The Importance of Grass Seed
Though grass is the most important component of a home’s yard, it is often overlooked. While many homeowners spend lots of time and money on flowers, trees, shrubs and stepping stones, it is the grass that largely sets the tone for the exterior appearance of the home. A plain home with a lush green yard will often look better than a nicer home with brown grass and dead spots. The good news is that maintaining a lawn is neither difficult nor expensive with the primary products needed being water and grass seed.
For a variety of reasons from plant diseases to poor soil, grass will generally grow better in one area than another even if both receive the same amount of light and moisture. In areas that grow poorly, spot seeding should be used to help the grass recover. Though seed can just be added to bare spots, it is best if the area is prepared before seeding. To prepare a small spot for seed, a shovel can be used to loosen the soil and break up large clumps. In larger areas, special aeration equipment may be needed. Once the soil is loose, the area should be watered, seeded and lightly covered with hay or another mulching material that will help the soil to stay moist by reducing the rate of evaporation.
Like any other plant, grass has a lifespan after which it will no longer look its best and will eventually die. While grass creates seed and reproduces, the natural replacement rate will not be fast enough to prevent a yard from looking thin. This is especially true for grasses that are not native to a particular area. To help a yard to look its best, the yard needs to be seeded periodically. When new seed is added to an existing yard, the newer plants will help to compensate for the dying older ones. In fact, the seeds from the old plants will compete with the new seeds and nature will decide which is better suited for that particular spot in the yard.
When seeding a lawn, it is important to choose the right grass seed. Which seed is best will vary from one lawn to another. For example, grass like Bermuda and St. Augustine do best in warmer climates, while Kentucky Bluegrass does better in cooler climates. Those who do not want to spend a lot of time watering and caring for a lawn should choose native grasses that are more hardy and will need little care.