Seeding your lawn is a rewarding way to grow a lush, green and healthy yard. Although it can be time-consuming and requires some preparation and patience, it is less expensive than sodding. The best time to seed is in spring or fall. The key thing to remember when planting grass seed is proper soil preparation and to protect the seed after planting it.
Loosen up the top 2 inches of soil in the entire area where you are going to plant the grass seed. Remove any rocks or large roots. Run the rake over the whole area one more time to smooth it out.
Spread the grass seed over the ground with your hands evenly. Begin at one end of the lawn and sprinkle it back and forth to the other end. Carefully rake over the entire seeded area to integrate the seed into the soil, and make sure it is even.
Spread a layer about 1/3 inch thick of peat moss, hay or straw over the grass seed and soil. This will help protect it from being blown away by strong winds or eaten by foraging birds, and will also provide insulation for the seeds to sprout.
Water your lawn immediately after layering the insulation. The ideal way is with an irrigation system, but it can be done with a sprinkler. Water it thoroughly for 10 minutes so a couple inches of water can seep into the ground. Then water for an additional 10 minutes so the water penetrates about 5 inches deep. Don't puddle the water. From here on, water the grass seed two times a day for the first two weeks: once in the morning, then again in the afternoon.
Watch for the seed to germinate, usually within a week and a half. After this point, water the lawn once a day in the morning. The following week, water it every other day. The week after that, water it three times a week, and so on.