Starting a new lawn – Chapter Four of Five

grass-seedsGreat day in the morning, it’s time to plant!

In Chapter one, we’ve already established that you already have a Canadian butt load of seed in your shed. We’ve prepped the soil, watered, tamped…all that good stuff. So, let’s take a gander at a couple of options for planting. Namely seeding or sod.


It’s easy to work with, easy to spread, and it feels kind of nice in your hands. C’mon, admit it!

Even though we’ve already done our prep, it doesn’t hurt to start off with a nice, light fertilizer. Don’t mix it in, just spread it even and let it lay. This will be a lovely little welcome to your brand new seed(lings).

When it comes to coverage, the seed packager should have something to say about that. Check the instructions on the bag, or visit the packagers web site for specifics. But, if you’re unable to come up with anything definitive, a good rule of thumb is around 15 to 20 seeds per square inch. Of course, there’s a “feel” to the whole thing. Consider how favorable the location is and adjust your coverage. Less seed for more favorable conditions, etc.

If you’re using a seed spreader, start by making a few passes, then adjust disbursement as you go. Generally, two passes should be adequate.

Now lightly mix the seed with a rake and tamp it down. A lawn roller is ideal; and of course there’s also the old back side of your shovel. Not too firm, we just want to keep it from blowing or washing away.


As far as laying sod goes, I’m going to defer to the good folks at

A Map to Laying Sod

  1. Have sod delivered to a shady spot near your planting site.
  2. Water the soil and avoid walking on it.
  3. Start laying sod at your outer lawn perimeter using whole sod widths.
  4. Try to work in the opposite direction of yard slope.
  5. Lay the next row against the first, fitting each edge snugly, and staggering  the joints.
  6. Use cutoffs longer than 2-feet to begin new rows.
  7. Use short lengths of sod in row interiors.
  8. Water installed sod within 20 minutes.
  9. Kneel to the sodded side of each row; avoid damage to sod by using a sheet of plywood.
  10. Trim borders after laying pieces using a sharp knife or manual edger.

…and the other stuff.

There are, of course other methods of planting new grass. Plugs or sprigs are an option, though to be honest, I can’t imagine anyone other than the Amish wanting to spend that much time with their fingers in the soil. But if you’re reading this on a computer you carved out of mahogany yourself and you’re running late for your third barn raising this week…I digress. Tis’ a fine thing, the “sprigging”. Tis’ fine indeed.

Congratulations my friend, you’ve just installed your new lawn.

Next time, we’ll finish this one up with a chat about watering and caring for your new lawn.

Until then…sprig on!


Are you joining us late and missed the beginning?

Visit Chapter One of How to Start a New Lawn.

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Bill Brown

Bill is the head of content creation for the LawnMowerPros Blog and DIY section. He’s been in the Outdoor Power Equipment Industry for years and he’s still learning new things everyday. You can often find him creating featured articles, DIY guides, videos, graphics and much more.