How to Sow Grass Seed


A lush lawn is a sought-after groundcover for many new homeowners and can provide a backdrop for your favorite flowers and shrubs, as well as the perfect setting for backyard games and picnics. You can plant your new lawn using sprigs of grass or entire mats of sod, but sowing grass seed is often the most economical method of growing grass. With the correct preparation, you can enjoy new grass within a few weeks of sowing the seed.

Step 1

Prepare the lawn area that you want to seed. Remove all surface debris and vegetation, including large rocks. Use a spade to break up the soil to a depth of 3 to 5 inches.

Step 2

Amend the soil to increase the health of your future lawn. Add two inches of compost and mix it into the soil, or apply a commercially prepared lawn starter fertilizer according to the specific fertilizer's label.

Step 3

Sow the grass seed by hand or by using a mechanical seed spreader. Spread the seed according to the rate listed on the grass seed package's label, as seed concentrations vary by product. Typically, you'll spread 2 lbs. of seed for every 500 square feet of creeping fescue, ryegrass and bluegrass, and approximately 3 lbs. for every 500 square feet of tall fescue.

Step 4

Rake the seed bed to cover the grass seed with a light layer of dirt.

Step 5

Water the seed bed with an even spray of water to moisten the soil to a depth of 1 inch. Water twice daily or as needed to keep the soil perpetually moist, but not so much as to create puddles or runoff. The grass will germinate within seven to 21 days.

Things You'll Need

  • Spade
  • Compost or fertilizer
  • Mechanical seed spreader (optional)
  • Rake


  • "The Lawn Bible: How to Keep It Green, Groomed and Growing Every Season of the Year"; David R. Mellor; 2003
  • "Scotts Lawns: Your Guide to a Beautiful Yard"; Nick Christians, et al.; 2002
Keywords: grow grass, sow grass seed, plant grass seed

About this Author

Josh Duvauchelle is an editor and journalist with more than 10 years' experience. His work has appeared in various magazines, including "Honolulu Magazine," which has more paid subscribers than any other magazine in Hawaii. He graduated with honors from Trinity Western University, holding a Bachelor of Arts in professional communications, and earned a certificate in applied leadership and public affairs from the Laurentian Leadership Centre.