When seeding your lawn, it is important to not only prepare the site but also to use the correct amount of seed so that grass grows evenly to cover your yard. The number of grass seed pounds per square foot varies depending on the type of grass you are using. You will typically need to use between 2 and 8 pounds of grass seed per 1,000 square feet depending on the type and quality of the seed.
Grass Seed Pounds Per Square Foot
There are many things to consider when seeding a new lawn. Make sure you select a species of grass that is suitable for your needs and local climate. For example, Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis) will tolerate plenty of traffic, but fine fescue (Fescue spp.) has poor tolerance for traffic. You should also consider the establishment rate of the grass and the maintenance requirements. Kentucky bluegrass has high mowing requirements and is slow to establish itself, while fine fescue has low mowing requirements and is established at a medium rate.
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Once you have selected the species or blend of grass that you will be using, you can check the rate of application for the grass. For every 1,000 square feet, you will need 2 to 3 pounds of Kentucky bluegrass seed or 4 to 5 pounds of fine fescue or perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne) grass seed.
Seeding rates are similar for blends of multiple species of grass. For example, you will need 2 to 3 pounds of seed per 1,000 square feet for a Kentucky bluegrass and perennial ryegrass blend and 4 to 5 pounds for a Kentucky bluegrass, fine fescue and perennial ryegrass blend.
Lawn Site Preparation
When establishing a new lawn, make sure to prepare the side to get the best results and growth rate. Make sure to remove all weeds and debris, such as large rocks, from the area.
Ideally, get a soil test from your local county extension office. The results will let you know what soil amendments you need to add to correct soil pH and any nutrient deficiencies. You may need to add organic material, like compost, fertilizer or lime, to change soil pH. Grade the lawn to fill in any holes and ensure that the surface is sloping slightly away from your home or other buildings.
In most cases, the best time to seed is in the late summer or early fall. This avoids the high heat of the summer months and the cold weather that inhibits seed germination. Use a drop spreader and apply the seed evenly across the lawn area. Follow this by applying starter fertilizer and use a roller to press the seed into the soil. Water regularly to keep the grass seed moist so that it can germinate.
Seeding Tips and Considerations
Select quality grass seed for the best lawn. You can check the label on the seed bag for expected germination rates. While lower-quality seed with lower germination rates is less expensive, you will need more grass seed to fill in your lawn, which can often cost more in the long run. Use certified seed if possible, as the quality is assured.
You may need a higher seed rate if temperatures are cooler than expected or if you seed later in the fall. It is best to follow the recommended seed rates, however, as too much or too little seed can lead to lawn problems. Too little grass seed can cause a thin lawn, leaving plenty of opportunity for weed growth. A lawn that is too thick, on the other hand, is more prone to disease.