How to Seed a Lawn in the Fall


Fall is the perfect time to seed a lawn. Most autumn climates offer an excellent combination of sunlight and rain that is perfect for grass seed germination. The cooler temperatures also keep the seeds from getting too dry. Finally, many common summer weeds such as crabgrass die off in the fall, leaving more room for the seeds to grow unopposed. Seed your lawn this fall, and be rewarded in the spring with a lush, beautifully green expanse of soft grass.

Step 1

Wait until it rains. It is actually easier to seed when the ground is wet. You don't want to deal with a lot of mud, however, so choose a day when the ground is moist but not exceptionally soggy.

Step 2

Remove all large rocks and boulders from the ground. Use a shovel or pick to dig them up, then fill in the holes so that the ground is even. Level the ground out with a rake.

Step 3

Cover the ground with one inch of sand, then till it into the soil. If you have a small area, you can use a rake to mix it with the soil. Then, add an inch of compost and mix that into the sandy soil.

Step 4

Use a hand or rolling broadcast spreader to distribute a starter fertilizer over the growing area. Rake it into the top layer of soil.

Step 5

Spread the grass seed over the lawn. A hand spreader will allow you to make sure it gets into corners or other oddly shaped areas of the yard. Work slowly and in a pattern to make sure you cover the entire area.

Step 6

Flip a plastic rake over and use the back of it to gently press the seeds down into the soil. Water immediately, then two or three times per day for five to 10 minutes a day. Do not water so much that you have standing water. After the grass sprouts, water only once per day for 15 minutes. If it rains, you don't have to do any watering.

Things You'll Need

  • Grass seed
  • Rake
  • Seed spreader
  • Sand
  • Compost


  • This Old House: How to Seed a Lawn

Who Can Help

  • Choosing the Right Grass Seeds
Keywords: grass seed, lawn, in the fall

About this Author

April Sanders has been a professional writer since 1998. She has worked as an educator and now writes academic research content for EBSCO Publishing and elementary reading curriculum for Compass Publishing. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in social psychology from the University of Washington and a master's degree in information sciences and technology in education from Mansfield University.