How to Seed & Till a Lawn


Growing a new lawn from seed is not as difficult as many homeowners think. With the right preparation and a little effort on your part it is relatively easy to plant and create your own lush, green lawn. Spring, following the last frost, or early fall while the ground is still warm are the best times to plant a new lawn from seed. Seed can be planted in the summer, but extra care must be taken to keep the seeds and the ground moist during sprouting.

Things You'll Need

  • Broad-spectrum herbicide
  • Power rototiller
  • Tape measure
  • Steel-tinned rake
  • Organic fertilizer
  • Lawn seed
  • Seed spreader
  • Apply a broad-spectrum herbicide to your lawn area to remove any extraneous weeds or other growth before tilling the soil. Wait 48 hours.

  • Rake as much dead growth from the lawn area as possible to prevent possible weed contamination of the new lawn.

  • Call your local agricultural extension office (see Resources) to find out where you can get a soil test. Take a sample of your soil to a soil test station and tell them what type of grass seed you will be planting.

  • Measure the lawn area so you will know how much seed, fertilizer and soil nutrients to buy. Check the seed packages to find out how many square feet each bag of seed will cover and make certain that you buy sufficient seed to cover the entire area of your lawn.

  • Buy any necessary soil amendments based on the soil test report that you receive in the mail. Buy sufficient organic fertilizer to cover the area of your lawn.

  • Rototill the lawn area to a depth of 6 inches with a power rototiller. Break up as much dirt as possible. Spread your organic fertilizer and any other soil amendments (lime, phosphorous, etc.) onto the ground and rototill a second time.

  • Rake the rototilled ground with a hard steel rake to level the ground and to remove any rocks or other foreign matter.

  • Use a seed spreader to evenly spread your grass seed according to the instructions on the seed packs. Use the proper amount of seed for the area you need to cover. Gently rake the top inch of the soil after you have spread the seeds in order to work the seeds into the soil.

  • Water gently with a sprinkler until the top inch of soil is thoroughly damp. Water daily (or more often if it is hot or windy) to keep the top inch of soil damp at all times. Do not allow any traffic on the lawn for at least 20 days or until the lawn is well established.

Tips & Warnings

  • Water the new seeds with a gentle mist but keep the ground damp until the seeds germinate.

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