If you want an instant lawn, the best choice is to lay sod. To insure that the sod takes root and begins to grow quickly, prepare the yard before you begin. The preparation of the soil is the most important part of starting a new lawn from sod. Prepare the yard for the sod the same way you would prepare a garden bed before planting flowers or vegetables.
Remove any large rocks or other debris from the proposed lawn area. It is not necessary to remove any existing grass.
Spread ½ to 1 inch of peat moss and 1 inch of compost on top of the soil.
Rototill the lawn area, setting the tines of the rototiller at its deepest level. Push the rototiller across the proposed lawn area following the contours of the plot. Slightly overlap each pass so that none of the ground is left untilled.
Apply slow release general purpose lawn fertilizer over the tilled soil, following the manufacturer's rate of application instructions.
Rake the lawn area smooth with a landscaping rake. Fill in any low lying spots and remove excess soil from higher areas.
Water the planting area. Use a lawn sprinkler and let it run until the top 4 inches of soil are damp.
Lay the sod.