Establishing a new Lawn using Seed (E2910)


February 18, 2016 - Author: Suleiman Bughrara


Successful lawn establishment way doing the ideal thing at the best time. Commonly, brand-new lawns failure to become established due to the fact that of poor quality seed, improper an option of turfgrass species or varieties, poor soil conditions, improper website preparation or lack of irrigation after seeding.

You are watching: When to plant grass in michigan

New lawns have the right to be developed using seed either by classic seeding approaches or by hydroseeding. Timeless seeding has several advantages:

The desired types or varieties have the right to be used.Cost is less than hydroseeding if the homeowner does the work.Less time is needed for job completion.Seed get an impression plants have actually stronger root systems initially.Seeding likewise has part disadvantages:The optimum time because that seeding is limited.Initial establishment takes longer.Additional moisture is needed.Weed invasion can be a problem, particularly in the spring

Hydroseeding is suitable to sever slopes, which are susceptible to soil erosion. Hydroseeding involves spraying (blowing) a combination of seed, water, fertilizer, lime (if needed), and also mulch ~ above a ready lawn area. Because you don’t have to mix fertilizer in the soil or include mulch, over there is less labor connected with hydroseeding than through the classic method. The disadvantage that hydroseeding is the the particle does no have finish contact with the soil and also may dry out and die.

1 – determine the time and method of establishment.

2 – measure the area to be planted

3 – soil test the area to it is in planted

4 – Remove huge rocks and also debris

5 – combine organic matter

6 – combine fertilizer and lime (if needed).

7 – Rake the surface to be planted

8 – Select appropriate turfgrass species

9 – seed the site

10 – Rake and also roll the seeded surface

11 – Mulch the seeded area

12 – water the freshly seeded area

13 – Mow the area after ~ establishment

14 – use weed control

Your success in developing your lawn counts on just how well friend prepare the site, choose the ideal seed varieties for your conditions and also carry out each the the complying with steps:

Step 1. Timing: so late summer and early fall plantings create the finest results in Michigan. The best time come seed your lawn is from august 15 come September 15. The warm days and also cool nights are ideal for seed germination and also seedling growth. Spring is the 2nd best time come seed turf grass, start in late spring or at an early stage summer yet no later than June 15. No issue what time the year friend seed her lawn, you must generally sprinkle easy to keep the topsoil moist without developing puddles. Adding extra organic issue to the soil before seeding, extending the seed with a little extra topsoil and also protecting the seed through a seed cover such together straw mulch to conserve moisture will certainly encourage the turf seedlings to grow. If you can not water her lawn, do not seed your lawn in late feather or early summer. Weeds can quickly invade a freshly seeded lawn the isn’t cultivation rapidly since of water stress.

Step 2. Measuring: Accurately measure up the area to it is in seeded. Girlfriend won’t be able to carry out many of the complying with steps uneven you know the dimension of your new lawn.

Step 3. Soil testing: Soil experimentation is necessary to identify the nutrient status and pH of her soil. Samples should be bring away well before you want to seed. Soil test mailing kits might be derived from her county expansion office because that a in the name fee. These kits carry out the important information on exactly how to take soil samples properly and also include a mailing container to front the sample to the Michigan State university Soil and Plant Nutrient Laboratory. Begin by taking number of composite samples (at least eight), using a shovel or spade to cut 1-inch slices of floor from the surface ar to a depth that 4 inches indigenous scattered parts of the suggest lawn area. Combine the samples in a clean bucket and remove any type of plant parts present in the sample, mix well and send 1 cup the the mixture to: Soil and Plant Nutrient Laboratory, 81 Plant and also Soil sciences Building, Michigan State University, eastern Lansing, MI 48824.

Recommendations for liming and fertilizer will certainly be returned to you together with the activities results.

Step 4. Preparing the soil: When structure a new home, save your topsoil in a pile off to the side. After ~ the structure is complete, spread out it evenly over the lawn area. Dispersing topsoil and final grading might be started once the floor is dry sufficient to be functioned without sticking to implements or ending up being compacted. Eliminate stones, roots, large soil clods and other material. The thickness the the topsoil have to be uniform top top slopes and also in level areas alike. The final grade or slope of the lawn should be away from the building, and an excellent surface drainage need to be evident. Normally, a autumn of 1 foot every 50 feet will store excess water native standing ~ above the surface of the lawn. Too great a steep may result in erosion, difficulties in mowing and feasible scalping.

