Growing grass on hard dirt isn’t as hard as it might seem, it just takes some time and dedication. You can’t just jump right in and seed your lawn, you have to prep the dirt to make sure that it is able to support grass.
The Process of Planting Grass On Fill Dirt
Below are the steps that you need to take to be able to grow a luscious lawn from fill dirt.
1. Time It Right
One of the easiest mistakes people can make when it comes to planting grass is planting the seeds at the wrong time of the year. For example, you need to be aware of it you are using cool-season or warm-season grasses. Grasses like Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, or tall fescue are cool-season grasses and the best time to plant them is in the spring or early fall. If you were to plant them in the summer or winter, there’s a good chance that the seeds won’t be able to establish and your new grass won’t survive the extreme heat and cold. Grasses like zoysia, centipede, bermudagrass are warm-season grasses and the best time to plant them is in the early summer. Warm-season grasses need to be planted in soil that it warm before they will germinate.
2. Choose The Right Seed
There are several things to consider when deciding which type of grass you want to plant: lifestyle, budget, and location. What type of lawn do you want to grow? How much sun will your grass get? Will there be a lot of foot traffic in your yard? How much upkeep are you willing to do? Carefully take the time to consider the conditions your new grass will have to face. Then select a grass that you know will be able to thrive under those conditions.
3. Prepare The Soil
Growing grass on top of hard dirt isn’t going to be super easy and it’s going to require you to spend some time getting familiar with your soil. Make sure that you are removing all large rocks or other debris so that nothing can impede the growth of your grass. Next, you want to work the soil over with a tiller so that it is not compacted. You want your dirt to be broken down into pea- or marble-sized particles.
4. Even Out The Surface
Before you ever put down any grass seeds, you want to seriously consider the grade and level of your yard. If you want to make any changes to it, now is the time. These changes can be made for practical purposes like reducing rainwater flooding or leveling out the land so it’s more useful, or they can be for more cosmetic purposes like adding dimension. To do this you’re going to want to use clean Maryland fill dirt. The words “Clean” and “Dirt” sound like they shouldn’t go together, but in this case, it’s very important that they do. Clean fill dirt is fill dirt that does not contain toxins, organic matter, or large debris. If any of these things are found within your Maryland fill dirt, it could compromise the final result of your new grass. This is because foreign materials, toxins, or large debris can make it much more difficult for your new grass seeds to establish roots. Grass that doesn’t have a root system is going to have a hard time growing and turning into the lush lawn you desire.
To level out your land, you want to take your clean Maryland fill dirt and place in low areas of your yard. Place just enough to bring the low point up so that it is even with the rest of your yard. If you are wishing to create some hilly dimension, use your clean fill dirt to build up some areas in your yard.
5. Improve Soil Quality
Now that your yard is shaped the way you want it, you can start prepping it to make it more ideal for supporting the growth of grass. To do this you want to take a small amount of topsoil and spread it over your yard. You then want to mix it in with the clean fill dirt that is below so there isn’t a clear separation between the two types of dirt. You can do this by raking the topsoil into the clean fill dirt.
6. Seed and Feed
Now you’re going to want to place down your grass seed and fertilizer. Which one you want to place down first is up to you, unless your bag of grass seed or fertilizer has a specific recommendation. Grass seed and fertilizer often require different spreader settings for optimal coverage, so be sure you’re checking the bag of each. Start by applying the product to the perimeter so that you can fill in the rest of your lawn without having to worry about missing any of the edges. Just like when mowing, you should seed and feed your lawn in slightly overlapping passes. Do your best to not get any grass seed or fertilizer in your garden beds or on your sidewalk and driveway.
7. Add More Soil
Once you’ve laid down your grass seed and fertilizer, you want to go over the area with another thin layer of soil to prevent the seeds from either drying out or washing away. You can easily do this by laying down a small layer of soil and then gently dragging the back of a rake over it.
While it’s important to water a newly seeded lawn often, you also don’t want to over water it. The goal is to keep the top inch of soil consistently moist, but not soggy. If it is hot and dry outside, you’ll probably need to mist your lawn at least once a day. Once your grass seeds have started to germinate, you’ll want to keep the top two inches of soil most. Do this until your grass reaches a mowing height of about three inches. After that, you can reduce your watering to about twice a week. Your focus should then be on soaking the soil more deeply (6 to 8 inches) to help encourage your grass roots to grow deep in the soil.
Speak To A Maryland Fill Dirt Contractor
Not all dirt can be used when planting grass, and the type could be the difference between a rich green lawn and a barren and patchy yard. Reach out to a Maryland fill dirt contractor at Dirt Connections for more information and to schedule your free Maryland fill dirt delivery.