Tips for starting a new lawn from seed

Tips for starting a new lawn from seed

Categories: DIY TipsPublished On: April 12, 2024

Needs list: New or amendment soil bases of 3-4 inches1-2 […]

Needs list:

  • New or amendment soil bases of 3-4 inches1-2 pounds of grass seed for every 200 sq ft
  • 40-50 pounds of lime for every 1000 sq ft
  • 10 pounds of 10-20-20 starter fertilizer for every 1000 sq ft
  • Weighted lawn roller


  • One 3.8 cubic ft bale of peat moss per 300-500 sq ft
  • Sprinkler with timer
  • 36” landscape rake

For best results: start with 3-4” of new soil or till compost into existing soil at a depth of 4-6 inches.

Rake area smooth (large 36” landscape rake makes this task easier and produces a more uniform surface than smaller rakes) and then use a
weighted lawn roller (can be rented at most rental centers) to lightly pack soil.

Apply seed with a spreader at rate indicated by seed mixture. new lawns need higher levels of phosphorus and potassium for root growth and lower levels of nitrogen for greening. so, apply a starter fertilizer such as 10-20-20 at rate indicated on packaging. (never use a weed and feed fertilizer with new grass seed).

Seed/soil contact is an important factor for germination, so grass seed should be approx 1/8” below the soil surface, this can be accomplished through either light raking or rolling.

The second most important factor for seed germination is moisture. the top 1-2” of soil must stay moist, but not wet, this often requires many light waterings throughout the day (setting a sprinkler on a timer can help achieve this). These two factors are the main reason many people prefer to use peat moss on top of new seeds. If the peat moss is applied 1/8” thick it acts as the seed/soil contact as well as helps hold moisture around the seed.

Because the soil is now bare, fertilized, adequately watered and warmed by the sunshine, you need to watch for weeds. Any weed seeds that land on this area will be in heaven so remove them quickly so they do not compete with grass seed for water and nutrients.

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