Starting a lawn can be a challenging task for someone who hasn't done it before. Grass seed needs favorable conditions to germinate which include good seed to soil contact, moisture, and warm temperatures. These conditions are most easily met in the fall in New Hampshire. Warm ground coupled with a less-intense sun makes grass seed easier to germinate than during other times of the year. By following a few careful steps, it can be fairly easy to plant a lawn in the fall in New Hampshire.
Use a rototiller and loosen up the top 6 inches of your soil. Mix in loam if your soil is excessively rocky, compacted or otherwise poor.
Rake the soil to smooth it out and to remove any large stones, sticks and other debris. Roll the soil with your lawn roller to firm up the seedbed.
Apply starter fertilizer with your broadcast spreader to deliver 1 pound of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet. Follow the application directions on the fertilizer packaging.
Fill your broadcast spreader with your selected grass seed. Set the dial at half of the desired rate on the seed packaging. Run the spreader over the entire lawn from two directions that are perpendicular to each other. This will ensure good seed distribution.
Rake the seed into the top 1/4 inch of the soil. Using a rake will ensure great seed to soil contact while not burying the seed too deeply in the soil.
Water the seedbed two to three times daily for 5 to 10 minutes each watering. This will ensure the seedbed stays moist until the seeds germinate.
Back down on the watering after the first mowing. Mow when the grass reaches 3 inches in height. Then water 1 to 2 times per week---putting down 1 inch of water at each watering. A pan is a good item to use to measure the amount of water put down.