Barbara J. Bromley, Mercer Co. Horticulturist
- mid August to early October (best)
- early spring (second best)
- seeding without soil preparation can be done in February on frozen ground.
- Have a SOIL TEST (chemical analysis) done to determine pH and nutrient levels.
- Remove surface and sub-surface debris, improve drainage, and establish Grade.
- LIME according to soil test recommendations or apply 50 lbs./1000 sq. ft. ground or pulverized limestone if soil has not been limed in three years.
- FERTILIZE at 3/4 of the rate recommended by the soil test, or apply 7 lbs./1000 sq. ft. of 10-6-4.
- Add well-decomposed ORGANIC MATTER, such as compost, leaf mold, or peat moss, in a 1″ to 3″ layer or 1 to 1 1/2 cu. yds./1000 sq. ft.
- INCORPORATE lime, fertilizer, and organic matter into the top 4-6″ of soil.
- Spread remaining 1/4 rate of fertilizer (or 3 lbs./1000 sq. ft. of 10-6-4) and rake into top 1-2″ of soil. FINE GRADE soil surface so ground is smooth and bump free.
- Spread SEED* evenly over soil surface. (SOD may be laid at this point. Skip steps 9 and 11.)
- RAKE, so seed has good soil contact.
- ROLL with empty roller to lightly embed seed in soil (or create good soil contact for sod.)
- MULCH with burlap or a loose layer of straw or salt hay if needed to prevent erosion or drying of soil surface and germinating seed.
- WATER. Keep uniformly moist, not wet, until germination occurs.
* If hydroseeding, and lime, fertilizer, and/or mulching material is in the hydroseed mix, follow steps 1, 2, and 8. It is often beneficial to incorporate organic matter before hydroseeding, if possible.