How to Plant Grass Seed in Compacted Soils


Compacted top soils are unproductive environments to grass growth due to poor soil aeration which leads to reduced moisture and nutrient movement to the grasses' root systems. Successfully plant grass seed in compacted soils by aerating the top soil, properly sowing the seeds and creating favorable future environmental conditions for the continued growth of grass.

Step 1

Aerate the compacted soil by puncturing small holes in the thatch and top soil using an aerator.

Step 2

Rake the lawn clear of rocks and organic debris using a flexible, metal rake.

Step 3

Sow the grass seeds by evenly distributing the seeds over the lawn using a spreader. Use 4 lbs. of seed per 1000 square feet of lawn area.

Step 4

Sprinkle 1/10-inch layer of lawn lime over the seeds using a fertilizer spreader. Lime increases the pH balance of the top soil.

Step 5

Cover the lime and seeds with a 3/4-inch layer of clean compost or peat moss fertilizer. Fertilizer promotes grass growth by regulating soil temperature, increasing moisture absorbency, and adding minerals and nutrients.

Step 6

Water the grass seeds once daily for two weeks or until new grass growth is visible through the top soil.

Things You'll Need

  • Aerator
  • Rake
  • Lawn lime
  • Fertilizer
  • Spreader
  • Fertilizer


  • University of Minnesota: Lawn Repair in Spring
  • Colorado State University: Lawn Care
Keywords: compacted soils, aerate compacted soils, plant grass in compacted soils

About this Author

Ryan Kane is an experienced professional pilot and freelance writer. In addition to writing about aviation related topics, Kane enjoys writing about a diverse range of science and technology topics.