How to Spread the Types of Grass Seed


There are two types of grass--cool season and warm season. Warm-season grasses are ideal for the southern part of the United States and cool-season grasses are adapted for the northern climates. A small section in the middle of the country is considered transitional, so either type grow well there. Cool-season grasses include bent grass, bluegrass, red fescue and rye grass. Examples of warm-season grasses are Bermudagrass, bahia, buffalograss, centipede, carpetgrass, zoysiagrass and St. Augustinegrass.

Step 1

Learn the proper growing cycle for your type of grass seed, and plant at the beginning of their growing cycle. Disperse cool-season grass seeds at the start of fall or spring. Plant warm-season grasses at the beginning of summer.

Step 2

Till the soil to a depth of 4 to 6 inches. Loosen it up to add air pockets underground, which helps the grass seed root and spread. Get rid of any debris that may prevent the grass seed from touching soil.

Step 3

Level the planting area with a rake. If any large soil clumps remain, break them up by hand.

Step 4

Add sand and compost to make the dirt more fertile and improve drainage. Spread 1 inch of each substance. Till them into the top inch of soil.

Step 5

Apply a high-quality starter fertilizer. They contain slow-release granules that will gradually feed the seeds. Follow the instructions on the package to determine the setting for the broadcast spreader.

Step 6

Spread grass seed with a mechanical or hand spreader. For a thick lawn, apply an average of 8 to 10 pounds per 1,000 square feet. Check the recommended rate on the seed bag. Cut the amount in half and go over the same area twice. This will ensure an evenly-seeded lawn.

Step 7

Rake over the grass seeds with the backside of the rake gently. Cover the seeds with 1/8 inch of soil to help them germinate faster.

Step 8

Lay straw on top of the seeded areas to maintain the soil temperature and keep moisture in. Do not completely cover the ground. You should be able to see 1-inch open spots of soil. This will allow sunlight to reach the grass seed.

Step 9

Keep the grass seed moist but not wet. Water it at least twice a day for intervals of 5 to 10 minutes. Once you see sprouts, cut back and only water it for 15 to 30 minutes once a day.

Tips and Warnings

  • Avoid watering grass at night because there is a higher risk of fungal disease. Do not walk on the grass seedlings until they are established.

Things You'll Need

  • Rototiller
  • Rake
  • Soil
  • Sand
  • Compost
  • Fertilizer
  • Broadcast spreader
  • Mechanical or hand spreader
  • Straw
  • Sprinkler


  • Organic Approach: Guide for New Lawns
  • Spring Green: Lawn Seeding Tips
  • This Old House: How to Seed a Lawn
  • American Lawn: Types of Grasses Found in America
Keywords: spread grass seed, grass seed types, make a lawn

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.