Establishing a lawn can be an intimidating process for many people. However, seeding and sodding doesn't have to be difficult. Although some people will recommend that you roto-till the area to be planted, breaking up the top inch or two of soil should be sufficient for a basic lawn planting. Whether seeding or sodding, be sure to prepare the surface before trying to establish your lawn.
Planting From Seed
Remove any existing weeds by raking and hoeing.
Prepare the soil by breaking up the top inch or two with a hoe. Break up clumps larger than around 1/8 to 1/4 an inch in diameter.
Scatter grass seed at the density recommended by the seed packager. Different seeds have different ideal planting densitites.
Mulch your newly planted grass to protect the seeds from wind and birds and to help keep the soil moist as the seeds germinate.
Water your newly seeded lawn well and keep it moist until the seeds germinate. Once they germinate, reduce watering to encourage healthy establishment of the grass. Do not, however, allow the soil to dry out completely until the lawn is well established.
Prepare the ground by removing excessive weeds using a hoe and rake.
Unroll the sod in rows on the prepared ground. Place the sod in rows that touch to encourage the pieces of grass and soil to grow together.
Water the newly laid sod thoroughly. Keep the sod watered for four weeks or so. After four weeks, you can start tapering off on the water for your sodded lawn.
Mow your newly planted sod three to four weeks after planting.
About this Author
Although he grew up in Latin America, Mr. Ma is a writer based in Denver. He has been writing since 1987 and has written for NPR, AP, Boeing, Ford New Holland, Microsoft, RAHCO International, Umax Data Systems and other manufacturers in Taiwan. He studied creative writing at Mankato State University in Minnesota. He speaks fluent Mandarin Chinese, English and reads Spanish.