How to Grow New Grass From Seed


Growing new grass can be a difficult task, but add beauty and value to your home. A lawn that has been well-grown and maintained will add curb appeal and offer a great place for family outings, barbecues or to relax on a warm summer day. Grass seed is available in varying types, each with optimal growth potential in various regions. Consult your local garden center for the best-suited seed for the climate in which it will be grown.

Step 1

Remove old sod and grass from area to be seeded. Eliminate rocks using a pointed fiberglass-handled shovel. Wooden handles will splinter when removing large rocks and debris. Turn the soil with a tiller, either hand or powered, until the soil is fine and free of large clumps. Fill low spots or holes with soil from other areas of the lawn or with fill dirt. This can be purchased as various locations. Inspect the soil for clay or if it is lacking the color and feel of healthy soil. If the soil is unsuitable for immediate planting, proceed to Step 2. If the soil is healthy, proceed to Step 3.

Step 2

Lay 1 inch of sand over the area to be seeded. Till this into the existing soil. Add 1 inch of compost and till again into the sand and soil mixture. This adds an exceptional base to germinate the grass seed and promote healthy soil.

Step 3

Fertilize the lawn using 1 inch of lime and a starter fertilizer. This is placed into already healthy soil, or the prepared soil in Step 2. Empty the lime into the walk behind spreader, and set the controls to one-quarter open. Spread the lime evenly over the area to be seeded. Repeat with the fertilizer, with the controls set to half open. Do not mix the lime and fertilizer together. They are applied at different rates. Rake the lime and fertilizer into the soil with a metal rake, placing the spikes of the rake at least 1 inch into the soil.

Step 4

Choose a grass seed that is formulated for the climate in which it will be grown in. Avoid "fast," "quick" or "mixed" grass seeds. These are lower-class seeds that do not germinate well for long-term growth. Spread the grass seed evenly with a yard spreader, with the controls set to half open. Walk in one direction, repeating paths until the area is complete. Repeat the process, moving in the opposite direction as was first applied. This will create a cross path for seed germination. For smaller seed areas, a hand spreader can be used.

Step 5

Water the soil liberally. Seed planted on embankments, slopes or hills will need a seed blanket to prevent runoff from watering or rain. Choose a seed blanket that will provide the best coverage for your climate. Seed blankets are generally green and will decompose as the new grass shoots grow through them. Water generously for 10 minutes, twice daily for seven to 10 days. This promotes germination. Keep the area moist as the new grass shoots begin to emerge. Mow the new grass once a large percentage has reached 2 to 3 inches tall. Mow with a sharp blade to prevent damage to the new grass. Continue to water weekly in moist climates and twice weekly in dryer areas. Fertilize the lawn after new grass shoots have been present for at least six weeks.

Tips and Warnings

  • Wear gloves when handling fertilizer and lime. Wear a dust mask when spreading lime and fertilizer.

Things You'll Need

  • Pointed shovel
  • Rototiller (optional)
  • Hand tiller
  • Metal rake
  • Fertalizer
  • Lime
  • Grass seed
  • Walk-behind spreader
  • Hand spreader (optional)
  • Water
  • Hose or Sprinkler
  • Sand (optional)
  • Compost (optional)


  • This Old House
  • Landscape America
Keywords: grass, seed, lawn