The Q&A Archives: Choosing Grass Seed for New Lawn

Question: We just got our back yard rough graded and would like to use seeds rather than sod for the lawn (cheaper). What type of grass seeds would you recommend? It should withstand our weather and be hardy. Is it okay to plant it now? How much seed would we need for 60'x80' lawn?

Answer: First of all, to make sure your soil will support good, healthy turf, have the soil tested. Your county agricultural extension office (PH# 810/469-5180) can help you with testing information. Once you have made amendments according to the test recommendations (which may involve adding lime to adjust pH, adding compost to increase organic matter content, etc.), then you can sow seed. Now is a fine time to sow a lawn, since the grass will have a nice, moderate temperature in which to get itself established before winter.

Turf types that do well in the north in variable light exposure are dwarf perennial ryegrasses, dwarf bluegrass and hard fescue. Your extension service can also make recommendation based on local conditions. Depending on the type of grass you choose, you'll need between 15-25 lbs. of seed. Best of luck to you!

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