Seeding your own lawn is less expensive than laying out sod and not as much work, but it definitely requires just as much patience. The key to seeding your own lawn is to protect the grass seed after applying it. The payoff is a lush green lawn for the next year.
Rake your lawn and dirt before applying the grass seed to loosen up the soil and smooth it out. Sprinkle on the grass seed as the directions on the package indicate, then use the rake again to distribute the seed evenly.
Lay a blanket of about 1/3 to 1/4 inch of peat moss over the grass seed.
Water the newly seeded lawn generously. Do this with an irrigation system ideally, or else a sprinkler system. The first time you water the lawn, water for about 20 minutes, making sure the water penetrates about 6 inches deep into the soil. In order to prevent puddles, you may have to water incrementally. Water the yard twice a day for the first 2 weeks: once in the morning, then again in the afternoon.
Watch for the grass seed to germinate and sprout. Once this happens, reduce watering to about once a day for the next week, then once every other day for the following week, and so forth. Once the grass seed is grown, water it deeply about once a week to help establish deep sturdy roots.
Fertilize the lawn 6 weeks after the seed sprouts, following the instructions for the climate you live in and the type of grass seed.
Mow the lawn only when it reaches about 4 inches, so the grass seed becomes established.