How to Plant Grass Seed in the Summer

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Learn how to plant grass seed in the summer for a beautiful lawn.
Learn how to plant grass seed in the summer for a beautiful lawn. (Image: she's mowing the lawn image by mavrick from Fotolia.com)

Your lawn may have seen better days. Perhaps it was once the envy of your neighbors, but has since developed unsightly brown spots and empty patches where lush green grass used to be. The good news is you can plant grass seed in the summer to grow a beautiful new lawn or to simply fill in empty patches. The best time to plant lawn seed in the summer is on or after Aug. 15, when the soil is still warm, and until Sept. 20. Learn the proper techniques to plant grass seed in the summer to grow the healthiest lawn.

Things You'll Need

  • Grass seed
  • Garden tiller
  • Fertilizer
  • Rake
  • Hand-crank seed spreader
  • Watering hose or spray

Purchase a grass seed mixture that contains a mixture of grass varieties from your local nursery. This will protect your lawn in case disease strikes, since most diseases only attack one variety of grass. Read the seed package label to make sure the grass seed doesn't include any "weed' or "crop" seeds.

Till the soil you wish to plant your grass seed in until it's four inches deep. Remove stones, twigs, weeds and other debris. Rake the soil until it becomes as level as possible. Add 2 lbs. of nitrogen lawn fertilizer to the soil per every 1,000 square feet. Water the area with a gentle spray.

Use a hand-crank operated seed spreader to sow 1/4 of the grass seed in the areas you've prepared for planting. Repeat three more times, each time sowing the grass seed in a different direction, until you've planted all the grass seed. Lightly rake the seed just under the surface of the soil using a fan rake.

Water the grass seed deeply every day. Keep the soil moist until the grass germinates.

Tips & Warnings

  • Before planting the grass seed, learn what the pH level is of your soil. Purchase a pH test kit from a garden supply store. Add nutrients to your soil prior to planting the grass seed until the pH level is between 6.0 and 7.0. If you need to lower the pH level, use powdered sulfur. If the pH level is too low, add limestone. Failure to prepare your soil before planting the grass seed will result in delayed growth and empty patches.
  • You can cover the planted seeds lightly with straw to help keep birds away.
  • It can take up to three weeks for the grass to germinate. Mow the grass when it has grown to 2 to 2 1/2 inches.

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