How to Plant Seeds for a Lawn


If you have decided to seed your lawn yourself, the good news is that is not difficult. The bad news is that it is somewhat time consuming, and will require a lot of attention for the first few weeks after you plant. You will also want to take precautions to make sure everyone (including neighborhood dogs and kids) stays off the lawn. While you could buy sod or pay someone to do this work for you, the satisfying look of the grass seedlings as they first push up out of the ground is worth doing it yourself.

Step 1

Load your seed spreader with grass seed that is appropriate for the lawn you will be seeding. Seed companies sell both cool and warm weather grass seed blends, as well as shade, partial shade and full sun grass blends.

Step 2

Push the seed spreader ahead of you, adjusting your pace as you go so that the seed is spread evenly. Make sure to cover the entire area as thoroughly as you can.

Step 3

Load compost into a mulch spreader. In addition to acting as a light protective layer while the seeds germinate, the compost will enrich the soil and feed the grass as it grows.

Step 4

Push the mulch spreader ahead of you, following the same path you did with the seed spreader. Adjust your pace as needed so that compost spreads evenly across your lawn. Do not spread it too thick, as grass only needs a light covering in order to germinate.

Step 5

Water your new seeds with your garden hose. Use the mist setting on the sprayer and water the whole lawn. Do this several times to make sure the earth gets wet to a depth of about six to eight inches.

Step 6

Erect temporary fencing around your new lawn to keep people and animals off it. Some people like to use stakes and string, but this is not a very effective deterrent for dogs. Try snow fencing from your local hardware store, which is quick and easy to install with some stakes and a mallet. Follow the directions that come with the snow fencing, as they differ between manufacturers.

Step 7

Continue watering the lawn gently every day for the next couple of weeks. Once the grass seedlings start to appear, you can try watering every other day. Watch closely to see if your grass responds well. If it does not, you may need to resume watering every day until it is more mature.

Tips and Warnings

  • It will be tempting to water your lawn quickly by soaking it, especially the first time you water. Do not give in to this temptation. Grass seeds need a lot of water, but too much can cause them to float away, or rot underground instead of grow.

Things You'll Need

  • Grass seed
  • Compost
  • Seed spreader
  • Mulch spreader
  • Garden hose with mister attachment
  • Temporary fencing
  • Stakes
  • Mallet


  • This Old House: When to Plant Grass Seed
  • Dummies: Planting a New Lawn from Seed

Who Can Help

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Keywords: planting lawn seeds, seeding lawn, using grass seed

About this Author

Amrita Chuasiriporn is a professional cook, baker, and writer. In addition to cooking and baking for a living, Chuasiriporn has written for several online publications. These include Chef's Blade, CraftyCrafty, and others. Additionally, Chuasiriporn is a regular contributor to online automotive enthusiast publication Chuasiriporn holds an A.A.S. in culinary arts, as well as a B.A. in Spanish language and literature.