Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map!

How to Grow Grass in the Shortest Time

By Mara Grey ; Updated September 21, 2017

Everyone wants a green, thick lawn, and the best way to get it is to start from scratch, seeding it yourself. This gives you the opportunity to do the best ground preparation, seed the proper varieties for your area and get the new plants off to a good start with proper watering and fertilizing. Doing this in this shortest amount of time requires extra attention to detail, but your attention will be repaid by the healthy green growth of your lawn in years to come.

Give Your Lawn the Best Soil

Choose the best time to seed your lawn based on recommendations from your local extension service. Often this will be in fall or early spring, but for fastest growth, find a time when the weather is beginning to warm to optimum temperature for germination.

Buy the type of grass seed that is recommended for your area, often a mix of grass varieties that will do well under slightly different conditions. Fescue, for instance, is a cool season grass that goes dormant in warm weather. Bluegrass, on the other hand, does well in heat.

Obtain a professional soil test before improving your soil. Buy any amendments, such as lime, that are recommended and spread them across the top of the soil in the required quantities.

Spread two to four inches of organic matter across the top of the soil. If your soil is quite sandy or heavy with clay, add at least four inches. This helps the soil to both hold water and drain well. For best grass growth, maintain a loose, well aerated texture.

Using a shovel or tiller, mix the amendments and organic matter into the soil as deeply as possible. Grass roots can reach down 18 inches or more if the soil is loose, giving the lawn a healthy resistance to drought.

Sowing And Caring for the Grass

Spread grass seed across the soil using a mechanical spreader for even application and cover with the recommended amount of soil or peat moss. Water well.

Keep the seeds moist until they germinate and never let the new plants dry out completely. They rarely recover from a drought and will always grow slowly.

Spray the grass with liquid lawn fertilizer at half-strength once the grass is an inch high. Mix the fertilizer with a start solution containing Vitamin B1 for quick root growth, the basis of healthy green leaves.

Spray with fertilizer and starter solution every two weeks until the grass fills in thickly.


Things You Will Need

  • Professional soil test report
  • Compost, steer manure, peat moss or other organic matter
  • Shovel or garden tiller
  • Grass seed
  • Liquid lawn fertilizer
  • Starter solution


  • When you begin to mow, take off no more than a third of the grass blades. The higher you mow your lawn, the healthier the grass will be.


  • Be careful not to overwater your new grass. Even in warm weather, let the top of the soil dry to the touch before watering again and, as the roots grow deeper, water less frequently, encouraging them to search downward for moisture. A mature lawn should need watering no more than once a week.

About the Author


Over the past 30 years, Mara Grey has sold plants in nurseries, designed gardens and volunteered as a Master Gardener. She is the author of "The Lazy Gardener" and "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Flower Gardening" and has a Bachelor of Science in botany.