A healthy grass lawn.
image by Telethon: Flickr.com
Sowing grass seed is the least expensive way to establish a lawn. Good-quality seeds with a low weed count and a liberal amount of water are the most important factors in successfully growing grass seed.
Check local laws for watering restrictions that might affect your grass. Many areas now restrict when and how often grass can be watered. Sowing the seeds in spring or early summer, before the days get too hot, will reduce water needs.
Remove old grass and weeds to prepare the area. Loosen the soil and remove large rocks. Rake the soil to level the site and remove the roots of weeds and grass that remain.
Purchase a good quality seed. Pay close attention to the weed content listed on the label. The best quality seed has the least weeds and is worth the extra cost. Check the test date and germination rate listed on the label. Seed that is more than 10 months past its test date will have a lower germination rate.
Use a mechanical spreader to sow the seed. A mechanical spreader will help you get an even layer of seed over the entire lawn. Rake the soil lightly, then spread a 1/16-inch layer of soil over the seeds. Press the seeds in with a roller.
Water the seedbed thoroughly immediately after sowing. Continue watering four times a day for approximately 10 minutes each until the seeds sprout. Water twice daily for another week, then slowly decrease watering.
Avoid walking on the seedbed as much as possible. Children and pets can quickly damage your new grass.
Water only when your footprints remain visible on the grass once the grass is established. Give the grass about 1 inch of water in the morning or evening. Watering less frequently will encourage the roots to grow deeper.
Mow the grass every week or two during the growing season. Maintain the grass height at the recommended level for your variety. Trim only a third of the grass height when mowing.
Fertilize with a complete lawn fertilizer during the growing season as recommended on the product you choose.