1. Choose the BEST
SPECIES and VARIETIES (go
here for information on the advantages and disadvantages of different
turf species) for your lawn situation. PURCHASE
GOOD QUALITY SEED! (go HERE for
Colorado turf seed sources) The preferred time for seeding
cool-season species (bluegrass, fescues) is mid- to late-August
or early September (June-July at higher elevations). Warm-season
species (buffalograss, blue grama, bermudagrass) should be seeded
from late May-mid July.
2. Have a basic soil test performed IF IT HAS BEEN CONSISTENTLY DIFFICULT
TO GROW GRASS ON THE SITE.
3. Practice pre-plant weed control, especially when difficult perennial
weed species are present (Canada thistle, bindweed, quackgrass,
bentgrass, bermudagrass). Use a herbicide with no soil residual
activity (glyphosate), and allow the herbicide to fully translocate
before cultivating the soil (10-14 days). Follow ALL label instructions.
4. Incorporate any fertilizers called for by soil test results to a
depth of 4-6 inches, or as deeply as possible. If the soil organic matter
content is less than 5%, incorporate (4 to 6 inches deep) 3-5 cubic
yards of compost per 1000 square feet (this is enough compost to cover
the soil about 1 inch deep).
5. Prepare the area for seeding by smoothing and removing large rocks
and other debris. Over-cultivation will produce a fluffy seedbed that
is prone to compaction and crusting.
6. Apply one pound of N per 1000 sq. ft. using urea, diammonium phosphate,
or any starter type of fertilizer.
7. Seed in two directions (right angles) with one-half of seed each
direction. Apply seed using a fertilizer spreader (low setting). Lightly
rake/drag seed into seed bed. Slopes prone to erosion should be mulched
with clean straw, netting, or matting of some type.
8. Irrigate lightly and frequently (to keep soil surface moist) during
germination.This may require 2-3 light watering events daily during
sunny, dry, hot weather. As the seedlings begin to mature and form a
deeper root system, begin to water less frequently and increase the
amount of water applied each time you do water. The deeper, less frequent
irrigation regime will continue to encourage the formation of a deeper
9. Avoid the use of preemergent herbicides (the one exception being
siduron; brand name Tupersan) when seeding a new lawn.
10. Postemergent broadleaf weed herbicides (2,4-D, MCPP, dicamba, and
similar products) should NOT be applied until the turf has been
mowed 4-5 times.