If you want to seed a new patch of land for lawn, or fill in bare patches that appeared during the winter, there is no time like the present. Warm spring days, ample rainfall, and cool nights encourage good growth.
You can test the pH of the lawn with soil testing kits sold in garden centers. A good rule of thumb is that regions with a lot of rainfall have soil with low pH, while those that are dry have soil with high pH.
For a good lawn, the soil should be neutral — that is, with a pH of 7 or 7.5. It should also be able to be worked to a depth of seven or eight inches. If not, spread a layer of top soil over it and work it into the existing dirt.
Prep the Soil
Apply a fertilizer designed for lawns or use a little compost on the area to be seeded. Turn over several inches of earth across the entire yard and remove stones and sticks. You may find it easiest to rent a rototiller for this.
Level the area as well as you can, so that there are not small hillocks or shallow indentations. Use a roller to press the soil into place but don’t compact too much or the seed will not sprout.
Spread the Seed
Choose quality seed with a germination percentage of at least 85 percent — and preferably higher. The package should also list the weed and other crop content of the seed, which should be less than 0.5 percent.
Use about half again as much seed as recommended on the package. You don’t want to overseed, but you want to be generous. Rake the seed into the earth so that about half of it is buried and the rest is exposed to the elements.
Roll the seeds to insure they stay where they are and then mulch with straw or a similar organic material to hold the seed in place and to hold in moisture. You will be able to rake this away after the seeds begin to sprout.
Soak the newly planted lawn once you have finished mulching. Keep watering the lawn daily until you are satisfied it is well established. Don’t be stingy with the water! By this time, it will look green and even full in some places.
Before you know it, the lawn will be a rich thatch of grass and you will be able to walk over it with your bare feet!