The Q&A Archives: what type of seed

Question: I live in New Jersey and my yard is made of really tough soil. I tried last year to seed without any luck. Do you have any suggestions on how to grow the grass? What are the steps I have to take prior to seeding and what type of seed should I use having alot of sun?

Answer: Here are the steps required to insure a healthy turf: Remove all debris and large rocks. Establish rough grade at one inch below the sprinkler heads by filling in low spots and leveling high spots. Add soil amendments such as compost. Till in the amendments at least 4 to 6 inches deep, but 6-8 is better. Decide what type of irrigation system you're going to use and install that. Water to settle the sprinkler trenches and soil and to build water reserves in the soil. Allow the soil to dry for one to three days so that it is workable. Don?t work wet soil, which can damage its structure permanently. It should crumble easily in your hands if it?s workable. Rake and level the surface. When sowing seed, divide the seed in 2 equal lots. Spread the first lot in one direction; spread the 2nd lot in the opposite direction. This criss-cross pattern insures more even coverage. After spreading, lightly rake the area. Go over it with a roller half filled with water. Spread no more than a 1/4 inch of mulch to help retain moisture. Water to soak the soil 6 inches deep. Then water up to 3 or 4 times per day, 5-10 minutes each time to keep everything moist while germinating. After several weeks, cut back to once a day. Cool season grasses are the most common grasses found in New Jersey. Some of these varieties include: Kentucky Bluegrasses, fine fescues, turf type tall fescues. You might want to sow a blend of these grasses. Good luck with your lawn!

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