The Steps in Seeding a Lawn

The Perfect Lawn. image by Wikimedia Commons


Seeding a lawn will add curb appeal and value to a home. A well grown lawn is a great place for family gatherings, a neighborhood ball game or a relaxing afternoon in the sun. A variety of seeds are available, each optimal in various regions. Check with a local garden center for the best seed type for the climate it will be grown in. With some sweat equity and a little time, a newly seeded lawn is only steps away.

The Steps in Seeding a Lawn

Step 1

Clean the area to be seeded. Remove rocks with a pointed shovel, preferably one with a fiberglass handle. Wood handles will splinter easily when removing large rocks and debris. Turn the soil using a rototiller or a hand tiller until the soil is loosened and free of large clumps. Fill in any low spots or holes with soil from a high spot in the yard or with purchased fill dirt. Examine the soil to determine if a large amount of clay is in the soil or if it is lacking the dark brown color of healthy dirt. If the soil needs further care to make it suitable for planting, proceed to Step 2. For soil that is of a healthy standard, proceed to Step 3.

Step 2

Place 1 inch of sand over the area to be seeded and till into the existing soil. Add 1 inch of compost and again till into the soil and sand mixture. This will add nutrients and an excellent base for which to germinate grass seed.

Step 3

Fertilize the lawn using 1 inch of lime and a starter fertilizer tilled into the soil. This will be added to the soil mixture in Step 2 or to the existing healthy soil. Place the lime into a spreader, and move the controls to one-quarter open. Repeat with the fertilizer, placing the spreader controls to half open. Do not mix the lime and fertilizer together to spread, as they should be applied at different rates. Rake the lime and fertilizer into the soil with a metal rake, moving the rake at least 1 inch into the surface of the soil.

Step 4

Choose a grass seed that will grow well in the climate for the area. Avoid grass seeds with the words "Quick," "Fast" or "Mixed" in the name. These are often low-grade seeds that will not germinate properly. Spread the grass seed with a yard spreader, moving the controls to half open. Walk in one direction, repeating paths until the area is complete. Repeat the process moving in the opposite direction as the seed was applied the first time. For smaller lawns, a hand spreader can be used to apply the seed.

Step 5

Water the soil generously. Seed planted on slopes, embankments or hills will need coverage to prevent runoff from watering and rain. Choose a seed blanket to cover the area with. These are generally green and the grass shoots will grow through them. As the grass fills in, the seed blanket will decompose. Water liberally for ten minutes twice daily for 7 to 10 days. This will promote germination. Continue to keep the area moist as the seedling sprouts and grow more dense. Mow the new grass after a large portion has reached 2 to 3 inches. Use a sharp mower blade because a dull blade will rip new sprouts from the soil. Enjoy the new lawn and continue weekly watering in moist climates and semi-weekly watering in dryer areas. Fertilize the lawn after six weeks to promote healthy growth.

Tips and Warnings

  • Wear a dust mask when spreading lime and fertalizer.

Things You'll Need

  • Pointed shovel
  • Rototiller (optional)
  • Hand tiller
  • Metal rake
  • Fertalizer
  • Lime
  • Grass seed
  • Walk-behind spreader
  • Hand spreader (optional)
  • Water
  • Hose or Sprinkler
  • Sand (optional)
  • Compost (optional)


  • This Old House
  • Landscape-America: 6 Steps to Lawn Seeding
Keywords: grass, lawn, seeding

About this Author

Christina Wheeler has been a professional freelance writer since 2007. She lends her expertise in animal care, gardening and home improvement to online publications such as Garden Guides and eHow. Wheeler studied business management at Ohio University.

Photo by: Wikimedia Commons