Before you start, there are a couple of important things to consider. First off is the planting time. The optimal time to start a lawn from seed is either in early spring or in late summer/early fall. The intense heat of a northern summer can be hard on newly sprouted baby grass, and makes the effort much more challenging. Early spring is considered best by the experts, but late summer works well too, as long as the grass has had an opportunity to sprout and set roots before the frosts set in.
It is impossible to overstate the importance of a good subsurface before you ever begin the planting process. This tip sheet assumes that you have the ideal conditions already in place – proper grading and drainage so that no water whatsoever pools in spring or after rains; a smooth and level base with no rocks or stumps or other impediments; and top quality soil, not the garbage left after the excavation of your basement, full of construction materials and pointy nails. Think of installing a new lawn as laying a carpet; rather than hiding them, a new carpet will show any imperfections, even the very smallest, in the floor surface underneath. It’s the same with your lawn; it doesn’t cover imperfections, it actually magnifies them!
So with all preparations duly made, here’s how you install a new lawn from seed.