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Fall is indeed the best time to seed. Why, you may ask? The air is cool but the soil is still warm, creating the perfect environment to plant grass seed. It also allows time for new grass roots to develop before winter sets in. There are various seeding projects you can complete this fall season, from overseeding and repairing bare spots to seeding a whole new lawn. Not sure what to take on or what products to use? Don’t worry, we’ve got you (and your lawn) covered. Read on to learn more.
But first... let's pick the right seed for your lawn
Knowing what grass type you have before beginning your seeding project is extremely important. You want to choose grass seed that will thrive best in your area. For instance, if you are located in the North, you might consider Kentucky Bluegrass, Perennial Ryegrass, and Tall Fescue. These grass types are very common in the Northern United States, as they thrive in a variety of conditions. Regarding Southern grass types, Bermudagrass or St. Augustinegrass are excellent choices. Bermudagrass is drought-tolerant, allowing it to withstand the scorching heat of the South. St. Augustinegrass is prevalent in parts of Texas and Florida, flourishing in warm, humid areas where other grass types struggle. Remember that St. Augustinegrass can only be grown via sod or plugs. To learn more about the different grass types and ensure you are making the right choice, refer to this helpful guide on how to identify your grass.
Overseed a Thin Lawn
If your lawn is looking a little thin and weak, overseeding is the project you will want to take on. Thickening your lawn in the fall ensures it stays strong during the cold winter months and looks its best come springtime. Scotts® Turf Builder® THICK'R LAWN® is a great product to use to thicken your lawn. The 3-in-1 solution is formulated with grass seed to fill gaps in your current lawn, fertilizer to feed, green, and thicken new and existing grass, and soil improvers to encourage stronger root development. These three components work together to help you get up to a 50% thicker lawn with just one application (subject to proper care; results may vary based on current condition of lawn).
Begin your overseeding project by prepping your lawn. Mow the area to a height of approximately 2 inches or lowest mower setting. Rake or dethatch to loosen the top layer of soil and remove any dead grass or debris. Then, apply the product with a Scotts® spreader (please refer to spreader settings on product label). Water daily or as needed to keep soil surface moist for the first 2 weeks.
Repair Bare Spots
Lawns see a lot of activity in the summer, whether it’s from kids playing or pets running around and digging. This high-level of foot traffic can lead to occasional bare spots. Thankfully, fixing these spots is a breeze with Scotts® EZ Seed® Patch & Repair. This product consists of high performance grass seed, continuous release lawn food, and super-absorbent growing mulch material. Scotts® EZ Seed® Patch & Repair also includes a tackifier to help reduce seed wash-away and a protectant to help keep seedlings safe from harmful diseases.
There are three easy steps to success: 1) prep the area by removing dead grass and loosening hard soil, 2) evenly apply EZ Seed® so the area is mostly covered but bare ground is still visible, and 3) saturate with water until no more water is being absorbed and mulch turns dark brown. Plant seed in the spring or fall when daily average soil temperatures are consistently between 55°F and 70°F, or air temperatures between 60°F and 80°F or 70°F and 90°F depending on the product . For best results, keep kids, pets, and lawn mowers off newly planted seedlings until the grass is 3 inches high.
Seed a New Lawn
And now, the final project: seeding a new lawn! It might sound intimidating, but trust us, it's as easy as can be, especially when you're planting in the fall. Scotts® Turf Builder® Rapid Grass truly makes growing grass a breeze. With our revolutionary mix of grass seed and fertilizer in one effective formula, your lawn benefits from extended feeding, resulting in full, green grass. Compared to seed alone, your lawn will grow 2X faster (when applied at the new lawn rate, subject to proper care). Scotts® Turf Builder® Rapid Grass grows green, lush grass in just weeks.
Simply rake the area to loosen the top layer of soil (approximately 2 inches deep) and remove any dead grass or debris, ensuring seed-to-soil contact. Then, apply the product with a Scotts® spreader (please refer to spreader settings on product label). Lightly rake the product into the soil to ensure it is covered just beneath the soil surface. Water daily to keep the soil surface moist until the seedlings reach at least 2 inches tall.