How to Prepare a Lawn for Seed


Seeding a lawn can thicken up the grass and result in a fuller, healthier-looking lawn while enhancing the entire landscape. Over seeding warm-season grass with a cool-season grass such a rye grass, can provide a year-round green lawn. Along with an established fertilization and irrigation plan which is developed based on soil condition, over seeding and reseeding existing lawns is a great way to maintain or improve the beauty of a landscape.

Step 1

Pull up and remove all weeds in the area to be sewn with grass seed to eliminate competing vegetation. If herbicide is used to eradicate broadleaf or grassy weeds in the area, limit its use to a minimum, and wait four to six weeks before planting grass seed.

Step 2

Mow the area to be seeded to its shortest length without scalping the lawn. Rake the area completely to remove grass cuttings and loose debris from the area, while scratching the soil underneath to better ensure new seeds have complete soil contact.

Step 3

Spread starter fertilizer evenly over the area to be sewn. Starter fertilizer, along with adequate moisture, will give the new grass seedlings a good kick-start and improve survivability. Moisten the area thoroughly as the final step in preparing the area for new seed. Enough water should be applied to the area to allow moisture to soak 3 to 4 inches into the soil.

Step 4

Spread the lawn seed over the area with a drop spreader in perpendicular directions to ensure an even distribution of seed. Sew approximately 3 lbs. of seed per 1,000 square feet for best results. Rake over the area after seeding with the intention of ensuring grass seeds are in contact with the soil. Keep the area moist until new seeds have germinated.

Things You'll Need

  • Lawn Rake
  • Starter Fertilizer
  • Drop seed spreader


  • Cornell University: Lawn Renovation and Establishment
  • University of Minnesota: Lawn Renovation
Keywords: prepare lawn seed, seeding new lawn, reseeding existing lawn

About this Author

Damon Hildebrand is a retired U.S. Navy veteran. He has more than 15 years within the oil and gas industry in both technical and managerial positions. Hildebrand has been a technical writer and communicator for the last four years. He is a certified specialists in lubrication and tribology, as well as a certified maintenance and reliability professional.