Fall is the best time to plant grass. The cool autumn nights and heavy dew give grass the perfect amount of moisture. A beautiful lawn starts with healthy grass, and now is the time to lay the foundation for your best yard yet. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you plant grass the right way. 

1. Buy seed

A vibrant yard begins with the right seed. If you are planting in the fall, which we recommend, choose a cool-season grass, such as HGT bluegrass or fescues. Make sure that the seed is coated, and it’s a good idea to spend a little extra money on a higher quality seed. Healthy grass is the foundation for your entire outdoor space, so investing time and money into your lawn is worthwhile.


2. Prep your lawn

Aerating your lawn is an important process, but it’s often overlooked. Aerating can take your yard from looking good to great. It gets oxygen into the soil and the roots, which makes it thicker. If your lawn is thick, you won’t have to spend as much money on herbicides later because your grass will naturally fight off the weeds. A poorly kept yard will get overtaken by weeds; but if you feed your grass well, it will compete against the weeds on its own.

You can even aerate your yard twice a year. In fact, we recommend it. Aerate your grass when it is active, which is in the fall and the spring. If you usually aerate it in the spring, consider trying it this fall as well. You’ll be surprised by how much better your yard will look.


3. Plant and Fertilize

You can’t just throw grass seed down and expect a beautiful yard. You have to plant the seeds the right way. The most important thing is securing seed to soil contact, so rake seed into the soil a quarter of an inch.

After the seed is down, it’s time to fertilize. Fall is a very important time to fertilize your lawn. The dew gives your soil much-needed moisture, which allows it to better absorb the fertilizer. Fertilizing your lawn in the fall will give it strength to survive the cold winters, and you’ll see a more vibrant lawn in the spring.

Tip: Think of nitrogen as food for your lawn. Grass needs one pound of nitrogen per thousand square feet, and fertilizing helps achieve this.Once the seed is raked in and fertilizer is down, put a cover over it to help it retain moisture. Straw makes a quick and easy cover.


4. Cover

You can also use compost as a cover, which is especially worthwhile after aeration. An aerated yard is full of small holes that help nutrients reach your grass. Take advantage of this condition by covering seed with compost, which is full of beneficial organisms that will enrich your soil and aid in your grass’s growth and health. If you don’t want to add compost to your entire yard, at least add it to the parts that are thin or patchy.


5. Water Often

Be sure that your lawn is getting the water it needs to thrive. We encourage you to water at least once a day. In the fall, you can even water in the evening. (When the weather is warm we don’t recommend watering at night because high humidity can breed fungus.) But if the temperature falls below 60 degrees, watering at night is best!


Taking care of your lawn is an important part of creating a beautiful landscape, and you can’t have a great yard without strong, healthy grass. Planting grass the right way may take a little effort up front, but it will save you time and money later in the year. If you have any questions on lawn care, let us know. We’d love to help you create a landscape that you love and enjoy.