Do I Need Topsoil to Plant New Grass Seed?


Topsoil provides a base to plant grass seed. It also levels out the planting area, if necessary, and provides a cover to protect the seeds from harsh weather and birds. Use topsoil throughout the grass planting process.


  • Grass seed needs contact with soil to germinate. According to Texas A&M Cooperative Extension, spread at least 4 inches of topsoil in areas you plan to seed (6 to 8 inches is ideal). If there are low-lying spots or dips, use the soil to level the area. Once the seeds are sown, rake them until they are covered with 1/4 to 1/8 inch of topsoil.


  • Use topsoil on top of an existing lawn to plant new grass seed. Spread fertilizer first, followed by 2 inches of soil. Rake and level the new topsoil, then sprinkle grass seed on top of it.


  • Weeds can invade a newly planted lawn. Use quality topsoil that is made from heated compost. The heating process kills most weed seeds.

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