Lawn Care for Beginners

lawn care for beginners - how to  plant grass seed on existing lawn

If you’d like to set up your yard for a lush landscape this year but don’t know where to begin, you’ve come to the right place!

As many of you know, my family was personally affected by Covid when my husband contracted the virus in March of 2020. He just returned home a few weeks ago after 361 days (you read that right) in the hospital and acute rehab. He takes pride in caring for our lawn every year so I thought I’d take over this year until he’s fully recovered.

Only I didn’t have a clue where to begin.

Enter The Farm at Green Village and Jonathan Green. Our friend who happens to be a landscaper recommended I begin with Jonathan Green products if I want the best quality. Jonathan Green has been guiding me behind the scenes in lawn care for beginners so I thought I’d share it here for any of you that may want to learn.

The Farm at Green Village is located in Green Village, NJ, and offers everything you could possibly imagine for your lawn and gardens. It’s more of a gardener’s destination than just another nursery! It has 30 acres of outdoor plants to explore as well as a 30,000 sq ft greenhouse. Look at the size of this place!

the farm at green village map

I’ll start by saying lawn care isn’t hard at all! And it’s actually fun. If you enjoy gardening as I do, you’ll probably enjoy lawn care as well.

Lawn Care for Beginners – Supplies Needed

how-to-use-grass-seed

How Much Grass Seed to Use?

To determine how much seed you’ll need you will need to figure out the square footage of your lawn. All Jonathan Green lawn care products state on the bag how many square feet they’ll cover.

Step 1: Prep Your Lawn

how to prep lawn for grass seed

Before you begin seeding you’ll need to prep the lawn first. First, simply mow the grass on the lowest lawn mower setting. Next, rake the lawn well to thatch, remove debris and loosen up the soil.

Lastly, fill in any holes or uneven areas with topsoil.

In addition to that, I also used my husband’s cultivator tool to go over a few patchy bare spots to help loosen the soil better. It’s important to get as much of the dead grass up from bare spots in order to have good seed to soil contact.

Are you with me so far? Lawn care for beginners really is easy!

Step 2: Prep The Soil

how-to-spread-grass-seed - lawn care for beginners

For best results, you’ll want to prep the soil next. This is where it gets fun.

I first poured MAG-I-CAL Plus Soil food into the spreader. The MAG-I-CAL Plus helps raise the soil pH which is important for a lush lawn. It also helps to loosen the soil. In doing so it helps the grass seed root better and absorb nutrients from the fertilizer.

Check the bag for what setting your spreader should be on for each product you use. Once you adjust the dial, pull the lever on the spreader as you walk to release the seed. It was recommended to me that you walk around the perimeter first, then work your way in.

I used the 5,000 sq feet bag for my yard which is on the small side. The soil food can be used at any time of the year as long as the ground isn’t frozen.

Step 3: Spread Fertilizer

Next up, I used Green-Up for Seeding and Sodding fertilizer. You apply it in the same way as the soil food. Be sure to check the spreader settings on the bag before spreading. Using a fertilizer like this one that is high in phosphorus is super important when seeding because it will help establish dense roots and feed your lawn for up to 2 months.

How To Plant Grass Seed

lawn care for beginners - how to use grass seed

Now you are ready for your grass seed! I used two different types of seed because my back yard is south facing and full blazing sun and my front yard is north facing and has a big oak tree, making it all shade. The Black Beauty Dense shade grass is perfect for around mature trees and shrubs. The Black Beauty Ultra is the most drought tolerant blend and will fill in any bare spots quickly.

Grass-Seed-for-Shade-Grass-Seed-for-Sun - lawn care for beginners

Pick the grass seed that meets your sun requirements and pour it into the spreader. Adjust your spreader settings and apply half the seed in one direction (north to south) and the other half in the opposite direction (east to west). This will ensure even coverage.

When all your seed has been distributed, rake the lawn again with a metal rake. Next, walk lightly over your grass seed to get it embedded in the dirt. You want it embedded, not buried.

Just like with any seedlings, you want to keep the seed moist by watering each day until established. Do not mow again until the grass has grown to approximately 3-4 inches.

That’s it, it looks like a lot in writing but it’s really relatively quick and easy once you understand the process! Mow, rake, spread, rake, water!

How To Get Rid of Weeds in Grass

how to get rid of weeds in grass

Before I began my lawn care I noticed tons of different types of weeds beginning to pop up in various areas of my lawn. To help combat that problem, I also picked up a bag of Lawn Weed Control

The weed control product SHOULD NOT be applied along with your grass seed. You’ll need to wait approximately six weeks (or until you’ve mowed the new lawn three times) before applying this or it will kill your grass seed.

I have not gotten to this step yet. Once my lawn is ready for it, the process is as follows. Mow the lawn one to two days before applying the weed control. Lightly water the lawn so the product better adheres to the weeds. Use your spreader to apply and use only where the weeds are visible, not all over the lawn. Sweep any excess off hard surfaces to prevent staining.

Lawn Care Questions?

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Whether you need more help with lawn care for beginners or any lawn and garden advice, head over to The Farm at Green Village. They’re happy to help!

In about a month from now I will show you the results over on my Instagram page as well as on Facebook, so be sure to look for that! In the meantime, you might enjoy 12 Ways to Bring Your Yard to the Next Level!

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