For those who live in climates with four distinct seasons, a vibrant, green summer lawn can begin with a spring grass seeding. A good time to plant spring grass is after the last snowfall when there's lots of rain and the days are heating up. Water and warmth will lead to rapid germination and fast growth.
Check the pH level of the soil with a test kit, available at most garden stores. The pH level indicates the levels of acidity and alkalinity in the soil. Grass grows best in soil that is slightly acidic, around 6.5 on the 0-14 pH scale. If your soil is too acidic, add limestone; if your soil has too high an alkaline content, add peat moss or aluminum sulfate. In each case, follow the directions on the bag to bring the soil to the proper pH level for optimum grass growing.
Rake the soil and remove all debris, rocks and old plant matter. If the ground is too hard, break up with a rotary tiller. Loosen the dirt to a depth of at least 3 inches.
Add about 3 cubic yards of compost and sand for every 1,000 square feet of ground, again using your rake or rotary tiller to mix thoroughly with the existing dirt.
Mix in some lawn fertilizer, following the directions on the package for proper quantities, and then rake to a smooth, level surface.
Plant the grass seed, using a spreader. You may also plant by hand if you have a small area. Rake so that the seeds are covered by no more than a 1/4 inch of dirt.
Water thoroughly as soon as you are done with seeding. Water daily to keep the ground moist.