Unlike soft soil, hard solid has higher soil drainage, which results in fast minerals and water removal, especially in the top layer of the soil.
Consequently, it may take you years before attaining the beautiful green lawn that you are looking for without good know-how to undergo the planting process.
Here is a detailed explanation of how to plant grass seed on hard dirt to help you achieve your beautiful lawn dreams.
Steps To Plant Grass Seeds On Dirt
Good preparation is everything if you need to have a fruitful grass planting. And as they say, success is not about chances but with well planning. So how do you go about having your seeds grow to a beautiful lawn?
Right away! Below are the steps you can follow when planting grass seeds on hard dirt to promise their growth.
- Choose The Right Planting Season
Different types of grass require different weather conditions to grow. For instance, the Kentucky bluegrass seedlings can only grow in a cool season.
The point is, you should choose the appropriate season to plant the grass seedlings depending on the grass type.
Generally, we have cool-season grass seedlings and warm-season grasses. Examples of warm-season grass seedlings are centipede, Bermuda, and zoysia grasses.
On the other hand, examples of cool-season grasses are perennial and Kentucky bluegrass.
- Choose The Grass Seeds
This can come before or after choosing the planting season.
There are other factors that you should look at while choosing the appropriate grass seedlings. To begin with, is the nature of the lawn you want. Different grass types spread differently and have a limited growth height.
Above that, you should consider the normal climatic condition of your area. Is it too hot or cool? Whichever the case, the grass type you choose should be able to withstand the existing weather conditions after growth.
- Prepare The Soil
Next, after choosing the right planting season and the ideal grass seeds, is preparing the lawn for the planting season. How?
First is clearing out the weed and maybe the bushes around. Leave nothing that would be competing with the grass for nutrients. A tiller machine will help if you need to loosen the soil particles
Next is by testing the soil PH. PH is the acidity and alkalinity levels in the soil. For most grass types, they grow best in a soil ph of 6.0 to 7.0.
After you can raise or lower the ph accordingly. For ph adjustments, you can use baking powder to raise it or vinegar to lower the ph.
Also, it would be best if you tested for the nutrients in your soil. If you find out that your ground is not fertile enough, then a specific fertilizer may be useful.
- Even And Aerate The Grass
Especially for a home compound lawn, it is essential to level up the ground. That can be done by raising the low points to a higher level until all the lawn is even.
After, it is aerating the soil. But why is this important? Hard dirt with no air spaces limits the roots from accessing air and water, which results in unhealthy grass.
Aerating the lawn can be done with a core aerator machine that leaves holes in the soil by removing little dirt bits.
Though, aerating the soil is not a must step. However, it would help if you did.
- It’s Planting Time!
Now it is the actual planting process. Can I just throw grass seed down? That is a question I mostly receive. From an expert view of it, you should not just throw the grass seeds.
Well, that doesn’t mean that the seeds wouldn’t germinate if you throw them.
However, their germination will be poor. Actually, likely more seeds will die in comparison to those which will germinate. If you really need most of your seeds to sprout healthily, dig them into the ground.
That will ensure that the roots get deeper enough from the hot sun. And still, for anchorage reasons, it would be wise if you planted the seeds below the soil.
- Fertilize The Grass Seeds
The fertilization procedures differ depending on the grass type. In some of the fertilizers, you will not put them first before the seeds, while in other cases, you will have to wait until after the grass has grown to a certain height.
- Water And Maintain
Sufficient water is a requirement for both germination and growth of the seeds. Also, considering you are dealing with hard soil, which has low water retention, it would be best if you regularly water your lawn.
Lastly, is maintaining the lawn. Mainly by keeping it moisturized and also by removing the unwanted plants. Follow this gardening blog for more lawn preparation tips.
How To Soften Hard Soil Lawn?
In most cases, it is advisable you soften the hard soil to improve its ability to hold water and nutrients. If so, then the soil softening should happen before the planting season.
How do you soften the hard dirt for planting?
- Use of organic manure
Adding the remains of dead plants and materials helps soften the soils and, even better, increasing the soil’s fertility.
The organic matter works by binding the soil particles, which improves the soil’s ability to hold water and still make it easier to dig through the soil.
