How to Grow Good Grass


Thick, green grass makes any garden look healthy and alive. Gardeners try many different methods to get their grass to grow as lush as possible. However, the key to good grass is to focus on preparing the seed bed. With the right soil and conditions, grass will grow strong and fast.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden fork
  • Tiller
  • Grass seed
  • Compost
  • Topsoil
  • Weed killer
  • Rake
  • Bale of straw
  • Hose with sprinkler nozzle
  • Buy grass seed. Choose a variety suitable for your location. Select a hardy species that produces thick grass layers, such as bahiagrass for southern states or buffalograss for more northerly regions. If possible, purchase seed packs with a listed germination rate of at least 85 percent and a purity rate of 90 percent, according to the University of Florida.

  • Add a weed killer that doesn't leave harsh chemical traces behind. Cover the area where you want to grow grass two weeks before preparing the soil. This should knock out any dormant weeds.

  • Till your soil carefully. Use a mechanical tiller, or simply turn the soil with a strong garden fork. Pick out weed roots, bulbs, wood, rocks and debris. Till to a depth of six to eight inches. Rake the tilled soil to create a level area with no sunken pits.

  • Spread a layer of compost across the top of the tilled soil. Add three to four inches of topsoil and rake until flat. Use the highest quality soil you can find. This will help promote good grass.

  • Throw down a layer of straw mulch to help the grass retain moisture and hold back weeds. Add one bale of straw for every 1,000 square feet of lawn, according to the University of Illinois.

  • Check the seed packet for information on how much seed is required for your area. Amounts range from one to five pounds per 1,000 square feet.

  • Scatter the seed evenly across your lawn. Water equally across the area with a medium spray from a hose sprinkler. Water daily until the soil is moist. Don't over-water or focus only on one area.

Tips & Warnings

  • Allow the grass to get to over four inches tall before you consider mowing. This gives it a chance to bed down.
  • Add more seed to areas that get covered in shadow during parts of the day.
  • Avoid walking on or compressing the seed bed once the area is tilled. This damages the soil.

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  • Photo Credit grass, image by Greg Pickens from
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