What Should I Know About Growing Grass?

Sherry Holetzky

An important consideration when growing grass is first determining which grasses grow best in your area. Before purchasing grass seed or sod, discuss it with a lawn or landscaping expert or home improvement center representative. You might also want to visit a nursery or look up some information online, including the best times to plant grass for your region.

Dead spots on a lawn that may need reseeding.
Dead spots on a lawn that may need reseeding.

That brings us to the next consideration when growing grass: sod or seed? Laying sod will certainly give you a thick, green lawn in less time but growing grass seed is less costly and somewhat less labor intensive. For either process, you will generally need to remove the old grass, prepare the soil, and apply a fertilizer.

Proper and regular mowing is an important aspect of growing grass.
Proper and regular mowing is an important aspect of growing grass.

Start by breaking up or tilling the soil. Smooth it with a rake, removing any large rocks or clumps of dirt or old grass. Add fertilizer. Spread grass seed evenly with a spreader or begin laying sod. Rake a bit of soil over the seed or use a roller to secure sod.

For either method of growing grass, you will need to water the lawn regularly. You’ll want to water lightly for seed until it takes hold. Mist the grass seed but don’t soak it. When watering sod, be sure to give the outer edges a good drink.

Once you decide on the type of grass and the method you will use, another important tip for growing grass is to make sure your lawn does not have to compete with other growths for nutrition or hydration. One of the biggest competitors is crabgrass, especially if you are using grass seed. Thus eliminating or at least controlling crabgrass is essential. Many people prefer not to use herbicides, even the organic variety, so controlling this weed is often considered the best course of action.

One important tip that can help you control crabgrass naturally, without the use of herbicides, is to seed evenly and to reseed any bare spots right away. Crabgrass will take over anywhere it finds a foothold. Another aspect of growing grass is of course maintenance, and mowing properly is also important for the control of crabgrass.

Allow blades of grass to reach approximately 3” (7.62 centimeters) in length instead of cutting grass too short. This will shade crabgrass seeds, which will help prevent them from growing. Growing grass can be a lot of work, but simple tips like these can make it easier and help ensure a beautiful, healthy lawn.

Eliminating the growth of crabgrass is a common issue in lawn care.
Eliminating the growth of crabgrass is a common issue in lawn care.

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Discussion Comments


The problem I have with seeding is that the grass on the walking paths in the yard is trampled. At first, I would reseed the areas and cover the seeds with dirt and straw to protect them until they could sprout and start growing grass. Well, this was a losing battle.

I have since learned that I can transplant grass from other places in the yard. My girlfriend dug a new flower bed and I kept the grass we removed and transplanted it to the trampled areas. The roots remained in the dug up soil, so I just placed the grass and soil where I needed it. The roots continued to grow and soon grew into the soil in the new spot. I didn't even have to till or dig in the new spots.


Growing grass with seeds is better in the long run. The biggest problems I have with grass seed is the seeds are sometimes eaten by birds or the wind and rain may take them away, but these problems are manageable. You just have to be sure to cover them with enough soil.

What is good about the grass seed is that you will have a better root system once the grass takes hold. This means your grass will be less likely to die from lack of water or heat.


In the second paragraph, this article talks about how seeding a lawn is less costly than sodding. I wanted to sod our new lawn because, as this article says, you have a nice looking lawn much sooner with the sod. With seeds, you have to wait quite a while and most of the time you will have some parts of the lawn where the grass does not grow well. This means you don't have that thick green look all over.

However, the price of sod is not just a little more than seeds. Sod is way more expensive. Planting grass seed was not a big expense. We couldn't afford to buy all the sod we would have needed. Unless you are working without a budget, the price alone will make seeds the best, and maybe the only, choice.

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