A lush, green lawn is the crowning jewel of any outdoor space. But starting from scratch to go from bare ground to a thick, healthy lawn can seem daunting. Have no fear – with the right know-how and techniques, you can seed and grow a gorgeous property that would make any Calgarian proud. This guide will walk you through everything you need to know to unveil the art of lawn seeding and have your yard looking beautiful in no time.
Preparing the Soil
The key to establishing a flourishing lawn from seed is proper soil preparation. Your soil must be loose, nutrient-rich, and weed-free to give grass seeds the ideal conditions for germinating and flourishing.
1. Remove Existing Vegetation:
Start by removing any existing grass, weeds or vegetation from the area you intend to seed. Use a sod cutter to remove thick grass or stubborn weeds. Rake thoroughly to loosen the top layer of soil and remove roots or debris.
2. Till the Soil:
Once cleared, till the soil to a depth of 4-6 inches using a rototiller or garden fork. This helps break up compacted soil and allows the seeds to have better contact with soil nutrients. Avoid tilling when the soil is too wet, which can damage soil structure.
3. Add Nutrient Amendments:
A soil test can determine if your soil needs any pH adjustments or nutrient amendments to optimise conditions for grass growth. Compost, manure, or organic fertilisers are typically worked into the ground before seeding to enrich the soil.
4. Level and Smooth:
Use a landscape rake to distribute and smooth out the soil evenly. This creates a flat surface for uniform seed distribution. Roll over the area with a water-filled lawn roller to seal the ground before seeding.
Choosing the Right Grass Seed:
With Calgary’s climate, cool season grasses that thrive in our zone 2 environment are best. Kentucky bluegrass blends are a popular choice, as are fine fescues. When purchasing seed, Lawn Seeding in Calgary considers varieties bred for strength, durability, and disease resistance. A seed mix tailored to your sun exposure, soil type and usage will establish the best.
1. Buy Quality Seed:
Pay attention to quality – high-grade, certified seed will produce superior results to bargain seed. Reputable seed suppliers can recommend the best blends. Purchase fresh root each season for optimal germination rates.
2. Select the Right Type:
Consider the level of traffic, sun exposure and watering the lawn will receive when selecting grass species. Bluegrass holds up well to activity but needs more water, while fine fescues tolerate drought. Mixes are ideal for variable conditions.
3. Consider Specialty Uses:
For shady areas, choose shade-tolerant mixes. Slopes and roadside areas prone to erosion benefit from low-maintenance grasses like sheep fescue. Overseeding thin spots in existing lawns may require matching existing grass types.
Seeding the Lawn
Once soil prep is complete, it’s time to sow the seed. Paying close attention to application rate, depth, and timing is crucial for seeding success.
When to Seed?
Early fall is the best time for Calgary seeding as the soil is still warm, but air temperatures are cooling. Aim for 4-6 weeks before the first frost for optimal germination and establishment before winter dormancy. Spring is the second best.
How Much to Apply?
Follow package directions for the recommended application rate based on square footage. Divide the total seed amount in half and apply in perpendicular passes to ensure even coverage. The typical application rate for new lawns is 2-3 lbs per 1000 sq ft.
Proper Seeding Depth:
Grass seed needs shallow but good soil contact for germination. Aim for a seeding depth of 1/4 inch. Simple hand broadcasting works for small yards. Use a drop spreader for the most uniform coverage over larger areas.
Rolling and Watering:
Gently roll over freshly seeded areas to press seeds into soil contact. Then, water lightly and frequently to maintain moisture levels in the top 1″ of soil until germination occurs. Avoid heavy watering that can wash away seeds.
Caring for Newly Seeded Lawns:
The lawn still needs to be finished once seeding is complete. Proper watering, mowing, and weed control are required to protect new grass as it is established.
Water New Grass?
Provide consistent moisture by watering daily to keep seeds from drying out. Reduce watering frequency as grass grows, but avoid letting the soil dry completely.
Mow at the Proper Height:
Let new grass reach 3-4 inches before first mowing. Cut at most 1/3 of blade height at each mowing. Keep mower blades sharp to avoid damage to tender new growth.
Weed development is expected in new lawns. Hand-pull large weeds and spot treat with organic weed control methods. Avoid chemical herbicides until the property matures to prevent harming the desired grass.
Overseed as Needed:
It’s normal to have some sparse or thin areas. Reseed any weak spots for an entire, uniform lawn. Fall overseeding helps thicken up a lawn naturally over time.
Enjoy Your Seeded Lawn Success:
You’ll receive a lush grass carpet with proper soil prep, seed selection, application techniques, and follow-up care. Just have some patience – starting a lawn from seed takes time. But the satisfaction of unveiling a gorgeous seeded lawn makes the effort worthwhile.