Let's face it--it takes time to grow grass. Especially if you're planting grass seed. You can be waiting for up to eight weeks for a healthy, lush green lawn. The two fastest methods to use when trying to grow new grass fast are sodding and hydroseeding. Sodded grass are strips of grass that have already rooted and grown. You can lay them down for an instant lawn. Hydroseeding is a cheaper alternative that costs about 1/4 the price of sod. Hydroseed machines combine water, seed, glue, fertilizer and green wood fiber mulch. The substance is then sprayed evenly across the planting area. When it dries, the seeds are protected from washing away and grass grows quickly--within two to three weeks.
Prepare the yard by picking up debris such as stones and sticks. Rake it until it's smooth. Run a rototiller at least 4 inches into the ground to loosen it. Compacted soil is not conducive to grass root growth.
Spread a starter fertilizer product. Use one that has a 2-1-1 ratio of nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium. Spray the area with a hose to moisten the soil and help the fertilizer get into the ground.
Place a long piece of sod at the outer edge of the yard. Put another long strip next to it, as close together as possible. Eliminate gaps and lines because sod will shrink slightly as it becomes established.
Work across the yard, placing strips of sod down as you go. If you need to use small pieces of grass, put them in the middle of the planting area. They are more likely to die if placed around the borders.
Cut pieces to fit with a sharp blade. Overlap the sod in corners and cut off the extra later.
Run a half-full roller over the sodded area. Water it to moisten the top 6 to 8 inches. Use your finger to test dampness.
Prepare the yard. Remove weeds and debris to make a smooth surface. Till the area to loosen the soil. Hydroseeding requires a prepared, rock-free surface.
Test the pH of the soil with a kit obtained from a nursery or planting center. You may also be able to send a sample into the local cooperative extension for testing. Call to find out.
Make the soil more alkaline, if it's currently acidic, by adding hydrated lime. Boost the pH in sandy soil by 1.0 point with 4 oz. of hydrated lime per square yard. Use 8 oz. in loamy soil, 12 oz. in clay and 25 oz. in peat.
Add ground rock sulfur to make soil more acidic and lower the pH. Drop it one point by mixing in 1.2 oz. of sulfur per square yard in sand, or 3.6 oz. in other soil types. Combine it with the soil thoroughly.
Hire a contractor that handles hydroseeding. They will spray the seeds over the planting area, along with a high phosphorus or "starter fertilizer." This substance encourages the roots to grow.
Water hydroseeded lawns twice a day to help it germinate. Keep it moist with regular watering. Do not let the new seedlings dry out.
Mow hydroseeded lawns once the grass is 3 inches high. Cutting it will promote growth and make the lawn thicker. Do not cut more than 1/3 of the blade height at one time.
Fertilize the lawn one month after it was seeded. Use one high in nitrogen. Apply as per label instructions.