass seed into your existing lawn.

2: New Lawn Coverage: The lower of the 2 coverage numbers is normally the new lawn coverage. This is how many square feet the package will cover if you are reseeding (a complete lawn renovation) or planting a new lawn.

It's important to read each grass seed package carefully to make sure you buy the right amount. All Scotts® grass seed products have the coverage listed on the package. The number on the front of the package is usually the overseeding coverage. The new lawn coverage can be found on the back of the bag.

Planting Grass Seed

How Do I Plant Grass Seed?

We have several how-to videos and articles on our website to help with your seeding project. Here are a few of the most popular topics:

How to Repair & Seed Bare Spots in The Lawn

How to Patch Your Lawn (video)

Thicken Your Lawn by Overseeding

How to Replant Lawn Grass

Planting Grass for a New Lawn

How to Prepare a Lawn for Reseeding (video)

When Is the Best Time to Plant Grass Seed?

The answer depends on the type of grass you're planting.

Cool-season grasses (Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, and fescues) grow best when temperatures are between 60-80ËšF. Early fall is the best time to seed because of its shorter days, cooler nights, and heavier dews. Your most successful seeding time is usually the 2 weeks before or after Labor Day which gives your new seedlings time to build strong roots before the winter. Spring is also a good time to plant cool-season grasses because of its moderate temperatures and heavier rainfall. However, spring also provides a good environment for crabgrass to begin germinating. If you want to prevent crabgrass from invading your newly planted grass, we recommend using Scotts® Turf Builder® Triple Action Built for Seeding. Applying this to your newly seeded areas will boost root development and prevent crabgrass.

Warm-season grasses (zoysiagrass, bermudagrass, centipedegrass, and bahiagrass) grow best when temperatures are between 75-90ËšF. So the best time to plant grass seed is from late spring (after the last frost date) through early summer. We recommend also applying Scotts® Turf Builder® Starter® Food for New Grass to your newly seeded areas to boost root development.

Can I Plant New Grass AFTER Using a Weed Control Product? (e.g., Weed Preventer or Weed Killer)

All weed control products are different, but in general, it is not recommended to plant new grass within 4 months of using a crabgrass preventer, or within 1 month of using other weed control products. (Unless the product is designed to be used when seeding.) Always refer to the product label for specific information related to the weed control product you are using.

Why Should I Use a Starter Lawn Food?

Scotts® Turf Builder® Starter Food for New Grass provides your new grass with the nutrients it needs to build strong roots. As a result, your new grass will grow faster and thicker than if you didn't feed it at all. If you want to prevent crabgrass from invading while you are growing new grass, look for Scotts® Turf Builder® Triple Action Built for Seeding to prevent crabgrass when seeding. (Note, this product cannot be used on warm season grasses. Refer to the product label for compatible grass types.)

How Long Does It Take Grass Seed to Grow?

The length of time varies by grass type. The product package should tell you how long it will take for your new grass to begin growing.

Should I Put Straw Down to Protect the Grass Seed?

Using straw to cover newly seeded areas is not recommended. Some straw may contain weeds and unwanted plant seeds that can invade your lawn. We recommend putting down a thin layer of Scotts® Turf Builder® LawnSoil™ evenly over the prepared area. Next, spread grass seed and lightly rake into soil.

Caring For Newly Planted Grass

How Much Do I Need to Water My New Grass?

Watering is crucial for seeding success. Water frequently for the first 2-3 weeks while seedlings are young and developing. This means keeping the top 1 inch of soil consistently moist, but not soggy. Mist your seedlings daily or as needed. After your new grass has filled in and has been mowed at least once, begin to cut back watering intervals to twice a week, applying about ½ inch of water at each watering.

How Soon Can I Mow After Planting New Grass?

If you reseeded or planted a new lawn, avoid mowing until the new seedlings have reached a mowing height (usually between 3 and 4 inches.) Make sure your mower blade is sharp, and only cut your grass when it's dry to avoid damaging the new grass blades. Do not remove more than â…“ of the grass height in a single mowing. If you overseeded your lawn (applied grass seed over all or part of your existing lawn), you can continue to mow as needed, but try to limit the frequency to reduce traffic on the new seedlings.

When Can I Use Weed Control Products on My New Grass? (i.e. Weed Preventer or Weed Killer)

All weed control products are different, but in general, it is recommended to wait until the new grass has been mowed at least 3-4 times before using a crabgrass preventer or other weed control product. (Unless the product is designed to be used when seeding.) Always refer to the product label for specific information related to the weed control product you are using. If you want to prevent crabgrass from invading while growing new grass, we recommend using Scotts® Turf Builder® Triple Action Built for Seeding. The ingredients in this product prevent crabgrass when seeding and boost root development of new grass plants. (Note, this product cannot be used on warm season grasses. Refer to the product label for a list of compatible grass types.)

Do You Have Additional Questions?

Help is only a phone call away! 1-800-543 TURF (8873)

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