If easily accessible topsoil is not enough to level the soil surface ar or carry out an enough root ar (at least 4 inches), added topsoil have the right to be purchased. Specify the the to buy topsoil it is in screened to get rid of weedy perennial grasses and also stones. Shot to complement the texture of the soil on the site.

If you space renovating an currently lawn or if grass or broad-leafed weeds are present, use a perfect systemic herbicide (weed killer) such a glyphosate, and repeat the therapy as necessary before seeding. Rototill the floor to a depth that 4 come 6 inches. After tilling, rake the floor to remove any plant debris and also eliminate drainage problems (slope away from house, garages, etc.) and also low locations as detailed in ahead steps.

If topsoil or organic matter isn’t added, the existing sub-soil need to be tilled to a depth the at least 6 customs to increase water and root penetration. Tilling to this depth is typically not possible with small, walk-behind tillers therefore a tractor-mounted tiller must be used. Prevent tilling the soil once it is excessively moist because clods will certainly be formed. To determine if the soil is dry sufficient to it is in tilled, take a little handful native a depth of about 4 inches and squeeze it lightly. If the soil cracks and also starts to break apart after girlfriend relax her hand, it is dry sufficient to till.

Step 5. Adding organic matter: necessary matter have the right to improve the soil’s drainage, aeration and nutrient-holding capacity. A 2-inch or deeper great of peat moss, manure, compost or other organic matter deserve to be applied. Usage well-rotted organic issue to avoid troubles with weed seeds, diseases or other determinants that can inhibit turf grass growth. Organic matter and other soil additives need to be tilled right into the topsoil. Hand mixing is slow, hard work and also seldom outcomes in a uniform mixture. Even distribution of organic matter in the height 4 to 6 customs of soil is an extremely important.

Step 7. Rolling the particle bed: after ~ raking, role the soil v a roller weighing 200 to 300 lb to for sure the soil, or water the soil extensively and enable it come settle. If the hoe of your shoe sinks in about ½ inch, you have actually the proper loose planting bed for appropriate seed germination. If any humps or hollows appear, to fill them in or rake castle out till the surface is smooth.

Step 8. Choosing the right form of grass for your site and also use: Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, high fescue and fine fescue are cool-season turf grasses generally used in Michigan. These grasses grow best when soil temperatures are in between 50 and also 65 degrees F and when air temperatures are in between 60 and 75 degrees F. These conditions occur in both spring and also fall in Michigan. There is no irrigation, cool-season turf grasses may become dormant throughout periods of hot or dried weather in the summer.

Kentucky bluegrass: Kentucky bluegrass is the most popular turfgrass species in Michigan. Arrays differ in color, texture, density, tolerance to nearby mowing, disease and insect resistance. Kentucky bluegrass is ideal suited come well-drained soils and moderate come high level of sunlight. With ideal management, that will type a high quality, long-lasting turf. It has an aggressive sod-forming nature that allows rapid recovery from injury in heavily trafficked areas. Kentucky bluegrass germinates and becomes developed slowly, so weeds may come to be a difficulty if the lawn is seeded in late spring or early summer. For a high quality, weed-free turfgrass, Kentucky bluegrass calls for at least four applications the fertilizer every season and also frequent irrigation throughout hot, dried periods. All varieties should be mowed come a elevation of 2 come 2 ½ inch or higher.


Perennial ryegrasses: Both perennial and annual (Italian) ryegrasses are used for lawns. Amongst lawn grass varieties they germinate the quickest and also have the fastest price of seedling establishment. Perennial and annual ryegrasses are not recommended in pure stands except when quick facility is needed, as on heavily trafficked areas of athletic fields. The turf top quality of yearly ryegrass is poor. It is challenging to mow and also is advantageous only together a momentary cover. Both ryegrass species are vulnerable to heat, cold, sheet spot and also brown job disease. ~ above sites where Kentucky bluegrass is the grass of choice, the is valuable to encompass 10 to 15 percent perennial ryegrass in the mixture to provide quick floor coverage and improve germination problems for the bluegrass.


