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How to Let Your Grass Seed

By Kelly Shetsky ; Updated September 21, 2017
Grow a lush lawn with some prep work.

Grass seed is the easiest way to grow a lush, green lawn. It's also less expensive than sodding. The key to creating a manicured lawn with seeds is to properly prepare the ground. Seed has a hard time germinating if it's spread on a highly compacted, nutrient-deprived yard. The soil needs to be loosened up and fertilized to create the best base for growth.

Remove weeds, sticks and other debris from the planting area. Run a rototiller until the soil is loosened up to a depth of 6 inches. Break up soil clumps that are larger than 1 inch in diameter.

Level off the planting area to keep water from pooling. Fill in dips with top soil. Rake until smooth.

Add sand and compost to the soil to improve drainage and boost nutrients. Spread 1 inch of each substance. Till it into the soil until it is well combined.

Use a starter-seed fertilizer to help the seed grow. The packaging should denote a high level of phosphorus, which nourishes the roots. Set a broadcast spreader to the rate specified by the manufacturer.

Spread grass seed with a mechanical or hand spreader, depending on the size of the planting area. Run the back of a metal rake over the seed to smooth it out.

Set a sprinkler to the oscillating setting. Let the water run for five to 10 minutes two to three times daily. Continue this for 10 days, then water once a day for 15 to 30 minutes.


Things You Will Need

  • Rototiller
  • Rake
  • Soil
  • Sand
  • Compost
  • Fertilizer
  • Broadcast spreader
  • Grass seed
  • Mechanical or hand spreader
  • Sprinkler
  • Water


  • Stay off the lawn until it has had time to grow.


  • Do not water the grass in the evening because of the risk of fungal diseases.

About the Author


Based in New York State, Kelly Shetsky started writing in 1999. She is a broadcast journalist-turned Director of Marketing and Public Relations and has experience researching, writing, producing and reporting. She writes for several websites, specializing in gardening, medical, health and fitness, entertainment and travel. Shetsky has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Marist College.