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Turf Planting Guide
For the Intermountain West
Granite Seed Company's premium turfgrass seed mixtures have been selected and blended using the hightest quality varieties, to ensure a beautiful, healthy lawn. You will find there is no finer turf mix on the market today.
Our Turf Experts have carefully detailed the process of planting and establishing a lawn in this planting guide. Please take some time to read over this guide before you begin planting your lawn. This guide was developed for the states of the Intermoutain Western U.S. If you live in another area, you should check with your local County Extension Service for guidance. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to give us a call.
Installing a law from seed can be difficult. If you are unfamiliar with good landscaping practices, you may be better off to hire a trained professional to install your lawn.
The ideal time to plant your lawn seed is when daytime air temperatures are around 70 oF (i.e. this is usually when soil temperatures reach about 50 degrees). In the Intermountain West this typically occurs about April 15th. Planting can continue, in a normal year, until September 15th.
For most residential lawns, Granite Seed Company recommends our premium Blue Ribbon Blend. Note that seeding rates vary depending upon the type of turfgrass that is planted.
Blue Ribbon Blend - 80% Kentucky bluegrass, 20% Perennial Ryegrass. Seeding rate: 4-5 pounds per 1000 square feet.
Velvet Blue Blend - 100% Kentucky Bluegrass. Seeding rate: 2-3 pounds per 1000 square feet.
Triple Play Blend - 100% Turf Type Tall Fescue. Seeding rate: 12 pounds per 1000 square feet.
Preparing the site for seeding is the most important thing you can do to insure success in establishing a healthy lawn. You need to ensure that the soil you are planting the seed into is fertile. To ensure that the soil is fertile, you can call your local County Extension Agent, and have them take a soil test. Alternatively, you can get an idea of soil fertility by ensuring that vegetation is currently growing on the soil. However, before planting your turf seed, you must remove any existing vegetation on the site. The most successful method to remove existing vegetation is the use of a non-selective herbicide such as Round-up. Spray when the existing weeds are actively growing.
Apply Roundup to the existing weeds according to the label recommendations. Seven days after the application, till the soil to a depth of 4 to 6 inches with a Roto-Tiller. Depending on the site, you may need to add additional topsoil to the existing soil in order to bring the site up to grade. If you do add topsoil to the existing soil, be sure till new soil into the existing soil to prevent interfacing.
After tilling, use a rake to level the entire area and remove any rocks or other debris. (If you intend to install a sprinkler system, now is when that should be done. After the sprinkler system is installed, rake the area again to level.)
Finally, use a lawn roller filled with water to firm the soil. The roller should be filled at least halfway with water to provide the correct weight. Be careful not to roll over the area too many times. Repeated rolling will compact the soil and prevent proper drainage. A good rule of thumb is that you should be able to walk on the rolled area, and only sink into the soil about half an inch.
Apply your Granite Seed Company turfgrass seed blend with a drop spreador. Apply the seed blend in two directions. This means, to first apply half the seed walking north and south, the remaining seed walking east and west. Be sure to adjust the drop spreador to apply the appropriate amount of seed per 1000 square feet (see table under “Seeding Rate” section). Contact the manufacturer of the spreador for information on settings.
After applying the seed, lightly rake the seed into the soil with a leaf rake. One pass with the rake should be sufficient. Seed should not be deeper than ¼ inch.
With any seeding project, you should save a small quantity of seed for filling in low-density areas that have not quite filled in completely.
The newly planted turfgrass seed will need to be kept continually moist to insure proper establishment. The best way to ensure proper moisture is to provide frequent, but light, waterings, several times a day.
Set the irrigation timer to water 4-5 times per day for 5 to 10 minutes each time. This time may have to be adjusted to account for excessive drying due to unusually high temperature or excessive wind. Note that on sandy soils, you will likely have to water more often, whereas on clay soils you may be able to water less.
Until the lawn is established, this daily watering schedule should be followed from 10 am and 5 pm. Establishment usually takes about 3 weeks.
Mowing can begin when the grass is 2 to 3 inches in height. Not all areas of the lawn will establish at the same time. Only mow areas of the lawn that have reached at least 2 to 3 inches.
It is very important to keep children, pets, adults, etc., off of the newly seeded lawn until after the second mowing. This will give the grass time to establish, and ensure that the underlying soil remains as level as possible, and does not develop pockets or depressions.
Fertilize your new lawn about 6 weeks after planting the seed. Granite Seed Company recommends using a balanced fertilizer such as 16-6-8. Consult the manufacturer of the fertilizer for proper application rates and procedures.
Do not use a broadleaf herbicide until after the second mowing, and then only if necessary.
With proper care and maintenance, you should be able to enjoy the comfort and beauty of your newly established lawn for years to come.