How to Start a New Lawn

Kids laying in grass

For many homeowners, a beautiful lawn is the crowning glory of their landscaping efforts, and a well cared for and carefully manicured lawn can be a thing of beauty.  How to start a new lawn can be quite a challenge, however, and lawn care is an ongoing project. If you want to have the best looking lawn on your block, it’s important to get that lawn off to the best possible start.

Scott's Turf Builder grass seedThe best time to seed a new lawn is in the spring, fall or early winter. Some varieties of grass seed need to be planted at different times of year, so be sure to follow the package instructions on the seed mix.

Here are the steps you’ll need to follow to start a new lawn and achieve the lush green yard of your dreams:

1. Carefully measure the square footage of the new lawn. This measurement will help determine how much seed, fertilizer and other supplies you’ll need.

2. Determine which types of grasses will do best in your climate. Different varieties of grasses will do better in different parts of the country, so ask the staff at your local nursery, store or garden center. If you live in a dry climate, consider planting a drought resistant variety of grass. Drought resistance will require less watering and lower overall maintenance.

Scott's Turf Builder fertilizer3. Prepare the soil for the seed or sod. Weed the area thoroughly, and use a rotary tiller to add compost, or a mixture of compost and high quality topsoil. Till the ground to a depth of six inches, and remove any rocks, sticks or other debris.  After the ground has been tilled, smooth the soil carefully with a bow rake and then a lawn roller partially filled with water. This will help to tamp the soil down and provide an even planting surface.

4. After the soil has been thoroughly prepared, apply the seed mix with a spreader following the package instructions. Apply starter fertilizer in the same manner, again following the package directions.

5. Water the new lawn to a depth of at least 6 inches. Apply the water carefully so you don’t wash the seed away or create puddles. Water regularly, either in the morning or evening, as needed to keep the top inch or so wet until the seedlings germinate. Water lightly each day after germination until your new lawn is mature.


ShopYourWay Post Email icon

  1. If the soil has weeds where you are going to start your new lawn it should be total killed with a weed killer first, after two weeks when the weeds are dead you should only till it up to a depth of 2-3 inches. Then rake up the weeds and stones so the soil is clean of debris and you get the weed parts up. By going deeper in the beginning (6") you may bury weed parts and seeds that may propagate after you have laid the sod or your seeds are starting to grow. After the clean up then till to 6" depth with your added mixture of compost and quality topsoil. Level off the soil & roll it and put the sod or seed down.