How Much Grass Seed Do I Need?

Researching how much lawn seeds do you need for a particular piece of land? Been there, done that.

So, you have finally made your mind to transform that piece of land. That’s a great idea.  As a proud lawn owner let’s guide you through.

Since you are researching “how much grass seeds do you need?” It means that you have decided which grass seeds suit your soil (half of your job is done) but if you haven’t, check out our recent post 

To get the answer to the question that has been occupying your mind you first have to measure the piece of land that is about to be transformed into a beautiful healthy green lawn.

Remember! you are investing in expensive lawn seeds so take your time and calculate the total lawn area carefully. Consult a professional for taking exact measurements. I do not want to get into the basics as it’s off-topic for today’s discussion.

How much grass seed do you need per square foot?

Around 1-5 pounds seeds per square foot. As it’s fall, you are investing in the cool season grass and such grasses require more seeds to be sown than warm-season grasses.

Wherever you live, whatever your climate is, whatever type you choose, you will be done with using 2 to 3 pounds of grass seed per square foot. But do not plant more than 5 pounds a square foot.

Factors for Grass Seed Requirement

A way to get a more accurate answer

Application rates vary for coated seeds and some varieties of grasses so the most accurate answer can be found by going through the application instructions written on the packet.

But Generally, you need around one to five pounds of seeds per square feet. But if you are about to use the basic drop spreader method you will probably need fewer seeds.

Grass seed coverage

As per a general assumption, a five-pound seed bag can cover up to 1,000 square feet. In the case of reseeding one to two pounds would be enough to cover 1,000 square feet.

Grass seed coverage per pound

For new lawns, one pound seed bag can lay a dense green carpet up to one hundred square feet but some varieties can cover 250 to 400 square feet per pound as well. 

50lb grass seed bag coverage

By following the 5-6 pounds bag per square feet the 50lb grass seed bag would be able to cover around 10,000 square feet.

A general grass application rule

As per a general rule, if new seeding takes two pounds of seed per 1000 square feet then reseeding is half in number reseeding requires one pound grass seeds per square feet.

Now that you have got the basic idea let’s not tire you for the answers to the three most Googled questions first. While researching you may have come across these as well and I bet you have added them to your list of questions as well. 

How much grass seeds do you need for a new lawn?

The ideal application rate for most varieties of cool-season grasses, three to four pounds of grass seeds per 1000 square feet.

For overseeding how much grass do you need per 1000 square feet?

Overseeding or reseeding generally require fewer grass seeds as compared to the new lawns. So one to two pounds of grass seeds would be enough to cover the area of 1000 square feet.

How much grass seed do you need for one acre of land?

In the case of a new lawn, If you follow the five-pound per 1000 square feet application rate you would need 217.8 pounds per acre and in the case of overseeding 87.12 pounds per acre.

“Half knowledge is dangerous” so here are the recommended application rates for the common lawn grass varieties, both seed for a new lawn and overseeding.

For new lawns

Kentucky bluegrass

2 to 3 lbs per 1000 square feet

Perennial rye

9 to 10 lbs per 1000 square feet

Bahia

7 to 10 lbs per 1000 square feet

Bermuda grass

1.5 to 2.5 lbs per 1000 square feet

Centipede

1 lb per 1000 square feet

Zoysia

2 lbs per 1000 square feet

Tall fescue

8 to 10 lbs per 1000 square feet

For overseeding

Kentucky bluegrass

1 to 2 lbs per 1000 square feet

Perennial rye

5 to 6 lbs per 1000 square feet

Bahia

4 to 5 lbs per 1000 square feet

Bermuda grass

0.75 to 1.25 lbs per 1000 square feet

Centipede

0.5 lbs per 1000 square feet

Zoysia

1lbs per 1000 square feet

Tall fescue

4 to 5 lbs per 1000 square feet

Factors that determine the application rate

The following factors greatly influence the grass seed application rates

There are two types of grasses; warm and cool-season grasses. The application rate of cool-season grasses is much higher as compared to the warm-season grasses. In other words, the grasses that are usually planted in spring require fewer seeds than the grasses that are planted in early to late fall.

Every overseeding case is unique. Sometimes it gets difficult to say how many pounds would fill the gap. So if the patches are spread in more than half of the total area then the golden principle “overseeding requires half of the number of new seeding seeds” becomes useless. In such cases, lawn owners would need more grass seeds than they expected.

The application of Coated seeds(that are covered to lock up the moisture) is generally different than the ordinary seeds. In such circumstances, you may need to put one to two pounds more seeds into the soil.

How Much Grass Seed Do I Need per square

How can you calculate how many grass seeds do you need?

There are several methods we have been using to calculate the grass seeds we need. The two most common ones are:

Method 01

For new lawns

Sowing rate = Total area x 0.061or 0.03kg

For overseeding

Sowing rate = Total area x 0.0551 or 0.025kg

The sowing rate is the amount of seed that is needed to cover a particular area and the total area figures can be found by multiplying length and width together.

Method 02

This method is used to find how much grass seed we need per square feet.

For new lawns

Sowing rate = Recommended pounds per square feet x 43.56

For overseeding

Sowing rate = Recommended pounds per square feet x 43.56

The second method is commonly used for the calculation of grass seed per square feet.  It is easier and more accurate as compared to the first one(and my favorite as well).

Note: The answer obtained through these methods will only be accurate if the calculations about the area of land are taken correctly. 

What else you need to know about seeding and overseeding a lawn

  • There are two types of seeds: coated and uncoated seeds. The coated seeds are planted at the upper end of the application rate and uncoated ones at the lower end of the application rate.
  • Augustine grass is never seeded; it is rather installed in the lawns.
  • Always use the drop spreader method to spread the seeds in the ground no matter how appealing the broadcast sounds. It makes neater lawns.
  • Whether you are buying it from a store or online check the label first. It’s the best guide.
  • Sunlight and shade affect the germination rate and the quality of lawn grass. It either speeds up or slows down the germination process. So, if you want your seed to germinate in time do not ignore the instructions.
  • Once the seeds start germinating water more frequently.
  • Cool-season grasses are sown in fall and for the warm season grasses, spring is highly recommended.

Examples of cool-season grasses- grasses that can be planted in fall

Since it’s fall, you should invest in some cool-season grasses. Even in cool-season grasses, there are several options like Kentucky bluegrass, tall fescue, annual ryegrass, bentgrass, rough bluegrass, fine fescue, perennial ryegrass, and creeping fescue. All these grasses can be planted in fall and each one of them is unique. So invest wisely. You can plant some grasses that can be grown anywhere in any season.

My recommendations

Using fewer or more seeds both will push you in disappointment. I suggest you go through the application instructions written on the package. Using your assumptions or the rates suggested here may or may not suit you. So, go by the suggested rates even if it’s costing you a few more bucks.

Conclusion

The answer to the question How many grass seeds do I need? Depends on the area of the piece of land you are transforming. Generally, in the case of a new lawn for every 1000 square feet you need around one to five pounds of grass seeds whereas overseeding requires half of the number of seeds a new lawn needs. 

I hope I’m able to answer the questions raised in your mind. To obtain positive results read the above-mentioned guide thoroughly and follow the instructions written on the packet. Good luck with your new lawn.

Leave a Comment