Planting Grass In Fall? 8 Steps To Eliminate Guesswork

close up of green grass with a blue sky in the background and some clouds

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Fall is a great time to plant new grass.


Watch The Video Above ^ The time elapsed still photos show grass from germination to finished product. Fall is a great time to make this happen.

Fall Grass Planting

Fall is an excellent time to plant grass seed. Most Connecticut lawns are planted with a mixture of Rye grasses and Kentucky Bluegrass, both are cold season grasses. They use spring and fall as their main growing seasons. Growth slows in summer and becomes totally dormant in winter.

Lawn and Garden

1. Begin by purchasing a nutrient rich topsoil from a quality soil provider

Grillo Services Topsoil Page

(Not sure how much you need? Check out our blog post  Calculating Coverage Per Yard)

2.  If you are planting new grass a few inches of soil is adequate. I like to apply 3 inches to allow proper root growth. Often times this is not possible because it will cause an area to be higher than the rest of the lawn. Also, it would be great to till the soil before spreading. This will help make sure your newly planted area will drain properly.

3. Choose your seed. If you take a look at our price list you will see that we offer 3 types, as do most providers. Premium Seed, mainly Kentucky Bluegrass. A slow starting beautiful seed that prefers sunny areas. Sun and Shade, a mixture of Kentucky Bluegrass, Fescue, and Rye seeds. As the name states it will do well in both sun and shade areas. Our other type is Multi Rye. This seed is a mix of 4 different rye seeds. It does well in full sun and is used anywhere, including high traffic areas and athletic fields due to it’s ability to withstand foot traffic.

4. Spread the topsoil and rake it level with a landscape rake.

The benefit of a landscape rake is the width. You are much less likely to dig into the soil and make ruts than with a skinny garden rake. Scruff up the soil enough so that it doesn’t appear flat and packed down, your seed will make much better soil contact by doing this. Fill any sunken areas with excess soil and re rake, the more level the better.

5. Next you can get your broadcast spreader and fill it with seed.


I like to overdo it and spread 10-15 pounds of seed per thousand square feet. Read your bag most have recommended doses. I just prefer fuller grass quicker, and putting more seed down produces thicker, lusher grass. Also make sure to spread half the seed walking in one direction, the other half walking the opposite direction. This ensures even coverage.

5. Spread your starter fertilizer. This can also be found in our price list. We sell 18 and 50 pound bags. Do not skip this step! Starter fertilizer is the single most important step behind using a quality soil and seed. It simply will not grow to potential without this, and you need it to with winter on the way.

6. If you can get your hands on a lawn roller do it. They can be bought at home depot. Since this is an item that you may not use much check with friends first, it is cheaper to borrow one.

Once you fill them with water they become quite heavy, and rolling them over the seed compacts it flat and creates excellent soil seed contact. This is another often overlooked aspect of planting new lawn, and it really helps germination.

7. Finally spread a fine layer of hay over the entire area. Most places, including us, sell bagged hay. It stays dry and is shredded to spread evenly. Grab large clumps from the bag and shake over the newly seeded area.

It should look something like this. This was a photo I took at my house a few weeks back.

8. Last and certainly not least water! Water enough so that you get soil penetration of 6-8 inches. This will ensure that the new roots can establish themselves properly. Do not water too heavily or risk washing your seed away. Morning and night are the best times to do so.

If you already have an existing lawn and would watering tips they are provided in the article below.

Watering Tips For A Lush Lawn

Sprinkler, Grass, Watering, Irrigation


Do this now and have great looking grass by spring! The quicker you finish the sooner you can get back to important issues, like watching football on Sunday.

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