Tall fescue: high fescue in basic has short maintenance and fertility requirements and also possesses good insect and an illness tolerance. The performs best on well-drained soils. It has good drought tolerance and provides moderate to great levels the turfgrass high quality with limited maintenance. If you space concerned around conserving water because that lawn irrigation, tall fescue is a good choice. High fescue is ideal seeded in a pure stand, not mixed with various other turfgrass species. Tall fescue need to be seeded as listed in Table 2. Low seeding rates result in a clumpy, coarse-textured lawn.


Fine fescue: Red, hard and also Chewings fescues space fine-leafed turfgrasses that grow well in shady places with low soil moisture and also fertility. Fine fescue need to not be seeded in pure stands since it will certainly rapidly develop thatch, which leads to a decrease in turf quality. Fine fescue is finest used together a companion grass v Kentucky bluegrass in mixtures containing 85 come 90 percent Kentucky bluegrass and 10 come 15 percent well fescue because that low-maintenance and shaded lawns.


Various turfgrass species have various growth habits and also characteristics. Table 1 gives a summary of these differences (For range selection, see expansion bulletin E2912 entitled, “Turfgrass types and cultivar selection.”)

Table 1: Adaptations and also characteristics that cool-season turfgrasses


Kentucky bluegrass

Perennial ryegrass

Turf-type fall fescue

Fine fescue

Growth habit





Establishment rate





Mowing frequency





Tolerates nearby mowing





Traffic tolerance





Drought tolerance





Shade tolerance





Step 9. Seeding: The most vital step in creating turfgrass is to pick high quality species and varieties adjusted to the website conditions and the intended usage of the turf. Table 1 list the attributes of each type of grass and where it is finest used.


The seeds label will certainly list the name of the turfgrass species and cultivars existing in the package, seed purity, seeds germination percentage, crop seed content, lot of inert matter, weed seed content, lot of number and also the date on i beg your pardon the germination test to be conducted. Constantly retain the brand after purchase turfgrass seeds – it will aid your communications with the merchant or producer in case a trouble arises. Avoid varieties that room undesirable in her lawn, such as timothy, red top, ryegrass, orchard grass, bentgrass or pasture-type grasses such as Kentucky-31 tall fescue and Linn perennial ryegrass cultivars. Don’t to buy unlabeled seed. The cost of great seed is a small price to pay for a high high quality lawn.

Most commercially available seed is both a mix (two or much more cultivars of the same species) and also a mixture (cultivars of 2 or an ext species). Some retailers have seed in bulk and also you deserve to mix your own. If you decision to mix your own get particular instructions on the varieties and varieties ideal suited to your conditions. Closely follow the referrals are based on the number of seeds of each type, and the variety of pounds the each kind of grass to be included. Mixture recommendations are based on the number of seeds of each type, and also the variety of seeds per pound varies widely in between types.

A mix – a mix of two or more cultivars that the same species, such together two varieties of Kentucky bluegrass – is advantageous due to the fact that varieties different in their resistance to diseases and insects. Your mixed lawn is likely to look at god also if among the varieties of grass is under attack.

A seed mixture, comprised of two or much more turfgrass types such as a combination of Kentucky bluegrass and also perennial ryegrass gives good results under a selection of cultivation conditions. Each varieties in the mixture is best adjusted to certain conditions such together shade, sandy or poorly drained soils and also a details level of maintenance required. Few lawns have uniform drainage or the exact same amount of sun throughout, however the exact same seed mixture have the right to be provided on the entirety area.

When to buy packaged seed, look for high seeds purity and germination percentage and seed at the correct rate (Table 2). Excessive seeding rates lead to too much competition and increased disease. Irradiate seeding rates result in bad plant density and invite weed invasion, particularly with bunch-type turfgrasses.

Table 2: recommended turfgrass varieties mixtures1 and also their seeding rates.

Turfgrass types mixtures (by weight)

Seeding price (pounds/1,000 sq. Ft)

Kentucky bluegrass/perennial ryegrass




Kentucky bluegrass/fine-leaf fescues




1Do not purchase mixtures with pasture grasses such together Kentucky-31 tall, annual ryegrass or Linn perennial ryegrass for lawn use.

Sow the seed using a mechanical drop diffusion or scatter it by hand. Both approaches work finest when the air is calm. Ideal results room often obtained by splitting the seedbed into several equal components and setup apart a part of the seed for each area. Sow fifty percent of the seed recommended for each area in one direction and the remaining half at appropriate angles to the first.


