Community association managers often come across patchy areas of grass in a community – here’s how to go about replanting grass
- Green grass adds to the aesthetic value of a community so patchy areas demand attention
- To get the best results, replanting grass should be done at the most suitable time of the year for the community’s region.
- To allow grass seedlings to take hold, put mechanisms in place to keep people off of replanted areas.
- Freshly-sowed seedlings need proper watering. They also need tending to achieve maximal growth.
Having green lawns at homes and in community areas is an important element of any landscaping project. Well-managed lawns with vibrant grass are aesthetically appealing and signal good lawn health. These are reasons you don’t want to leave patchy areas unattended.
Even lawns that are well-cared for can experience dying grass that needs replanting. It can happen for many reasons, such as pets leaving bare patches behind (i.e., “doggy spots”) or a snowplow hacking up grass.
Regardless of the reasons, it’s a good idea to know how to properly plant grass seeds. Let’s take a look at the best time of year for replanting grass, how to get it to grow, and how to keep people off freshly replanted sections while the grass takes hold.
Select the most suitable grass type for your climate
The most crucial part of replanting grass is selecting the grass seed type that is most suitable for your region’s climate. Choosing the right grass seed will result in far better results, so make your selection carefully.
There are warm-season grasses and cool-season grasses. Usually, the seed packages will have this information on their labels.
Warm-season grasses include types such as Bermuda grass, Bahia grass, centipede, and St. Augustine. These grass types grow well in climates with mild winters and hot summers. They germinate and grow in temperatures above 80 degrees and don’t require as much water as other grass types.
Cool-season grasses include ryegrass and Kentucky bluegrass. These grasses are ideal for climates that have moderate summers and winters with temperatures that dip below freezing.
Cool-season grasses require more water for their growth than their warm-season counterparts. They grow vigorously during the cold season and remain dormant during warmer months.
If you are in a region that falls between warm and cold temperatures, it’s best to go with cool-season grasses.
Grass seeds that come with starter fertilizers and weed control products can also be sorted out by reading the labels. The seeds with weed control products are generally not recommended as they could harm the seedlings.
How much sunlight the seeds will need is also an important factor in determining seed suitability. You can use online maps or talk to your local garden center for more information.
The appropriate time for planting
The best time to plant grass seeds depends on the optimal temperatures for a type’s germination.
For warm-season grass seeds, the most appropriate time to sow them is in late spring or early summer. When the temperature hovers around 80 degrees or higher, it’s a good time to germinate.
As far as cool-season grass seeds are concerned, late summer or early fall is the best time to plant them. While planting, make sure that daytime temperatures are lower (about 60 to 75 degrees for best results.) Usually, September is considered to be the most suitable month for germinating cool-season grasses.
Keep an eye on the weather forecast and make sure you don’t plant any seeds before heavy rainfalls. Heavy rains can disrupt germination by eroding the soil.
If you use chemical treatments to keep out weeds, wait a month before planting new grass seeds so that the seeds are not harmed. If you use a crabgrass treatment, you should wait even longer (about four months).
Prepping the soil
To prep the soil for planting seeds, use a tiller/cultivator/shovel to remove the dead grass beforehand and then approach the bare spot and loosen the top two to three inches of soil. Remove any stones or sticks that could block air from approaching the loosened area. If you have hard ground to deal with, loosening it by up to six inches is advised.
The surface should be as level as possible. Add fresh topsoil to areas that dip to ensure a level surface so that there is no standing water after irrigation. You are ready to sow the seeds once prepping is complete.
Ensuring maintenance for proper growth
The early growth process needs to be carefully looked after. Once the replanting is done, you should restrict any human or pet movement in the area to avoid disturbing the seeds – for at least four weeks.
As the seeds germinate, the seedlings will grow above and below the ground. Don’t walk on the seedlings because it can uproot them or damage them. Make sure all residents know that the area that has been planted with grass seeds is a no-go area for now. Put up “Do Not Walk on Grass” signs during this time and don’t allow residents to use community areas for outdoor activities like kids’ birthday parties.
Mowing the area should also be avoided. You can mow the area once the seedlings reach 3.5 inches of growth, but the longer you wait, the better.
Proper irrigation is crucial for seed germination. Water should be sprinkled lightly over the soil surface. Too much watering is something to be avoided. Steady and appropriate watering will ensure early sprouting.
Newly-planted grass seeds should be watered daily if the temperature is over 80 degrees F. If temperatures are cooler, then you can water every other day.
Once the grass begins to grow, reduce watering frequency and water more deeply. Once the grass is two inches tall, decrease your watering to once or twice a week but make sure to water until the ground is wet to about three inches depth.
You can stop watering altogether once the grass is fully grown – unless there is a drought. For established lawns, always try to water less frequently but more deeply.
Get access to lawn care professionals with Vendorsmart
Replanting grass is very important in communities that are experiencing patchy lawns because it brings down the property value. The tips above should help with the process but it can be a big job.
VendorSmart can connect you with fully vetted, certified lawn care professionals and other vendors to get the job done right. Simply use our online platform to search for vetted vendors and receive RFPs. Connect with us today.