Ask an Expert: Can I put grass seed down yet?

Our Garden Experts are constantly answering your questions (that's what they're here for), so we're plucking out the popular ones, right when they're asked the most. On the Docket: Is it time to apply grass seed yet?


Can I apply Grass Seed yet?

Weather is no longer a factor since our grasses are cool-weathered and germinate at pretty low temperatures. As long as the soil is workable and not too wet, you can get seeding.
— Mary Ann, Prairie Gardens Plant Expert

What Grass Seed Do I use?

It depends where you are planting it and the amount of sun the area gets. We recommend our Sunny Mix if your lawn gets 1/2 a day MORE of sun; our Sun/Shade Mix if your lawn gets 1/2 a day or LESS of sun; and our Shade Mix if your lawn gets LESS THAN 2 hours of sun a day.


How Often Do I water?

You’ll likely need to water once a day until germination. Once germination occurs, you’ll likely need to water every 2-3 days. But watering will vary based on weather conditions. On hot, dry or windy days you may need to increase waterings. On wet, rainy days you may not need to water at all. 
— John W, Prairie Gardens Plant Expert

How Much Seed Do I need?

This depends on the amount of area you need to cover, whether you're covering bareground or overseeding, or the type of seed you need. 

For example, our Sunny Mix seeding rate is 3-4 pounds per 1,000sqft when covering bareground. So if you have a 500sqft of bare ground to cover, you'll need about 1.5-2 pounds of seed.

Check out our Top 3 seed mixes and their seeding rates below.


How Do I Use it?

It's best when the seed is incorporated into the soil for best soil to seed contact. Till using a tools, such as a spade for smaller areas and a slit seeder for larger areas.


Do I need to Cover it?

Some people cover their grass seed with straw, but it's really not imperative. The most important thing is getting good soil to seed contact by raking and tilling.


Our Top 3 Seed Mixes

Prairie Gardens Sunny Mix

  • Appearance: Medium textured and medium-dark green color
  • Makeup: Mix of three Bluegrass varieties and Manhattan IV Rye
  • Germination Rate: 5-30 days in ideal conditions
  • Best for: Lawns that receive more than a 1/2 day of sun
  • Seeding Rate: 3-4 pounds per 1,000sqft
  • Overseeding Rate: 1.5 - 2 pounds per 1,000sqft when overseeding.

Prairie Gardens Shade Mix

  • Appearance: Medium-fine textured and medium-dark green
  • Makeup: Mix of Bluegrass, Manhattan IV Turf Rye and Creeping Red Fescue
  • Germination Rate: 5-30 days in ideal conditions
  • Best For: Lawns that receive less than 2 hours of sun a day
  • Bareground Seeding Rate: 4-5 pounds per 1,000sqft 
  • Overseeding Seeding Rate: 2-2.5 pounds per 1,000sqft 

Prairie Gardens Sun/Shade Mix

  • Appearance: Medium-fine textured and Medium-dark green color
  • Make Up: Mix of Bluegrass Manhattan IV Turf Rye & Creeping Red Fescue
  • Germination Rate: 5-30 days in ideal conditions
  • Best For: Lawns than a 1/2 day of sun
  • Bareground Seeding Rate: 4-5 pounds per 1,000sqft
  • Overseeding Seeding Rate: 2-2.5 pounds per 1,000sqft 

Any more questions? Give our Plant Experts a call, they'll be happy to help: (217)356-6532

And hear our experts every Saturday when you tune in to our

Coffee With The Plant Experts Radio Show

live at Prairie Gardens.

Listen on Newstalk 1400 WDWS-AM, Saturdays at 8:15am-9am

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