How To Grow Grass & Groundcover Seeds

How To Grow Grass and Groundcover Seeds - Chewings FescueHow To Grow Grass and Groundcover Seeds - Chewings Fescue

Create a low maintenance lawn, add nutrients to enrich your soil, and prevent erosion by planting grass and groundcover seeds. Planting grasses and groundcovers to protect your soil is an integral step toward a thriving lansdcape for home lawns and gardens, meadows, and farms, orchards, apiaries, or other agricultural settings. Follow this guide to grow with confidence! 

Getting Started: When To Plant Grass & Groundcovers

Planting Grass Seed in Fall or Spring

  • The ideal time to plant grass seed varies by hardiness zone and planting climate.
  • In most regions, the idea time to plant is usually in the spring, once temperatures have reached a consistent 60 F and there is no more danger of frost. Grass can be planted through the end of July, but no later. If your're planting and it's warmer than usual, or just during the heat of the summer, we recommend increasing irrigation to encourage seed germination and ensure growth.
  • In warm regions with scorching summers, planting in the fall may be the best choice. If you’re planting in the fall in an area that will get a winter freeze, wait until after there have been a few killing frosts, so the seeds you plant will lie dormant until the spring.
  • To help reduce watering needs, try planting grass or groundcover seeds when there is rain in the forecast.

 

Planting Cover Crops and "Green Manure"

If you’re planting grasses, legumes, or clover as a cover crop, or "green manure" to replenish nutrients, suppress weeds, or stabilize your soil, we recommend planting in early to mid-fall. Let the plants grow until frost. Come spring, mow your cover crop before it goes to seed. Then till the soil. Wait 3-6 weeks before planting new crops.

Learn More: Green Manures and Cover Crops: Plants That Give Back

strawberry cloverstrawberry clover
Strawberry Clover is a versatile, quick-growing groundcover that benefits pollinators.

Planting Rates: How Much Seed Do I Need?  

Planting rates vary greatly depending on the size of the seed. To see planting rates for each individual variety, check the details on each product page. A larger seed (such as a Fescue) can be seeded at 10lbs/1,000 square feet. A smaller seed (such as a Bluegrass) can be seeded as low as 2lbs/1,000 square feet. If you’re unsure of how much seed to use in your area, please contact us for advice. 

Preparing Your Site For Planting Grass & Groundcover Seeds

  • We recommend leveling the planting area as much as possible to eliminate high or low spots. Till the soil if possible about 4-6 inches deep, as the soil should be loose and clump-free before planting.
  • If your area is already somewhat bare and even, we recommend skipping the tilling process, as it can promote new weed growth or unwanted grass growth.
  • You can then add a product to help aerate your soil to improve seed germination, but this is not necessary.
Winter Rye Grass is a great winter companion plant, managing to fix nitrogen, control erosion, and add nutrients to the soil all at once.Winter Rye Grass is a great winter companion plant, managing to fix nitrogen, control erosion, and add nutrients to the soil all at once.
Winter Rye Grass is a great winter companion plant, managing to fix nitrogen, control erosion, and add nutrients to the soil all at once.

Step-By-Step Instructions For Planting Grass & Groundcover Seeds

  1. After your soil is prepared, apply the seed at the recommended rate.  To make sure you’re spreading the seed evenly, scatter 1/2 of the seed walking North to South and 1/2 of the seed walking East to West.
  2. If you have poor soil, you could lightly apply an organic fertilizer after seeding, although this is not a necessary step for strong growth.
  3. Many choose to cover their grass seed after planting, though this is not required. If you do choose to cover your seed to help retain moisture and hold the seed in place, we recommend a maximum depth of 1/4”. You can cover the seed with topsoil, sterilized straw, or peat moss. Coated seeds such as Bermuda and Clover seeds should not be covered more than an 1/8” deep.
  4. Water gently and regularly, keeping the seeds moist until they begin to sprout. This could mean watering more than once a day if you’re having a dry spell. Depending on soil temperatures and weather conditions, It may take weeks or even a month for the seeds to grow. Be patient.
  5. Once the seeds sprout, water deeply and less frequently. This helps to ensure a deep-rooted, healthy lawn or meadow.
  6. Do not mow until your lawn is at the recommended height. This information can be found on each product page. For most grasses, this is about 3-6 weeks after planting, but could be longer depending on growing conditions. Remember to be gentle when mowing the first few times -- the seedlings will be somewhat tender.
  7. After mowing several times, you can apply an organic fertilizer to promote strong growth, but this is not required.

If you have any questions about planting, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Shop Grass and Groundcover Seeds

  1. Soil Boost & Pollinator Seed Mix

    Our Pollinator Cover Crop Seed Mix features a varied mix of easy-to-grow legumes, including Clover, Alfalfa, Vetch, and Sainfoin. Small white, pink, purple, and gold flowers attract ...

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    Pollinator Cover Crop Seed Mix Balansa Clover, Berseem Clover, Yellow Sweet Clover, Sainfoin, Hairy Vetch & Alfalfa Trifolium michelianum Savi, Trifolium alexandrinum, Melilotus officinalis, Onobrychis vicifolia, Vicia villosa & Medicago sativa
    As low as $9.95
    Per 1 Pound
    Our Pollinator Cover Crop Seed Mix features a varied mix of easy-to-grow legumes, including Clover, Alfalfa, Vetch, and Sainfoin. Small white, pink, purple, and gold flowers attract and nourish pollinators. Hardworking legumes suppress weeds, fix nutrients into the soil, improve soil condition, and prevent erosion. This is an excellent choice for groundcover and covercrops, as well as lawn replacement, or adding to a wildflower meadow. All of the seed we carry at American Meadows is non-GMO, neonicotinoid-free and guaranteed to grow.
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  2. White Dutch White Clover Seeds, Trifolium repens, Dutch White Clover Seeds

    Dutch White Clover is one of the most popular clovers used in lawns, but also has many other uses. Plant this perennial clover as a cover crop, groundcover, for erosion control or in...

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    Dutch White Clover Seeds Dutch White Clover Seeds Trifolium repens
    As low as $38.95
    Per 5 Pounds
    Dutch White Clover is one of the most popular clovers used in lawns, but also has many other uses. Plant this perennial clover as a cover crop, groundcover, for erosion control or in your pasture mixture. The elegant, white flowers create a sweeping carpet of white. (Trifolium repens)
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  3. Northeast Native Grass Seed Mix

    This mixture is made up of warm and cool-season grasses that are native to the Northeast and will be a hardy, long-lasting solution to any area....

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    Northeast Native Grass Seed Mix Northeast Native Grass Mix
    As low as $10.95 Sale $10.41
    Per 1/4 Pound
    This mixture is made up of warm and cool-season grasses that are native to the Northeast and will be a hardy, long-lasting solution to any area.
    Learn More
  4. Southeast Native Grass Seed Mix

    Southeast Native Grass Seed Mix is an easy-to-grow combination of grasses that are native to the Southeastern part of the United States. Featuring Little Bluestem Grass, Virginia Wil...

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    Southeast Native Grass Seed Mix Southeast Native Grass Mix
    As low as $18.95 Sale $18.01
    Per 1/4 Pound
    Southeast Native Grass Seed Mix is an easy-to-grow combination of grasses that are native to the Southeastern part of the United States. Featuring Little Bluestem Grass, Virginia Wildrye, Purpletop, and more, this mixture is perfect for planting in pastures and meadows. Turn your high-maintenance lawn into a low maintenance, ornamental native prairie.
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