To grow grass quickly, sod your lawn or hire a contractor to come and hydroseed it. Sod are grass strips that are rooted and ready to be laid down. Hydroseed is water, seed, glue, fertilizer and green wood fiber mulch combined, then sprayed by a contractor. Once it dries, the mulch protects the seeds and helps them grow quickly. Sod is an instant lawn, and hydroseeding takes about two weeks to grow. However, hydroseed costs a quarter the price of sod.
Pick up sticks, rocks and weeds from the yard. Till at least 4 inches into the ground to loosen the compacted soil. The sod needs air pockets in the soil for root spread and growth. If there are dips, fill them in with some topsoil to level it. Rake until smooth.
Apply starter fertilizer with a 2-1-1 ratio of nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium. Water the yard to help the food penetrate the soil.
Set a long piece of sod down at the border of the yard. Fit another long piece next to the first one and continue across the yard. Put them all as close together as possible so there are not gaps. Sod will shrink a little when it grows.
Place small sod pieces in the middle of the yard only. They will die if they are along the border of the planting area.
Cut irregularly-sized pieces with a knife or blade. Overlap sod in corners and cut off the excess.
Run a half-full roller over the established grass. Moisten the top 6 to 8 inches with water.
Get rid of weeds, debris and stones to create a smooth planting surface. Run a rototiller over the ground to loosen the top 4 to 6 inches.
Use a pH test kit to determine the acidity or alkalinity of the soil. You can get one from a planting center or nursery.
Boost the pH of acidic soil to make it more alkaline. Grass does best in a relatively neutral pH environment. Add 4 oz. of hydrated lime per square yard in sandy soil, 8 oz. in loamy soil, 12 oz. in clay soil and 25 oz. in peat soil per square yard. This will increase the pH by 1.
Make the yard more acidic with ground rock sulfur. Lower the pH by 1 with 1.2 oz. of sulfur per square yard in sandy soil, or 3.6 oz. in all other types of soil. Mix it in thoroughly.
Find a hydroseeding contractor (see Resources), who will spray the grass seed over the yard quickly, and also apply a starter fertilizer that is high in phosphorus to promote root growth.
Water the seeds two times a day to help it root. Water regularly to keep it moist. If the seedlings dry out, they can die.
Mow hydroseeded lawns when they are 3 inches high. Mowing encourages thick growth.
Feed the lawn with fertilizer after one month of growth. Use a product that has a lot of nitrogen. Apply as per manufacturer's instructions.
About this Author
Kelly Shetsky has been a broadcast journalist for more than 10 years, researching, writing, producing and reporting daily on many topics. In addition, she writes for several websites, specializing in medical, health and fitness, arts and entertainment, travel and business. Shetsky has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Marist College.