If you want the best results, there are some simple rules to follow when planting grass seed in the Kansas City area. The team at Heritage Lawns & Irrigation have put together this list of tips to help you have a successful seeding season.
September Is the Best Month to Seed
You can plant new grass in the spring or fall, but the fall is the time of year we recommend because the cooler weather is easier on the new grass plants and keeping the new plants moist is less challenging as well.
TIPS: September is the best month to plant grass in KC.
Related Read: Fall Seeding Tips for Kansas City Homeowners
Water Prior to Seeding
Water your lawn every day for a few days before planting, but not the day of planting. The extra moisture will make it easier to work with when aerating or verticutting and will also provide a better environment for new seed.
Mow Your Lawn
It may sound silly, but mow your lawn a little shorter than usual before seeding to ensure the seeds will make it to the soil. Good seed-to-soil contact is crucial.
Aerate if Overseeding
Speaking of good seed-to-soil contact, if you are just overseeding an already healthy lawn, we suggest aerating the lawn. Aerating pulls small plugs of dirt and thatch out of the ground giving the existing grass room to grow and allowing rain and nutrients into the soil so they can reach the roots. Our clay soil tends to get compacted quickly, so we recommend aerating once a year to keep your lawn healthy.
Verticut Thin Lawns
If your lawn is thin or you have bare patches, we suggest verticutting. It is a little more aggressive than aeration, but tills the soil better to provide better seed-to-soil contact and better germination. You can also aerate and verticut, but many times one or the other will suffice.
Choose the Right Seed
We recommend a 50/50 mix of fescue and Bluegrass for Kansas City lawns. If your lawn is already established, you only need to overseed with fescue as Bluegrass spreads more quickly and is usually well established. If you are starting a new lawn, we suggest a 50/50 mix, which, by weight, is actually a 90/10 mix (90% Bluegrass and 10% fescue) as Bluegrass seeds are much smaller and lighter than fescue. This combination seems to hold up the best year in and year out.
Also, read the label. Make sure your grass seed label says “0% weed seeds” and “0% other crop”, or you will be planting weeds in your yard.
Don’t Forget to Water Your Lawn Regularly
Do not let your new seed dry out! It will die. Make sure to water enough to keep the soil consistently damp. Light, frequent watering is best. Try this watering schedule:
- First 3 weeks, water 3 times per day @ 8, 12, & 4 o’clock, light sprinklings to keep the seedbed continually moist.
- Next 2 weeks, water once per day about twice as long as each watering during the 1st three weeks.
- Then water deeply once a week for the remainder of year. Water should be applied for a period of time, so when measured, it accumulates about ½ inch of water in small can or rain gauge.