Step 10. Raking and also Rolling: Rake in the particle lightly; the this of your rake should simply lightly touch the soil surface. Too much pressure will certainly cover the seeds too deeply or will move some the the seed, bring about bare spots in your brand-new lawn. Sheathe the seed for this reason that about 10 percent is tho visible. Role the area with a irradiate roller (50 come 75 pounds), such together a roller with many of the water ballast removed, come firm the soil roughly the seed. Irradiate rolling will speed up germination and increase seedling survival.

Step 11. Mulching: Straw is the classic material used for mulching, yet processed timber fiber and other species of mulches area available. Processed materials contain no weed or grain seed and are easier to spread, but they are more expensive. If you use straw together mulch, usage clean wheat, oat or barley straw. Protect against using rye straw. Spread the straw so the there is only one great of straw ground. This will normally require about two, 60-pound bales every 1,000 sq. Ft. You should have the ability to see the floor surface in between the straw stems. Mulch placed on in ~ this rate may be left on the ground to decompose. More heavier mulches that completely cover the soil have to be removed as quickly as you view grass chisels emerging from the soil. If seeding is done in so late fall, the mulch must be left on during the winter. Another kind of mulching is polyethylene, a white fabric blanket. This material increases air and soil temperature and enhances seed germination while avoiding soil and seed erosion. It also acts as great windbreak and also effective insect control.


Step 12. Watering: regular light watering disclosure seed germination and also rapid establishment of the lawn. Avoid enabling the seedbed to dry out and applying so lot water that the floor becomes soggy or seed is washed away. The soil will certainly dry conveniently on warm, clear days, therefore you may need to apply water two or 3 times every day. Sprinkling through hand usually gives far better control that the lot of water used than go a mechanically sprinkler. As the grass starts to grow, around a week after sowing, diminish the frequency of watering however increase the amount of water applied each time come encourage deep rooting. Normally, a 2-month-old turf might be watered the exact same as an created lawn. Water when the grass shows signs of stress, such as the turf turning a dull green rather than bright green or the grass knives remaining level after friend walk across the lawn.

Step 13. Mowing: Mow as quickly as grass knives exceed 3 customs in height. Keep you mower blades sharp to stop injuring the young plants. Keep traffic turn off the new lawn till the new turf has filled in enough that friend cannot view the soil. Until then, the only traffic on the turf should be you and also your mower. Fertilizer in the seedbed the spring-started lawns will normally last till fall, once the turf should be fertilized again. Lawns established in the loss will need added fertilizer the following spring.

Step 14. Weed Control: In lawns planted in late feather or beforehand summer, crabgrass can be a problem. Siduron preemergence herbicide have to be applied immediately ~ seeding and before mulching and irrigating. Broadleaf weeds in recently seeded turfgrass areas can be many effectively regulated after the second or third mowing through using classic broadleaf herbicides such as 2, 4-D, dichlorprop, mecoprop, triclopyr, dicamba or combine of this materials. As soon as selecting and also using one herbicide, read and also follow brand directions carefully.

See more: Da Da Da Da Dadadada Rap Song, Search Results For 'Dadadadadadada'

Sources the Seed

The following list the seed companies is contained to assist the reader who might not be able to find sources of some ranges of seed—it is no intended as a reference of these companies, or together an inclusive/exclusive listing.

CSI/GEOTURF INC. 1225 76th Street Byron Center, MI 49315 Phone: 269-423-7051

J. MOLLEMA & sons 4660 E. Paris, S E cool Rapids, MI 49512 Phone: 800-234-4769

MICHIGAN STATE SEED options 717 N Clinton grand Ledge, MI 48837 Phone: 800-647-8873, 517-627-2164

RHINO SEED and also LANDSCAPE supply 850 Old US-23 Brighton, MI 48114 Phone: 810-632-5640

SOUTHERN MICHIGAN seeds 48580 County roadway 352 Decatur, MI 49043 Phone: 269-423-7051

STANDISH MILLING firm INC. 1331 West Cedar Street Standish, MI 48658 Phone: 989-846-6911

SWEENEY SEED firm 110 southern Washington Street mountain Pleasant, MI 48858 Phone: 800-344-2482