When you put in green grass seed, it's essential to prepare the site properly. Seed needs to have fertile, loose soil to cling to. This encourages healthy root growth. Spend a few days, in dry weather, preparing the yard for the grass seed. Rain will cause the grass seed to wash away, making your job more difficult. Put in green grass seed in the spring or summer so it can germinate and become established before winter arrives.
Pull weeds and pick up debris from the planting area. Get rid of branches and stones, too. If there are dirt clumps larger than 1 inch, break them up. The grass seed needs to be touching soil directly to sprout green grass.
Apply herbicide if you have a lot of weeds in the yard. Follow the instructions on the label. You need to apply it a few weeks before planting grass seed, though, or the chemicals will kill off the seed, too.
Loosen the compacted dirt to add air pockets. Grass needs them for root development and spread. Till the soil 4 to 6 inches deep. Level the yard by adding topsoil to dips and crevices.
Add an inch each of sand and compost. They will make the ground drain better and add nutrients. Combine the nutrients into the soil.
Apply a starter fertilizer or one that has more phosphorus than nitrogen or potassium. The package will specify the rate at which to set the broadcast spreader.
Use a hand spreader to disperse seed over small areas. Rent a mechanical spreader for larger yards. Gently rake the seed with the back of a metal rake to get it under 1/8 inch of soil.
Set a sprinkler to the oscillating setting. Water the grass seed for 5 to 10 minutes twice a day. After 10 days, cut back on watering to once daily for 15 to 30 minutes at a time.