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Step by step lawn planting
Here are the steps to planting a new lawn.

Choose the right grass species and variety for your climate. Select cool season lawns like bluegrass or fescue in cold winter climates; choose warm season grasses, such as Bermudagrass or St Augustine in mild winter climates.

Plant cool season grasses in early spring or fall. Plant warm season grasses in late spring to early summer.

Have the soil tested by your local cooperative extension service or private soil lab. Adjust soil pH by spreading recommended amounts of lime or sulfur over planting area.

Amend the soil by spreading 2 to 3 inches of organic matter, such as compost or ground bark, over the planting area. Also spread a starter fertilizer which is usually high in potassium and phosphorous (if called for in soil test).

Roto-till the soil to incorporate the organic matter to a depth of 6 to 8 inches. Make 2 or 3 passes in alternating directions.

Install below ground irrigation system, if desired (in dry summer areas, they greatly simplify watering).

Level the planting area with a leveling rake.

Sow seed or lay sod over the planting area (see other tips).

Keep areas moist until grass is firmly established.


Much of the equipment needed to plant a lawn can be borrowed or rented from you local nursery.

Rototilling is easiest when soil is lightly moist, not too wet or too dry. Water the planting thoroughly 3 or 4 days before planting.
How to choose a lawn grass
How to plant a lawn from seed
 ©2002 Lance Walheim