How to Seed a Lawn in Kansas
- 1). Collect five soil samples from your lawn's soil bed using a soil probe. A soil probe consists of a metal tube that is inserted into the ground. The tube pulls any soil inside of it out of the ground. For testing lawn soil, collect a sample from a 3-inch depth.
- 2). Place the samples in a clean plastic container and mix them thoroughly. Pick out any debris, such as root material, sticks or rocks. Spread the soil over a newspaper to air-dry. Then scoop at least 2 cups of the soil into a clear plastic container. Take the soil sample to your nearest Kansas State University county extension service. An agent with the extension service will provide you with paperwork and a paper sample bag for submitting your soil sample to the Kansas State University Soil Testing Laboratory. Test results are typically returned within three weeks. The soil test can tell you what your soils structure and pH is, as well as the best means of improving your soil.
- 3). Consult your county extension service for the best grass variety and cultivar for your lawn. Most of Kansas is in a transition zone area where warm season grass goes dormant in winter, but cool season grass is killed in summer. For the best results, plant a warm season grass such as Bermuda or Buffalo grass and then overseed the grass each fall with an annual cool season grass such as ryegrass or Kentucky bluegrass.
- 4). Break up your soil to a depth of 12 inches with a rototiller. Spread a 4-inch layer of soil amendments as recommended by your soil test over the soil. Good soil amendments for Kansas soil include organic amendments such as compost and peat moss. These amendments boost the nutrient level in the soil. Additionally, you can add dolomite lime to lower the pH of soil, or sulfur to raise the pH. Grass needs to grow in soil with a balanced pH in order to take up nutrients. Mix these amendments into the soil with the rototiller.
- 5). Smooth out the seed bed with a landscaping rake. Gradually slope the landscape away from structures to improve drainage. A landscape should drop downward from a home or other structure at a rate of 1 inch every 4 feet.
- 6). Purchase seed at the recommended seeding rate. All grass seed should be sown at a different amount per 1,000 square feet. Mix the seed at a rate of 1 part seed to 5 parts moist masonry sand to ensure that the seed spreads evenly. Pour one half of the seed and sand mixture into a broadcast fertilizer spreader. Push the spreader in an even grid path over your lawn. Then fill the spreader with the other half of the seed. Push the spreader over the lawn in a grid path that is perpendicular to the first path that you used.
- 7). Rake over your lawn with a landscaping rake to lightly cover the seed. Water your soil two to four times daily with a hose-end sprinkler to ensure that the soil stays saturated. Use the equivalent of 1/4 inch of rainfall each watering session. You can measure the amount of water that you use with a rain gauge. After the seed sprouts, gradually reduce the amount of water that you use until you water only once every 10 days with the equivalent of 1 inch of rainfall.