What are the Best Tips for Planting Grass Seed?

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

Cultivating a beautiful lawn means planting grass seed in a manner that will allow the seeds to grow and produce a smooth and uniform carpet of grass. To get the best results, the actual process of planting grass seed involves more than simply spreading some seeds onto the ground. If you want to create the ideal lawn, here are some tips that will help.

Grass on a lawn.
Grass on a lawn.

Before you ever begin to plant grass seed, it is important to prepare the soil. When seeding a new lawn, the first step is to loosen the top layer of soil. If there are any types of debris such as small rocks, remove them as you turn the soil. The idea is to create a pattern where the seeds can be sown uniformly across the yard, allowing the seeds to take root.

Planting grass seed on existing lawns requires cutting the grass as close as possible.
Planting grass seed on existing lawns requires cutting the grass as close as possible.

When planting grass seed in an existing lawn, mow the existing grass as low as possible. This will make it easier to identify the bare spots across the expanse of the yard. Loosen the soil in the bare areas, taking care to remove any weeds or other types of debris.

Once the lawn is prepared, you can begin the actual process of planting grass seed. For small areas, this can be done by hand. In larger yards or when seeding a new lawn, it will be easier to use a mechanical seeder to evenly distribute the grass seed. Follow the instructions that come with the seeds to make sure you achieve the right amount of coverage. Spreading too few seeds in a given area will result very thin growth, while too many seeds will lead to thick patches that may be hard to deal with later.

The final step in planting grass seeds involves covering the green grass seed. A very light covering of the soil will be sufficient to keep the seeds in place while still allowing the seeds to be warmed by the sun and to retain moisture as you lightly water the lawn on a daily basis.

Over the course of a week, the growing grass seed will begin to produce the first green shoots of grass blades. Continue to water daily, but make it a point to never saturate the space. This will help maintain the right balance of moisture, nutrients, and sunlight that the seeds need to fully develop. Allow the grass to grow until it is at least tall enough to provide a soft carpet to bare feet.

Planting grass seed is not as difficult as planting many other types of plants. By preparing the soil, sowing the seeds evenly, and making sure to water the seeds just enough, you’ll soon have the beautiful lawn that you’ve always wanted.

Grass should be watered even after it begins to grow.
Grass should be watered even after it begins to grow.
Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

After many years in the teleconferencing industry, Michael decided to embrace his passion for trivia, research, and writing by becoming a full-time freelance writer. Since then, he has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including wiseGEEK, and his work has also appeared in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and several newspapers. Malcolm’s other interests include collecting vinyl records, minor league baseball, and cycling.

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Discussion Comments


I made the mistake of planting fescue grass seed one summer. The weather was very hot and the grass did not do well at all. When planting fescue be sure to plant when the temperatures are cooler so the grass will have a fighting chance.

Also, with young grass, do not cut it too soon. The grass may be green, tall and thick, but it takes a while for the roots to develop and this is what determines whether your lawn will thrive or falter.


I think the biggest mistake people make when planting grass seed is they plant the wrong type of seed for where they are planting. Take a little extra time and find out what seeds will grow better for your lawn. Some seeds do better in wet conditions while others need less water.

You want to consider how much sunlight the lawn will receive and how hot and cold the temperatures will be. Don't just buy seeds because they are the right price or because they are what your neighbor bought.


I have a good base of grass in my yard, but there are a few bald spots here and there. I planted grass seed lightly over the entire lawn a few months back just to try to get the lawn thicker. I also fertilized. However, this didn't fill in all of the bald spots, so I needed to do more grass seed planting.

I did like this article recommends and raked the empty places to loosen the soil. Instead of throwing away all of the dead grass and debris I raked, I used it to cover the grass seeds that I put down. This worked better for me than covering the sees with dirt. The seeds came up sooner and more of them sprouted. I was surprised how big of a difference this made.

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