How to start a new lawn from seed
You've probably heard lots of advice from your neighbors. They probably say that starting a
new lawn is hard work best left to professionals. Or you should bite the bullet and pay for
sod. The fact is, you can save money and be successful starting a new lawn from seed. You just
need a little preparation, quality seeds suited to your area, well-prepared soil, and a little
Test your soil
This step is optional. Sure, you can go through the trouble of getting your soil analyzed by
the county. You can even do it yourself with a kit. What you'll learn from a test is what
nutrients and amendments to add to your soil to improve it. Fortunately, you can get beautiful
results with good preparation and maintenance.
Prepare your soil
Once you've laid out the area where you want your future lawn, take a walk. It's time to
inspect your ground. Remove large rocks and debris before you work it over with a tiller. Your
goal is to break your soil down to pea- or marble-sized particles, which serve as welcome mats
for grass seeds. To improve your soil quality, mix in several bags of Scotts® Turf Builder® Lawn Soil.
Even out the surface
You don't want peaks and valleys in your new lawn. Use a rake to even out the surface as
well as you can. At this point, you might be tempted to bring in new topsoil. That's not a good
idea, since it may contain seeds of weeds that are tough to control. As you rake, keep removing
any rocks or debris you come across.
Seed and feed on the same day
Which goes on first, the seed or the fertilizer? It's up to you. Either way, use a drop or
rotary spreader. Just follow the settings on the packages. You want to fertilize on the same
day with Scotts® Starter® Fertilizer to give your grass seeds a head start.
After the seeds and fertilizer are laid down, cover up the seeds with a quarter inch of
dirt. You can do this by gently dragging the back of a leaf rake over your seeded area. On
hills, mulch with a thin layer of straw to keep seeds from washing away. Make sure you can
plainly see the seedbed beneath the straw. You can also mulch with straw on the rest of your
new lawn to cut back on water use.
Keep on watering
After all your efforts, you don't want your grass seed to dry out. Make sure your new lawn
stays moist through the top inch of soil. You may need to water two or three times a day. Keep
at it until your seedlings are well established. Then you can start watering thoroughly once or
twice a week.