A green lawn gives a house curb appeal and provides a play area for the homeowners. It's no wonder that we want to maintain our lawns. Whether working on a small section or the entire lawn, there are some basic steps to follow to improve success at seeding the lawn.
Assess the level of sunshine reaching the area to be seeded. Grass seed is rated for specific growing areas from full sun to shade. A "full sun" area will have six or more hours of direct sunshine. "Part sun" is four to six hours of sun. "Part shade" is two to four hours of sun. "Shade" is two hours of sun or no sun at all.
Work the soil down to a depth of at least 1 inch using a rake. Look for thatch, a brown net-like layer of roots and dead grass. Removing thatch with a dethatching rake will ensure the grass seed gets to the ground rather than stopping on top of the thatch. If reseeding a brown area, work the rake about 6 inches into the adjacent grassy area.
Evenly distribute the seed over the area using a lawn spreader or handheld device specifically designed for casting seed. Alternatively, you could cast the seeds by hand holding a fist full and flinging your wrist, allowing a small amount of seed to release between your thumb and index finger. After walking the length of the area casting seeds, turn and repeat the process the width of the area.
Lightly water daily if there is no rainfall. Ensure that the water is hitting the soil lightly so the seed is not washed away. A layer of straw can be added after seeding to aid in moisture retention and to protect the seeds from blowing away. The first seed may sprout in five to 30 days, depending the type of grass seed. Watering should continue daily even after the first sprouts appear and until the area has a dense growth of grass.