How to Prepare the Dirt to Put Lawn Seeds


When you plant your own lawn, you can reap the reward of a lush, green and healthy landscape. One of the steps in planting grass seed is the preparation of the soil. Creating and keeping a healthy lawn demands time and care. The work that you put into your lawn will determine the quality of your lawn for years to come, as well as make the upkeep much easier.

Step 1

Remove any turf or weeds from the soil.

Step 2

Loosen the top to 3 inches of soil with a tiller. Work backward with the tiller so you don't walk over the soil you already tilled. Discard any dirt clods, broken roots, rocks or other materials could stunt the growth of your grass.

Step 3

Add sand, compost or manure to ensure your soil drains well and is the correct consistency. A lawn grows best when the soil is medium loam. If you have clay soil, add some sand and compost to improve drainage. If you have sandy soil, add compost and decomposed manure to help retain moisture. Till through the soil again.

Step 4

Smooth the soil with a rake and even it out. Let the area to settle for a week.

Step 5

Apply herbicide on the planting area if you see any weeds or vegetation pop up during the resting week. Follow the herbicide's instructions because application varies based on your climate or grass variety.

Things You'll Need

  • Tiller
  • Rake
  • Water
  • Sand, compost or manure
  • Herbicide (optional)


  • Gardening Data
  • All About Lawns
Keywords: lawn care tips, preparing soil, planting grass seed

About this Author

Lauren Wise is a journalism major from Arizona State University with over forty published magazine and media articles and over 400 Web site articles. Wise owns Midnight Publishing with over eight years experience as a writer, editor, copywriter and columnist. She specializes in food and wine, music and pop culture. Her writing has appeared in magazines including Runway, A2Z, Scottsdale Luxury Living and True West.