How to Sow Grass Seed Create a New Lawn, Step-by-Step

In this article, I’m going to show you, step-by-step, how to sow grass seed to create a new lawn.

Provided you use the best grass seed you can find, you sow at the right time of year, prepare the ground thoroughly and you have enough seed, sowing it is very straight forward.


How to Sow Grass Seed, Step-by-Step

It’s a simple process as the video from Rolawn below explains how to spread the seed and care for the lawn as it establishes.

However, something that isn’t covered in this video which I’d advise you to do is water the prepared ground a couple of days before sowing your seed.

Water to a depth of around 6-inches and leave it to soak in. If you do this once you’ve

Then, watch the video;

Step 1: Spread the Lawn Seed at the Specified Rate

The specified rate for many lawn seed mixes is 35g per square meter.

It’s best to do this with a number of passes to ensure you spread the seed as evenly as possible. If you have a small lawn, this can be done by hand fairly easily. However, I’d still recommend you use a spreader as it’s quicker and more accurate – especially on larger lawns.

Be careful not spread seed onto paths and into borders. You can always spread seed at the edges of the lawn by hand.

Step 2: Rake the Seed into the Soil

Take your landscaping rake and lightly rake the seed into the top 12mm – 25mm of soil. Be careful to keep the area as flat as possible, you don’t want a bumpy surface.

To ensure a good contact between soil and seed, either tread the area again or use a lawn roller.

Step 3: Keep the Area Moist

Critically, you need to keep the soil moist.

If not, the grass seed has no chance of germinating. But you need to be careful about how you water the area. If you’re too rough you risk drowning the seed or washing it away.

So, get a sprinkler that has a fine spray setting.

If you watered deeply before sowing seed then there should be enough moisture under the surface. The idea here is to water only as deep as the new roots so they can consume that moisture and the nutrients within it.

To start with, you only need to keep the soil damp to encourage germination. If there is no rain, water for 4-5 minutes in the morning and evening.

If you water too heavily, the seed is likely to rot instead of germinating.

You should see the seeds germinate within 10 – 14 days.

Step 4: Watch Out For Weeds

It’s inevitable that weed seeds will blow in and contaminate your new lawn. Especially if you sow in the spring.

Remove them by hand as soon as you see them. Don’t put a weed killer on them as the newly sprouting seedlings are too delicate and you’ll kill them.

And because the seedlings are so delicate, be very careful about where you stand, how you walk, crouch and turn on the soil. You could damage them. It’s a good idea to use a couple of wooden planks to walk on to help distribute your weight over a larger area.

Step 5: Mow the Grass

After 5 – 8 weeks your lawn will start to look like a lawn but the chances are it’ll look a bit scruffy. This is ok.

Wait until the grass is between 6cm – 8cm high and mow the lawn. You only want to take the top off the grass, so set the mower on a high setting. This mowing encourages the grass to root deeply and grow sideways shoots and in turn, more leaves which will thicken the lawn.

Keep removing any weeds and weed grasses that have snuck in.

Step 6: Spread More Seed (If Needed)

Depending on the growing conditions your lawn might look really good during the autumn. However, you might see there is still a lot of bare soil.

If this is the case, don’t worry. Take some of the excess seed and spread into the bare soil. This can be done during autumn but also in winter, providing it’s mild and not cold.

Grass seed will germinate between 8 – 12 degrees Celsius which means you should have plenty of opportunities to sow new seed.


In Summary

In this guide, I’ve shown you, step-by-step, how to plant grass seed to create a new lawn.

Sowing grass seed is easy but depending on the type of lawn seed mixture you use, the time of year and the weather conditions they provide, creating new lawns can take a few weeks to a matter of months

It’s often a slow process which makes laying turf a tempting alternative.

That said, if you want to create an ornamental lawn, it’s often the only way to to do it as there are very few suppliers of ornamental turfs.

About Tim Stephens

I'm a professional gardener with degrees in Horticulture & Landscape Gardening. I want to help you create the garden of your dreams. I want your garden to look like it’s maintained by a professional. As if I was there doing it all for you!

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