The Dog Owners Guide to Growing New Grass/
Growing grass from seed in your own outdoor space can feel like an intimidating responsibility -- especially if you’re new to lawn care. Add a bounding, barking, fluffy friend to the mix, and figuring out how to plant and protect new growth on your lawn might seem particularly impossible. Nurturing new grass in your backyard may seem like the realm of professional landscapers and seasoned green thumbs, but it doesn’t have to be.
Overseeding to thicken up your lawn with Good Boy™, as well as patching bare spots with Bad Spot!™, are both meant to make lawn thickening and repair as easy as it gets. With a little patience and some help from BarkYard™, you’ll be putting down new roots in no time.
Pay Attention to the Calendar
When it comes to establishing grass seed, timing is everything. Cool season grasses (such as Kentucky bluegrass, ryegrass, and fescue) need to be planted in the spring or early fall. These types of grass seed are hearty and lush (that’s why we put them in our BarkYard™ products) -- but they won’t germinate well in extreme temperatures, so planting in the heat of summer or after the frost sets in won’t yield the best results.
Warm season grasses (such as bahia and bermudagrass) need to be planted in the late spring or early summer. If you live in a region where temperatures are hot and dry, drought-resistant warm season grasses are the seed varieties you should be reaching for. Warm season grasses do most of their growing in the peak heat of summer, when temperatures are between 75 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
Bottom line: If you’re patching or filling out your lawn with BarkYard™ products, spreading seed in the spring or in fall before the frost will yield the best result. If you’re seeding your entire lawn, be aware of the variety of grass that you’re working with and follow best practices according to that species.
Get the Right Products & Make Sure You Have Enough
You’ll need to be sure you have enough grass seed before you start the growing process. If you don’t know the square footage of your lawn, now is the time to measure it.
A small-size container of BarkYard™ Good Boy™ will overseed 550 square feet of outdoor space, so you’ll need the right measurements to do the math and see how much seed you need. For a beginner’s reference, there’s about 2,800 square feet in one tennis court. Good Boy™ is designed to help you thicken up your lawn, and can help fill in trampled or thin areas of grass that are two inches (or less) in diameter.
You can use Bad Spot!™ in areas where larger, damaged or bare spots are seen. For bare spots that are from 3 inches to 12 inches in diameter, For these larger areas, Bad Spot!™ applies just the right amount of seed, and contains coconut coir that helps hold water to help new seedlings grow.
If what your lawn needs is a complete new lawn reseeding, skip BarkYard™ for now and purchase a lawn starter seed product. You’ll need to seed first, wait 4-6 weeks for the seed to germinate, and then apply fertilizer to your seedlings. After you’ve let your first round of grass seed grow in completely and established a mowing and maintenance routine, you can evaluate if you need to thicken your lawn or fix any bare patches.
Note that trying to stretch your seed product past the recommended square footage will result in a lawn that’s patchy, thin, and not well-established. You don’t want to have to wait an entire season for another chance to seed your yard, so stick with package guidelines for best results.
Bottom line: Bad Spot!™ is for lawns that have spot damage from dog pee, dog-dug holes, and other lawn damage. Good Boy™ is for lawns that look thin from trampling (perhaps courtesy of an eager set of paws), uneven growth, or any other reason. To seed a brand new lawn from scratch, you’ll need to look into a straight seed product that builds up turf.
Prep Your Lawn & Get to Growing
Applying Good Boy™ to your outdoor space is as easy as it gets, but there’s still some prep work involved before your lawn is ready for overseeding. If the space is thick with weeds, use a shovel to remove as many of them as possible. Then trim your lawn with your mower set to the lowest setting (about 2 inches). Use a rake in thin areas to lightly loosen the top layer of soil. Dirt needs to be soft, loose, and receptive to new grass seed.
With Good Boy™’s fertilizer-and-grass-seed-in-one formula, you don’t have to worry about how you’re going to spread the seed evenly or whether you should put down fertilizer on the same day that you seed. Apply it evenly over small spaces on your existing lawn using the spreader cap at the top of the jug. If you’re using Good Boy™’ for a larger area of lawn, use a BarkYard spreader. Once you’ve finished spreading Good Boy!, give the entire area a deep and thorough initial watering.
Bad Spot!™ also comes equipped with an easy-to-use applicator. To prep, you’ll want to rinse the spot thoroughly and dethatch any damaged grass so that the product lands in bare soil. Give Bad Spot!™ a soft landing by making sure any holes or dog pee spots have been cleared and leveled with fresh soil. Evenly apply Bad Spot!™ so that the ground is covered, but you can still see the dirt underneath. Then gently water the area, saturating the product thoroughly until no more water can be absorbed.
Bottom line: Prepping the soil to make bare or thin areas ready for overseeding is vital to the success of your seedlings. Growing new grass from scratch requires significantly more time to prep, as you’ll be clearing and leveling a much larger area before you seed. After you lay any type of grass seed, a thorough initial watering is essential for your seedlings to germinate.
Protect & Nurture New Seedlings.
As any new growth starts to get established, you’ll need to protect your lawn and give your seedlings time to get settled. This can be particularly challenging if your pup pal is used to having free reign in your outdoor space.
The good news is, BarkYard™ products are safe to use around pets when used as directed. Both Good Boy™ and Bad Spot!™ were developed with dogs and their owners in mind so that you won’t have to choose between a beautiful lawn and a happy dog.
For the first two to three weeks after seeding, water any newly seeded area every day unless it rains. You don’t want to create soggy conditions, but your new seedlings need lots of water to grow. Keep your dog from digging up the soil or using the lawn as their bathroom facility, just for those first initial weeks. Consider getting a water timer to work with your sprinkler so that you never have to worry about forgetting to water your grass.
If your goal with your new grass is to repair damage and make your lawn look fuller, you don’t have to worry about lawn fertilizer if you use BarkYard™. But if you have just planted a large swath of new lawn, you’ll need to fertilize your new grass seedlings about 4-6 weeks after they germinate.
Bottom line: Once your new growth starts to take root, which won’t take long, you’ll be able to let your dog run wild again in your outdoor space. Until then, keep your dog (and any other outdoor visitors) clear of newly seeded areas.
Keep on Growing
After 3 to 4 weeks of growing your new lawn, you’re ready to move on to the maintenance phase. Experts recommend that you wait until your grass is about 3 inches high before you mow for the first time. Make sure to only cut the top third of your new grass off (meaning don’t cut more than an inch) during that first lawn maintenance session. A lawn that is cut too short becomes a breeding ground for weeds.
As you move forward on your lawn care journey, consider overseeding each year, timing it according to your grass type’s preference, to keep your grass coming back like a lush green welcome mat for you and your (furry and non-furry) loved ones.