You've probably heard lots of advice from your neighbors. They'll 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 patience.
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 still get beautiful results with good preparation and maintenance.
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, or by plowing or disking. 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® Seeding Soil.
You don't want peaks and valleys in your new lawn. Use a rake to even out the surface as well as you possibly 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.
Is your lawn shady or sunny? Do you live north? South? Is your climate wet? Dry? These questions and others can determine what kind of grass seed to use. No matter which type you go with, make sure you use quality seed that contains the least amount of weeds and filler possible. Otherwise, you're just making extra work for yourself.
Find out about the full line of Scotts® seed products here.
Which goes on first, the seed or the fertilizer? It's up to you. Either way, use a drop or rotary spreader and 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.
It's tempting to lay down a thick layer of seeds when starting a new lawn. After all, the more seeds, the more grass will grow, right? Unfortunately, grass seedlings are just like any other plant. They need water, light, and nutrients. If you overcrowd them, they'll compete for what they need, and you'll end up with weaker, thinner grass. Just use the setting on your spreader recommended on your seed bag when you spread grass seed. You'll get better results.