The secret to growing any plant in any yard is good soil, the very foundation of any planting area. If amended according to the particular plant's requirements, soil can mean all the difference to the success of your gardening efforts. Turfgrass, the type of grass grown in most lawns, includes thousands of varieties, many of which will thrive only under specific circumstances. Determine the variety of grass that will grow best in your area and the correct month to plant.
Perform a soil pH test. Inexpensive testing kits are available at gardening centers and nurseries. Most county extension offices offer soil testing services as well and recommend the proper type of grass to grow in your area.
Kill any weeds in the planting area and turn over the soil to a depth of 12 inches. If you have clay soil, don't work it until it is dry. As you dig, break up any large clods of dirt with the shovel or hoe.Remove any debris from the area including rocks and old roots.
Add soil amendments according to the results of your soil pH test and recommendations of the county extension agent. Amendments may include many items such as compost, lime and sand. Mix in the amendments with the existing soil to a depth of 8 inches.
Grade the soil away from the house and any other structures to allow water to drain.
Roll the planting area with a lawn roller until the soil is firm.
Add 1-2-1 fertilizer at the rate suggested on the package for the size of your planting area. Rake the seed bed smooth with no peaks or valleys.
Seed the planting bed with a broadcast seeder according the application rate suggested on the seed package. Landscape experts (Grassing.com) suggest a two-step process. Sow half the seed in one direction, then sow the remaining seed at a 90-degree angle to the first application.
Rake the area lightly to cover the seed with a 1/8 inch layer of soil.
Water the planting area until it is wet but not soggy. Water twice daily until your new lawn is established.
Mow the lawn six weeks after planting.