Spring is one of the best seasons of the year to start new grass in most of the U.S., thanks to moderate temperatures and more frequent rain than the dry heat of summer. But even when conditions are ideal, here are three important “secrets” to help maximize the odds of getting thick new grass as quickly as possible.

1.  Good, fresh seed

Step one is starting with fresh, high-quality seed that’s ideal for the site and climate. As with any other plant, some varieties and types of grass seed perform better than others. Those differences vary from area to area.

Cool-season grasses, such as Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, and fescues, are best in cooler regions, while warm-season grasses, such as bermuda, zoysia, and St. Augustine grasses, are best suited for warm climates. Some grass types also perform better in sun than shade, and different blends are available to take into account differing light situations.

In all cases, start with fresh seed since germination rates go down with age, especially if bags have been stored in the temperature extremes of sheds and garages.

Expanded Seeding Success biodegradable mulch with fertilizer pellets expand to absorb moisture and keep grass seeds moist longer - so you water less!

Expanded Seeding Success biodegradable mulch with fertilizer pellets expand to absorb moisture and keep grass seeds moist longer - so you water less!

2.  Good seed-to-soil contact

The second secret to success is to loosen the soil and tamp the new seed into place so that the seed is in good contact with the soil. Just tossing grass seed on top of hard, packed soil will lead to poor germination and poor growth. Rake scattered seed into the top quarter-inch of the loosened soil and lightly tamp it before moving onto the third key grass-starting job – watering.

The surface of small patches of soil can be loosened with a stiff garden rake, while larger areas can be loosened with power equipment, such as tillers or dethatching machines, sometimes known as “power rakes.”

Perennial ryegrass
This fresh young stand of GreenView Fairway Formula Perennial Ryegrass is a great example of how a lawn can thrive and thicken quickly when seeded and nurtured correctly.

3.  Consistent moisture

Keeping your new grass seed consistently damp until it germinates is the most important success factor of all. The seed won’t sprout without moisture, and if you water enough to break the seed coating but then let the seeds and seedling grass plants dry out, the young plants will die.

Your goal is to apply enough water so that the soil surface stays damp at all times. To give your seed the best start, try GreenView Fairway Formula Seeding Success. Seeding Success is a combination seeding mulch with starter fertilizer intended to protect the seed while it germinates and keep it moist.

Seeding Success pellets should cover about one-quarter of the seeded ground. They’ll then expand about three times in size once they absorb water. The pellets, which biodegrade naturally within several weeks, turn lighter in color to signal when it’s time to water again. Keep the soil damp after the grass blades are up and growing so that the young roots won’t dry out. Reduce the frequency but increase the quantity of watering as the roots grow and the newly seeded area begins to thicken.