When customers in the West Coast Seeds retail store have asked how to apply our Lawn Solutions, these are the suggested instructions that I give them. Customers often come back to say how pleased they are with the results, or sometimes they will say: “I should have listened better to your instructions — my way did not work — what did I do wrong and how do I correct it?”

First off, it’s important to ask what the conditions are in the area(s) they would like to seed, for example soil quality and existing grass, and what square footage they are seeding. Next, choosing what Lawn Solutions they would like to grow, as planting times differ with the various seeds. Depending on the answers, I can make a few suggestions of which Lawn Solution will grow best, and calculate how much seed they need, always saving a bit for those “missed” spots.

Now comes the fun part — preparing the area to be seeded. All Lawn Solutions seeds need to touch soil to grow, and adding a bit of fresh compost to the soil is even better. For existing lawns, I suggest two ways to prepare for seeding. One method is to remove all the grass to the bare dirt and with a hard straight rake make deep grooves. Then evenly spread about one to two inches of soil on top. The soil will settle into the grooves, helping the seeds’ roots penetrate easier into the harder soil. Another option is to heavily dethatch and aerate the existing lawn, then evenly spread one to two inches of soil on top. On bare, hard-packed, dead soil, use a hard straight rake and make very deep grooves, then evenly spread one to two inches of soil on top. When sowing the seed, I prefer to hand broadcast, but a hand seeder can also be used (following manufactures instructions). Sow small areas at a time. After sowing the first area, take the back of a fan rake and gently “swish” it from side to side on top of the soil, to barely cover the seeds. With the back of a shovel, lightly tamp down the seeds. I do not recommend a roller, as it presses the seeds into the soil too deeply. Repeat this until all the areas have been seeded.

Once the lawn solution is seeded, gently and thoroughly water with a handheld sprayer set on the “Shower/Rain” setting. This will settle the soil around the seeds without disturbing them, and will not form puddles of water in which the seeds will start “swimming” and clumping together, making for patchy growth.  Keep watering this way once or twice per day, depending on weather, keeping the soil moist until green growth can be seen. Once established, an automated sprinkling system can be used. For upkeep, mowing occasionally will keep the height of the Lawn Solutions in check, or it can be left to grow and flower, much to the delight of the bees and beneficial insects.

Sit back and enjoy your new eco-friendly lawn!

Sharon Hagel, West Coast Seeds Retail Store Assistant Manager & Garden Advisor.