Seeding a New Lawn

Gardener horticulturalist spreading lawn fertiliser  to cultivate lawn

After you’ve done the necessary research and chosen the ideal grass species for your new lawn, it is time to prep the soil and seed.

After you’ve done the necessary research and chosen the ideal grass species for your new lawn, it is time to prep the soil and seed. This step gets a little technical, and it can be disappointing to put time and money into your lawn only to discover sparse patches when its season rolls around. This is why we’ll be dedicating some time to breaking down the best practices for starting a new lawn.

Soil Quality

Before seeding, most of your focus should be on the first six inches down into the soil. If you are certain that your home is surrounded by good soil (dark, fertile, without debris), then you can feel assured that you are ahead of the game. But, if you inspect the dirt in your outdoor spaces to find that it is dense, rocky, and dehydrated, then there is work to be done. To really increase your chances of success, you want to test the pH of the current soil so that it can be amended properly with lime, fertilizer, and compost. Your soil is your greatest ally and should be treated as such. Any excess plant material needs to be tilled. 


Cool-season grasses are especially popular in Maryland, so for now, let’s focus on seed mixes that are predominantly those species (fescues, bluegrass, etc.). Seeding should take place anywhere from August to October. The seed should be divided and sown as such: half go from North-South, half go West-East. You should expect to see some results in 2-3 weeks, depending on the amount of sunlight. Cool-season grasses absolutely love full-sun. As far as elements within our control, these species require consistent maintenance as they grow.

New Lawn Maintenance

As the lawn grows in, it needs to be watered almost daily. This will promote germination and prevent much of the small seeds from being blown away with dry dirt and dust. You must also protect the seeds from animals like birds and squirrels, so lay down a layer of straw to deter them. When the grass reaches about 4-5 inches in height, it’s time to begin mowing. Set your lawnmower to 3-31/2 inches, and make sure only to cut as much as the top third of your grass blades. 

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