The Q&A Archives: Planting grass seeds

Question: I am new to Colorado and have a new landscape. I have a small area that I would like to plant grass seed in. Dilemma--I have no idea when I should do this. The area gets the full morning sun, becoming shaded in the late afternoon.

Answer: Spring is the best time to establish an new lawn. Grass performs better in sunny locations. It's hard to grow a dense stand of grass in the shade, so you may have to settle for one that is less than perfect.

To obtain the best possible results in shady areas, start with shade-tolerant grass mixes. Varieties of chewing fescue and creeping red fescue tolerate light shade quite well. Tall fescue has moderate shade tolerance and some varieties of Kentucky bluegrass have fair shade tolerance. As trees mature and shade increases, you may want to overseed with these more shade-tolerant varieties.

Another way to help grass beat the shade is to raise the lawn mower height to three inches, providing a larger leaf surface for photosynthesis. And if growth rates in the shade are slower, mow less often.

Prepare the soil prior to planting by digging it to loosen it, then rake it smooth and broadcast your seeds. Keep the area moist by watering several times a day if necessary. Your new grass should sprout in 7-10 days.

Best wishes with your new lawn!

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