Once the site is prepared and the proper grasses have been chosen, it's time to plant the lawn. The decision whether to seed or sod involves a number of factors. Assuming planting is done properly, the end result of a healthy lawn should be the same.
Timing is critical to assure success when seeding lawns. Late summer to early fall is the ideal time to seed a cool-season lawn.
- For northern Illinois: Early August to early September
- Central Illinois: Mid-August to Mid-September
- Southern Illinois: September
If a late summer to early fall seeding is not an option, April would be a second choice for seeding a lawn. Seeding in late spring through mid-summer often leads to problems as the summer heat slows or stops grass development of our cool-season grasses. Dormant seeding in the winter, occasionally done by professional groundskeepers, is difficult and thus not suggested for homeowners.
Seeding rates are found below. Exceeding rates may result in weak, spindly seedlings and potential disease development. Incorporate seed lightly into the soil surface for good seed-to-soil contact. This can be done by dragging a leaf rake upside down across a newly seeded site.