How to Plant Grass Seed on Dirt
Do not sow seeds on bare areas that are packed down hard and smooth in the Midwest during March. These areas should be loosened four or five inches deep, pulverized (and raked even before seeding. Grass seeds sown on snow are usually wasted unless the ground was prepared for accommodating the seeds before the snow arrived.
The quantity of seed to be sown should be divided and half was sown in one direction and half in the opposite direction to obtain an even distribution. The entire seeded area should be raked lightly to cover as many seeds as possible. A light top dressing of screened mushroom soil will cover the seeds and produce a condition favorable for germination and growth. Mushroom soil can be obtained from local soil service companies. If you are planning to learn how to plant grass seed on dirt, follow these few simple steps for best results:
A light rolling is important to give the seed close contact with soil particles in order to hasten germination. It frequently happens that the first two or three weeks in March are so snowy and rainy that the soil is never in the proper condition for raking. When this condition exists, rather than wait too long for spring seeding, seeds may be sown and later given a light top dressing with prepared compost or mushroom soil just as soon as it is dry enough to use.
Filling Low Spots
The leveling or smoothing of rough, uneven lawns should not be attempted by means of a heavy roller. If the soil were moist enough to level by this method, it would be so compacted that grass could not thrive. A better method for smoothing would be by an application of top soil to low, uneven places. In areas of a considerable size where a fill of more than half an inch is needed, it will probably be necessary to cut and lift the sod, make the fill and re-lay the sod, since too deep a covering on the grass may smother it out. Old, established lawns will, of course, tolerate a heavier top dressing than will young grass. Lawns which were seeded last fall should be rolled lightly to firm down young plants which may have been heaved by alternate freezing and thawing. Continue this as needed.
Grasses are comparatively shallow rooted plants and therefore tend to exhaust this upper layer of soil of certain plant foods, especially nitrates. Therefore, the proper addition of suitable fertilizer is essential to the success of the lawn. Instead of supplying fertilizer, the general tendency is to sow more seeds where other seeds already have starved.
When fertilizer is used only once a year, better results usually are obtained by fall rather than spring application. Bluegrass thrives in cool, moist weather, and if seeding and fertilizing are done in the fall, the plants will become established and be in much better condition to meet summer weed competition, than when the work is done in spring. If fertilizer is used in the spring, it should be put on early to stimulate any bluegrass seed for optimum growth as much as possible before the annual lawn weeds germinate.
Water the seeds: It's important to water the bed often to facilitate germination. Try not to saturate the bed with water, but water it lightly and frequently until the new grass is at least 2 inches tall. Keep on watering the new grass regularly to keep the roots moist and get enchanted by the beauty of your new lawn.
Fertilizers put on in May tend to encourage crabgrass. Best results under most conditions have been obtained from the use of commercial fertilizers which have the greater percentage of their nitrogen content in the organic form. The efficiency of commercial organic fertilizers which may be relatively low in nitrogen is frequently improved by the addition of ammonium sulfate, a soluble fertilizer high in nitrogen which acts as a quick stimulant for grass.
The organic form is more slowly available and tends to continue the supply of food after the soluble fertilizer has done its part. The higher the plant food content of a fertilizer the less required per area. Commercial organic fertilizers are usually applied by means of a mechanical spreader at the rate of 1000 pounds per acre or approximately 100 pounds per 4000 square feet.