Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →

How to Plant a Lawn From Seed & Newspaper

The traditional way to start a new lawn is to prepare the area by removing all of the plants, grass and weeds before laying the seed. But by removing all of the unwanted plant life, you rob your new lawn of essential nutrients. Using newspaper to recycle your lawn's existing plant matter not only nourishes the soil, but also helps it retain the moisture it needs to start a healthy new lawn.

Cover the seeding area with a layer of newspaper that is six sheets thick. Cut down with pruning shears any plants too sturdy to crush underfoot.

Water the newspaper thoroughly to weigh it down.

Spread a 2-inch layer of topsoil over the newspaper.

Smooth and flatten the topsoil with a garden rake.

Distribute the seed over your lawn using a seed spreader. Read the package that your seed came in for instructions on how much seed to broadcast.

Apply a liquid seed starter fertilizer to your newly seeded lawn according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Go over the seeded lawn with a lawn roller to ensure that the seed has good contact with the soil.

Water the lawn thoroughly so the soil is wet to the level of the newspaper. Continue to keep the soil moist at this depth until your grass seed sprouts.

Plant Your Own Lawn

Remove any rocks or debris from the surface of the soil in the area you are going to plant. Measure the area you are going to seed using your measuring tape. Divide the grass seed into two equal piles. Load half of the seed into your broadcast spreader and move to one corner of your working area. Once you reach the end of the first row begin walking back towards where you started on a second row parallel and adjacent to the first. Spread the second half of your seed in parallel rows while walking at a right angle to your first set of rows. Lightly rake the seed into the soil using your dirt rake. Make sure that the mulch you spread is no more than 1/4 inch thick. In most cases your grass seeds should begin to germinate within two weeks.

Garden Guides