Tips for Planting Grass Seed in the Fall

As the summer heat comes to an end and the air gets cooler, fall comes along and creates the perfect climate to plant new grass seed. Whether you’re just interested in patching a few areas that may have dead grass or you’re planning to reseed your entire lawn, fall is the best time of year to plant grass seedlings that will be healthy and germinate successfully.  

Lawn Care Banner Image

Whenever you start planting grass seed this fall, there are a lot of things that you should consider. Here are four tips for planting grass seed to help your lawn stay healthy and thrive:

1. Prepare the Soil for Grass Seed

If you’re simply overseeding your fescue lawn this fall to renew its density, the process is straightforward. However, for those who have bare spots, open areas, or are doing major lawn renovations, a bit more work is involved.

To prepare your lawn for planting, the first thing you’ll want to do is clear out any debris (such as sticks or rocks), weeds, and even dead grass. This will ensure that your grass seed will have no potential blockings that may prevent them from growing. If you have a lot of weeds to clear, consider using a herbicide like Roundup to help – which will help selectively kill any weeds in your lawn without killing the grass.

If you have bare spots or large areas you’re renovating, you should till or rake the soil you’re looking to plant grass seed in. This will allow water to drain better throughout your lawn, which means your grass seedlings will be healthy. If you’re just patching a part of your yard, a garden rake should do the job. If it’s a larger job, you may want to consider renting a lawn aerator.

Garden Rake (View All)

2. Choose the Right Grass Seed

Not all grass seeds are created equally, and it’s very important to choose a high-quality grass seed that is right for your area and climate. For Virginia, we recommend our exclusive Virginia’s Choice, which is a premium grass seed blended for our area that features Opti-Root and AquaWise for the best results.

Other really great options for high-quality grass seed are Scotts and Jonathan Green. Both of these brands offer a variety of grass seed options—some that focus on repairing lawns and others that focus on growing brand new lawns—so you know that you’re using the best grass seed for your yard.

3. Plant Grass Seed

When planting grass seed, the most important thing is to spread it evenly throughout your lawn. To make this as easy as possible, we recommend using a lawn spreader, especially if you’re covering a large area with seed. A small lawn can easily be done by hand, but we’d still recommend using a spreader to ensure consistency. Scotts makes a great handheld spreader that is affordable and will help immensely with evenly laying down grass seed.

After you’ve laid the grass seed down, you’ll want to cover it gently with a rake. You don’t want the grass seed to be buried down too deeply. We recommend burying the seed about a quarter of an inch into the tilled soil.

4. Water and Fertilize

The success of your grass seedlings will greatly depend on how you care for them. You’ll want to ensure that you’re watering the new seeds a few times a day, making sure that they are moist but never soaked. You never want a puddle of water to form near your seedlings. After the grass is more mature, you can begin watering it less often, but newly planted grass seedlings will need frequent watering to germinate.

Starter fertilizer is another great way to help your grass seedlings grow. Scotts and Jonathan Green have great turf-building fertilizers that will help your new seedlings get off to a strong, fast start. Some grass seeds, such as our exclusive Virginia’s Choice, have fertilizer combined with the seeds. This is a fast and easy way to grow healthy and strong grass seedlings.

●  ●  ●

Growing a healthy lawn can sometimes seem intimidating, but we hope these tips have encouraged you to plant grass seed, so your lawn can grow and thrive. If you ever have any questions about planting grass seed, stop by one of our eleven locations. Our team of experts would love to help you grow the healthiest lawn possible.

Top of Page