Best Tips For Planting Grass

Late summer and fall are great times to plant new grass seed, overseed, or plant sod. It's a great way to get a head start on next season with a mature lawn in the spring. Whether you're covering a large space with seed, overseeding your lawn, or planting sod - here are some tips for success we wanted to share with you.

We believe one of the smartest investments you can make for your lawn and landscape is an inground sprinkler system. Read on to learn why.

Seed vs Sod

When are you better to plant seed or sod? When would you like a lawn you can walk on and use? How long is it feasible to stay off that portion of your yard? Sod is mature grass and is ready pretty much instantly. You can walk on it right away. Grass seed will need two to three weeks for a good start and you'll be wise to stay off it even longer. Sod is great if you need grass on a slope because grass seed tends to wash away with rain or watering. Sod will stay put until it roots. Sod will often do better in shady areas than starting from seed.

But sod is more of a financial commitment than seed. The soil preparation is virtually the same in that you want to give it a good raking and make sure it's level.


Not all grass seed is created equal. It's always worth the extra money to buy the good quality seed because it really will perform better. Different types of grass will thrive in different parts of your lawn and your particular climate. Some homeowners want a completely uniform look, so that may influence your choice, but some seed does better in acidic soil, some do better in shade, some will stand up to traffic better than others. Here are some of the more common grass seeds.

  • Kentucky Bluegrass prefers part or full sun and will stand up well to traffic.
  • Perennial Ryegrass prefers part sun and will stand up to traffic well.
  • Tall Fescue will grow well in sun or shade or part sun, and will stand up well to traffic.
  • Red Fescue and Chewing Fescue will thrive in acidic soil and prefer shady locations.
  • Hard Fescue thrives in areas will full sun all day long.

Look at the strengths and growing conditions favoured by a variety of types of seed. You may want to create a mix, or go with a single variety depending on the growing conditions offered by your property.

Planting Grass Seed

There's really not much to planting sod. You rake the soil, lay out the sod and water well. Voila. Planting grass seed is a little more work but if you're not afraid of a little work this is a much cheaper option.

Rake out the soil and remove any dips, bumps, or lumps. You want a flat lawn so there aren't any puddles after a rain and it's easier to mow.

You can spread seed by hand or with a spreader. Ignore your instincts mostly on how much seed looks sufficient and follow the instructions that come with the seed and spreader. Putting out too much seed will be counter-productive as the seeds will crowd out each other and leave room for weeds.

Rake the seed into the soil lightly. For grass seed to germinate well, it needs good contact with the soil. You're not planting a vegetable garden so don't bury the seeds, but make sure the seeds are mixed in well with the top inch of soil. At this point, some homeowners will take the extra step to roll the soil to ensure good contact with the soil.

Water well. Until the seeds sprout you need to keep the soil moist. You don't want puddles, this is not a deep watering. Some recommend watering up to four times a day in hot weather. Continue this until sprouts can be seen, and then reduce the watering schedule by half.

Watering is made easier if you have an inground sprinkler system. If you are about to plant new seed over your whole yard, now is the time to install an inground sprinkler system.

Create the lawn that will be the envy of your neighbourhood and a garden that blooms all season with expert help from the team at Nutri-Lawn Ottawa Inground Sprinkler Systems. Contact us today for your complimentary quote. Whether you're looking for help with your lawn, or want to install an irrigation system, we would love to chat with you.