How to Plant a New Lawn


Nothing make your home look worse that a scraggly yard, and planting a new lawn can give your home a makeover on the cheap. Plant grass either in the spring or the fall; certain types of seed perform better as a cool- or a warm-season grass. Whether you're sowing grass over an existing lawn or directly over bare soil, the procedure is the same and is relatively simple. Regular watering of germinating and young grass seed is the secret to a lush lawn, as Greenview Fertilizer notes.

Step 1

Mow your existing lawn as short as possible. If you don't have an existing lawn, and are planting your lawn over bare dirt, skip this step.

Step 2

Even out the grade on your lawn by adding extra bagged topsoil to low areas until the entire lawn sits at an even grade.

Step 3

Rake over the dirt with a hand rake to loosen the top 1/4 inch of soil. If you have a lawn already, only rake over bare patches. If you're sowing grass seed on top of dirt, rake the entire area.

Step 4

Scatter grass seed across your lawn, applying 16 seeds per square inch, as Greenview Fertilizer recommends. Apply the seed by hand or using a mechanical spreader.

Step 5

Water the grass seed until the lawn or dirt becomes moist but not soggy.

Step 6

Cover newly planted grass seed with 1/4-inch layer of topsoil, if you don't have grass already. If you're sowing grass seed over an existing lawn, you don't need to apply topsoil. The topsoil prevents the seed from blowing away, which existing grass will also do.

Step 7

Water the grass daily until it germinates, typically within two weeks. Water every day to moisten the soil, but not so much that it becomes boggy.

Things You'll Need

  • Lawnmower (optional)
  • Topsoil
  • Rake
  • Grass seed


  • Greenview Fertilizer: How to Plant Grass Seed
  • Yardener: Choosing Lawn Grass Seed

Who Can Help

  • Hancock Seed Company: Lawn Grass Seed Zone Map
Keywords: planting grass, sowing grass seed, plant new lawn

About this Author

Based in Northern California, Elton Dunn is a freelance writer and nonprofit consultant with 14 years' experience. Dunn specializes in travel, food, business, gardening, education and the legal fields. His work has appeared in various print and online publications. Dunn holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing and a Bachelor of Arts in English.