Growing a lawn from seed can be a daunting task, especially if you're planting over an existing lawn or fighting against tenacious weeds. There are several products you can use to kill the existing lawn and weeds and create a new surface for starting over with your lawn, such as black plastic and landscaping cloth. The advantage of newspaper, however, is that it will eventually decompose, allowing the roots of the grass to reach valuable nutrients below. It is also less expensive than other methods.
Level the area you want to plant, if it is uneven, by spreading topsoil over the low areas and raking until smooth.
Water the topsoil, wait a day or two for it to settle, and add more topsoil if needed to make the area level.
Spread newspapers across the area you plan to seed, layering it at least six sheets thick. Use additional layers, up to about 12, if tough weeds are a problem.
Wet the newspaper so it will not blow away or move around when you spread the topsoil.
Place topsoil gently across the newspapers in a layer that is at least two inches thick and up to three inches thick. A calculator is available in the resources section to determine how much topsoil you'll need.
Rake the topsoil gently until it is even.
Water the topsoil thoroughly, making sure the water penetrates at least as deep as the newspaper.
Spread grass seed evenly across the topsoil, following the instructions for the spreading rate for the particular type of grass you are planting.
Water regularly, keeping the soil constantly moist until the seeds are germinated and the lawn is established.