How to Spread Grass Seed

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Sowing grass seed over prepared soil is a critical step in producing a healthy carpet of lawn. Grass seed can be spread by mechanical means in the form of walking or hand cranked seed-spreading tools or at no cost with using just your hands as casting tools. However you decide to spread your grass seed, always sow it over nutrient-rich and moist soil to achieve a professional and lush result.

Step 1

Rent or use your own walking spreader to release the grass seed onto the soil at a specified rate as you push or pull the spreader over the soil surface. Adjust the aperture on the spreader's hopper to accommodate the size of your particular variety of grass seed as well as the spread rate.

Step 2

Use a hand-crank seed spreader held slightly away from the body at chest or waist height while you walk the surface of the seed bed. Evenly turn the handle constantly and walk at a fixed speed over the soil surface as your grass seeds are scattered to the ground below.

Step 3

Hand cast your grass seed by grabbing fistfuls of seed and moving your wrist in a back and forth motion loosening your grip on the seed as you walk over the surface of the prepared soil. Walk the entire seed bed in one direction spreading seed. Then make a 90-degree turn and walk the entire seed bed again scattering seed in a second layer. This cross hatching pattern of casting will ensure an even layer of seed over the expanse of soil.

Step 4

Determine the amount of grass seed to sow by consulting the reverse of the seed bag and adjusting to meet the dimensions of your seed bed. You can adjust the recommended seed spread up or down somewhat to suit your needs. Increase the rate to hasten growth and speed the look of an established law. Reduce the seed coverage rate to decrease cost of seeding over large expanses of soil.

Things You'll Need

  • Walking seed spreader
  • Hand crank seed spreader
  • Grass seed of choice


  • This Old House All About Lawns
  • All About Lawns - Seeding
Keywords: spread cast sow, grass turf lawn, seed

About this Author

A communications professional, D.C. Winston has more than 17 years of experience writing and editing content for online publications, corporate communications, business clients, industry journals and film/broadcast media. Winston studied political science at the University of California, San Diego.

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