Getting a healthy patch of green lawn growing quickly, at a reasonable cost and with minimal effort is easier to do than you may think. Only four basic elements are needed along with two common garden tools. Compost, lawn starter fertilizer, grass seed and water are the main requirements. A shovel, a fixed tine rake and a garden hose are the basic tools needed. Depending on the size of your soil patch, a soil bed can be prepared and a lawn seeded in as little as a few hours. Sown from seed, grass blades will appear within 5 to 12 days.
Preparing The Soil Bed
The soil bed is the basis for a lush, healthy, even lawn surface. Use your shovel and rake to till up the soil to a depth of 10 inches or so, remove rocks and clay clods and level the tilled soil surface smooth again. Layer on compost to give a 1- to 2-inch level layer over the soil surface.
Fertilizing & Sowing Seed
Lawn starter fertilizer is a helpful tool in establishing a lawn and developing strong roots. It also helps counteract the heavy watering required by replacing nutrients in the soil. Starter fertilizer can be cast by hand in an amount recommended by maker. Grass seed can also be cast by hand while walking over the prepared soil. Scatter evenly to a coverage recommended for your particular cultivar on the grass bag label. Rake lightly to nestle, but not bury, the seed in the soil.
Water, Water, Water
Water provides the trigger for grass seed germination; it is difficult to over-water a lawn while in the process of establishing it. Water immediately after seeding until drenched. Water every day or twice a day thereafter until the lawn is well established. An established lawn will require a minimum of 1 inch of water per week given in one or two sessions.