- Wool pellets
Adding wool pellets is the modern way of softening the soil, especially in urban areas.
The wool pellets work by creating oxygen spaces in the soil. This aeration is useful to allow the expansion of the roots for faster growth.
Also, the wool pellets are rated to hold the water 20x their weight. With such a high water holding capacity, the moisture will stay longer on the topsoil to soften it.
- Water The Soil
Lastly, regularly watering the soil would help soften hard soil. This should not stop even after planting seeds.
Even better, regularly sprinkling water into your lawn will quicken the grass’s growth and spread. Watch this video for a better soil preparation.
How Do You Plant Grass Seeds On An Already Existing Lawn?
Do you have an already existing lawn whose appearance is not pleasing? Do you feel like planting more seeds on the lawn’s bare left spaces would help its appearance? I think it’s time you get it done.
As grass matures, it is likely to thin. Worse, if you have an eye for thick grasses, that will leave you with a frown.
Overseeding, which is the act of planting grass seeds on an existing lawn, at the very least it is a straightforward task.
But how do you get it done? Here are details on how to plant grass seeds in an existing lawn safely and perfectly. Let’s go!
- Choose The Right Seeds
In some cases, you would consider planting the same grass type as the existing one or adding a new look. If you are not planting the same grass as the existing one, ensure it is right according to the area’s climatic condition.
- Time The Task
As was the case while you were first planting the existing lawn, you should choose the right planting season.
Ideally, there are warm season and cool season grass seeds.
- Mow The Existing Lawn
Preferably, you should mow the existing grass to a shorter height. That will help the new seeds to grow healthy and have good access to sunlight, which is an essential requirement for growth.
- Get It Done
By now, you have prepared the soil, choose the right grass, and mowed the existing grass.
If so, you can now plant the new seeds. While undergoing the planting, avoid getting the soil particles into the existing grass and maneuver well in the lawn to avoid damaging the existing grass.
- Water And Maintain
Water is needed not only for the germination of the soil but also for a better growth curve. At this point, the young seeds are competing for water and nutrients with the old planted grass.
Meaning they are likely to be deprived of nutrients and water. Consequently, it is vital to water them frequently and, if possible, add fertilizer to improve the growth of your grass.
And that’s it. Just watch over your lawn as you remove unwanted plants and wait for it to grow thicker as you wanted.
Types Of Grass Seeds
If you are in a hurry, you can always buy grass sod from your nearby garden store. But if you plan to plant seeds, you should pay attention here.
One of the key considerations in ensuring that you have a beautiful lawn to gaze on or take pictures of is choosing the right grass type. It is not such a brainer for the cool areas, but things get more challenging when growing grass in poor soil.
However, no pressure here. I will highlight some of the common lawn grasses and classify them according to their right season and soil. Let’s dive in!
Best Grass Seeds For The Warm-Season And Poor Soil
Most of the warm areas usually their soils have low fertility. Thus their grass type should be more withstanding to rough conditions. They include;
- Buffalograss seed- is the best for extreme temperatures due to its high drought tolerance and fewer maintenance needs.
- Bermuda grass seed- withstands drought but requires high maintenance
- Centipede grass seed- grows relatively slowly but has the least maintenance needs and resistance to drought
- Bahiagrass seed- grows to a denser thick lawn and significantly tolerant to heat
Best Grass For Cool Season
Are you in a highly humid, cool environment and looking for the best grass type that will grow to a dense, thick lawn? Below are some of the recommendations;
- Bentgrass seed- best for home lawns and has the best looks if kept short
- Fine fescue seed- this grass type is suitable for cool environments and relatively considered when looking for grass seed for poor soil conditions.
- Tall fescue mix seed- preferred due to its fast growth curve and its high tolerance to wear
Are you troubled about how you will achieve a perfect looking lawn with your region’s hard dirt? I think it is time to stop worrying because here comes your savior. This article highlights all the details concerning how to plant grass seed on hard dirt.
Beyond that, it guides you in choosing the appropriate grass type and how to soften your lawn’s soil. Also, if you need to cover up the bare soil in your existing lawn, we have discussed that too.