How to seed a new lawn

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How to seed a new lawn

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Seeding a new lawn takes a longer than the alternative method of laying sod before you have hearty grass cover, however, is it not only the most economical method, but it also allows you to choose your grass from a larger selection of varieties.


Step One

Till or dig the soil to a depth of 3 to 6 inches. With a rake, remove any clumps of compacted dirt or roots completely.


Step Two

Mix in an organic matter such as peat if the soil is heavy. Good quality top soil can also be mixed into the soil as long as it is not more than 20 percent clay. Compost or other fertilizer can also be mixed into the soil at this point to provide essential nutrients for your lawn.


Step Three

Allow the soil to settle and then rake it to make it level.


Step Four

Use a rotary or drop-style spreader to get the most uniform coverage when seeding. Pass over the lawn with the spreader several times, going in the same direction, to apply half of the grass seed. Make a second pass over the area, going at right angles to the first pass, to apply the remainder of the seed. If not using a drop-style spreader and using your hand instead, toss the seeds from roughly two or three feet to ensure more even coverage. Shoot to cover one square foot with about 1/3 of an ounce (30 grams per square meter).


Step Five

Rake the area lightly to cover the seeds with soil.


Step Six

Roll the area carefully to ensure good seed-to-soil contact and to firm the surface to protect the seed.


Step Seven

Mulch the entire area lightly using weed-free straw or hay. Apply the mulch lightly enough that some of the soil surface is visible through the mulch.


Step Eight

Water the area or roll it again to help the mulch stay in place and prevent it from blowing away.


Step Nine

Keep the surface of the soil moist for 15 to 20 days to allow the seedlings to germinate and get established. This may require light watering two to four times each day.


Step Ten

Water the lawn less frequently after the grass is established. Begin mowing the grass when it reaches 2 1/2 to 3 inches. After the first mow, keep a routine watering schedule of 1 inch per week.


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