While laying sod gives you an instant lawn, doing so is not always feasible. Planting grass seed will give you a lawn too; it will just take a little longer. However, grass seed is cheaper than sod and planting grass seed is also easier than laying sod. Grass planted by seed tends to have deeper roots than sod planted grass, which means it will be more durable in the long run.
Rake all large rocks, sticks and other debris from the surface of the soil. Pull any weeds that are growing.
Till the soil to a depth of about 2 to 3 inches until the soil is loose and crumbly with a few lumps.
Add a 1-to 2-inch layer of compost or manure to the surface of the soil and work it into a depth of 2 inches.
Sprinkle the grass seed on top of the soil by hand or with a seeder. Make sure there are about 16 seeds per square inch.
Cover the grass seed with ¼ inch of soil.
Fertilize with a 1-2-1 starter mix to aid growth. Follow the directions on the fertilizer for proper application.