How to Seed a Lawn

By Gene and Katie Hamilton

Tools Required
  • Rake
  • Hand gardening tools
  • Garden hose, sprinkler
  • Broadcast spreader
Materials Required
  • Starter fertilizer
  • Soil amendment
  • Grass seed

Before You Begin

These are general directions for seeding a lawn. You'll get the best advice for lawn care from a local nursery or lawn care center. Online look for information about your local county Master Gardeners program or go to the American Horticultural Society at

The hardest work of seeding a lawn has nothing to do with seed, it's preparing the soil so it's loose and free of roots, weeds and rocks and level with a smooth surface. Have the soil tested to see if topsoil or amendments are needed for enrichment. If the soil is rock hard you may have to rent a rotary tiller to break up compacted soil to loosen it before seeding.

To find a landscape contractor who has the skills and tools to do it right, click Home Advisor and find prescreened local contractors to do the job.

  • Step 1 : Spread a soil amendment

    Spread any amendments to the soil suggested by the results of the soil test with a broadcast spreader. It may be a starter starter fertilizer or soil conditioner. Follow the suggestions for applying the amendment to work it into the soil.

  • Step 2 : Level the soil

    Use a rake to level out the soil.

  • Step 3 : Spread the seed

    Use a broadcast spreader or seed spreader to apply grass seed following the directions of the seed company. For more information go to the Web site of the seed company. You'll find they recommend how much seed to spread over an area on their directions.

  • Step 4 : Gently rake the seeds

    Carefully rake the soil to cover the seeds with a fine layer of soil.

  • Step 5 : Water

    Lightly water the soil with a fine even spray of water with the sprinkler. Follow the watering directions from the seed company about how much and how often to water.