planting grass from seed using a handheld seed spreader

Angie's How To Plant Grass Seed

Date Published: Aug. 27, 2014

Time: 2 Hours

Featured author: Kim Vargo is one half of the team behind the Chicago based blog Yellow Brick Home. On any given day, you’ll find her and her husband Scott renovating their 120-year-old house. They plan on turning that old house into their dream home. Alongside them are their furry companions, their four rescued pets.

When my husband Scott and I purchased our home, we inherited a small front yard – a rarity in Chicago. Unfortunately, that lawn was far from lush, and in our first year of living in the new-to-us house, we experienced one of the most brutal winters in recent memory. This summer, we were excited to cure our sad yard, and I’m happy to report that we now have a lawn we’re proud of!

In our case, we chose to plant grass from seed, and two months after our initial seeding, we have a vibrant green yard. The process was simple and rewarding, and I assure you that you can achieve the same results! Here’s how...

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Tools & Materials Needed 
Grass Seeds
Handheld Seed Spreader
planting grass seed tools
1Gather the necessary tools.

You’ll want to start with the best grass seed for your needs, and in some cases, extra soil. For the seeds, we chose Scott’s Sun & Shade Mix, which accurately describes the lighting we receive on the front half of our home. We also rounded up the few supplies we’d need to prep our lawn: a shovel, rake and handheld seed spreader.

2Prepare the ground for seed.

We carefully combed through our yard for rocks and debris, and we used our shovel to pull up stubborn weed stalks. Once that was done, we were left with virtually no grass at all – a testament to how bad the shape of our lawn really was! Our space was small, so we were able to take our shovel and loosen the top layer of dirt, which allowed for the seeds to take root. From there, we took a bag of rich garden soil to spread over the yard and level out areas that were lower than others. With our rake, we combed the yard so that everything was smooth but still loose in the first few inches of soil.

colored grass seeds help indicate where you've planted grass
3Plant the seed.

The seed itself is a bright blue, which we found to be helpful while planting, as it allowed us to see what areas had already been covered. Because our lawn is relatively small, I used a handheld spreader to apply the grass seed. In the areas closet to our garden, I used my hands to gently shake the seed along the edging, as to not get any in our garden bed.

sprinkler watering newly planted grass seeds
4Water your seed, and have patience.

With everything prepped and seeded, we diligently watered our lawn once a day with a small sprinkler. Don’t overdo it – as long as your soil stays moist, a 5-10 minute watering per day will keep those seeds happy! Because our grass is still very young, we continue to water it every 2-3 days. Our grass is so vibrant, and many of our neighbors have commented on the progress!

mowing grass planted from seed
5Give your grass its first haircut.

It will take a minimum of 7 days to see the seeds turn into grass and several weeks to really see the results. It’s best to wait until your grass has grown to 3” in height before you take out your lawn mower, after which, enjoy giving your lawn a trim!

dogs running on green grass grown from seed
6Keeping it Green.

We have two dogs that enjoy the lawn as much as we do, but we’ve also provided them with a gravel potty area to ensure that our grass stays alive and well. It’s been two months since our seeds were first sprinkled onto the ground, and we’ve noticed that grass from seed looks much more green and thick than, say, a roll of sod. Not only is it easier on the pocketbook, but you’ll surely be rewarded with a sense of pride as well.

Now, go forth and plant seed!