How To Seed a Lawn: Your Guide to a Beautiful Lawn - Backyard Boss
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How To Seed a Lawn: Your Guide to a Beautiful Lawn

Summertime conjures up memories of running barefoot through a lush green backyard, feeling the soft grass underfoot. No one wants a yard filled with rough and patchy grass that doesn’t look or feel nice. The good news is that it’s easy to get the lush, green lawn of your dreams by seeding properly this spring. Starting right from the beginning and doing a great job seeding will help make sure your grass grows healthy and thick, giving you a beautiful lawn to enjoy all summer long.

Before you get started seeding your lawn, you will need to know a few basic things. First, it’s a good idea to perform a soil test in your yard. Most grasses prefer neutral soils so you might need to make adjustments to the soil before seeding. You will also want to consider the climate of where you live. Grasses are typically divided into warm, transition, and cool region varieties. Thinking about these factors before you begin seeding your lawn will set you up for success.

 Materials Needed

  • Surveyors wheel or trundle wheel
  • Till
  • Rake
  • Compost
  • Fertilizer
  • Topsoil
  • Grass seed
  • Seed spreader
  • Straw, mulch, or erosion control blanket

Step 1- Choosing your seed

Grass seeds
Image credits: schulzie via Canva

It is important to choose an appropriate grass seed for your climate, needs, and budget. Once you choose the right see for your lawn, you will also need to be aware of the amount of grass seed you will need based on the size of the lawn area you want to seed. Calculate the size of your lawn by measuring each side in feet and multiplying the length by the width. A surveyors wheel or trundle wheel will make this task much easier. If the lawn is an irregular shape, you may need to divide it into smaller pieces to measure. Each type of grass seed will have a seeding rate, or overseed rate, typically in pounds per 1000 square feet. Divide your lawn area by 1000 square feet to determine how many pounds of seed you will need.

Step 2- Preparing the soil

tilled soil
Image credits: PamSchodt via Canva

The next step in seeding your lawn is to prepare the soil for the seed. You will want to loosen and aerate the soil to a depth of 3 inches by digging or using a till. If your lawn already has some grass on it you should mow the grass to a lower than usual level and nuse a rake to thin the existing grass before aerating. After aerating, you will want to ensure your soil has all the nutrients your grass seed will need. Add compost, top soil, and fertilizer to amend any soil issues and ensure the soil is fertile and has an appropriate pH for your grass.

Step 2- Spreading the seed

man spreading grass seed
Image credits: welcomiavia Canva

The best way to evenly and efficiently spread the lawn seed is to use a broadcast spreader. This type of spreader can also be used to fertilize your lawn after seeding. If seeding by hand, you will want to divide your lawn into 100 square foot sections and use the appropriate amount of seed per section based on the overseed rate of your grass seed. If using a broadcast spreader, be sure to adjust the seeding settings according to the specifications for the grass seed you are using. After spreading the seed, gently rake it into the soil.

Step 3- Protecting the seed

Bed of straw
Image credits: Magda Ehlers via Pexels

Once the seed is planted, you want to protect it from being blown away by wind or washed away by heavy rains. You can do this using straw, mulch, or an erosion control blanket. Be sure to choose a quality straw or mulch that doesn’t contain weed seeds.

Step 4- Watering

Sprinkler watering green lawn
Image credits: ariessa66 via Pixabay

Lightly water your lawn immediately after you seed it. An oscillating sprinkler works best to ensure the entire area is moistened but not too much water accumulates. For the first week or so you will want to keep your lawn consistently damp by watering twice a day for short periods of time, less than ten minutes. After you begin to see grass sprouting, reduce watering to once a day for 15 to 30 minutes.

Step 5- Mow

Blue lawn mower close up on grass
Image credits: Skitterphoto via Pixabay

After a few weeks, your grass will be starting to get quite long but may still look a little thin. Mowing your grass once it has reached typical mowing height will encourage the grass plants to spread out and thicken your lawn. Be sure not to mow more than one-third the height of the grass.

Continue mowing your grass when it reaches typical mowing height. If you notice patchy areas or places where runoff and erosion are occurring be sure to adjust the landscape accordingly and reseed.

A Beautiful Lawn In A Few Steps

A lush green lawn is a wonderful place to spend time in the summer months. To ensure your lawn will be thick and healthy all summer long, start by seeding it properly in the spring. Whether you’re seeding your lawn for the first time, or trying to freshen up your patchy grass, this guide will help you get the beautiful lawn of your dreams.