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How to Seed a New Lawn from Scratch

Today I’m sharing our favourite tips for how to seed a new lawn from scratch.

If you’ve been following along for a while then you know that we’ve had an ongoing project of refreshing and renovating the outside of our house along with the inside.  The day before we moved in we drove up to find a nearly ten foot deep hole in the middle of our yard along with a large excavator (you can see that shocking image in this post).

Seeding The Yard

The previous owners were having some drainage issues repaired, which of course was wonderful, but needless to say that it was quite shocking to see a small elephant sized cavern in our front yard a mere hour before our real estate deal closed.  The ‘repair’ work meant that we needed to do a lot more to the front yard than we had anticipated, but in the long run it has definitely been worth the time, money, and effort that we’ve spent on enhancing the curb appeal of our home.  You can read all about the before and after of our exterior here, along with the changes we made to it last spring.

One big piece to redoing the front exterior of our home that I haven’t had a chance to write about yet was reseeding the entire front lawn from scratch.  We had our fair share of experience in our previous home with fixing up lawns that were in poor condition (see our complete lawn makeovers in this post, and this post),  but starting from the ground up, so to speak, was new.  So today, nearly one year later, I’m sharing our best tips for how to start and seed a new lawn from scratch…

How To Seed A New Lawn From Scratch poster.

For the first several years of our lives as home owners we didn’t really understand how easy it can be to create a nice, lush, healthy lawn.  We generally mowed the lawn every week during the warm months of the year and used a weed eater every few go-arounds to keep it looking somewhat decent.  That was it.  We didn’t know anything about fertilizing, thatching, power-raking, or about over-seeding bare spots.  Things have come a long way; and the truth is that redoing this lawn from scratch was almost easier than when we thatched, raked, and overseeded our lawn in our last house.  Starting with a good layer of clean, weed-free lawn soil was key…

A front yard getting ready for seeds.

The next key thing to do when you are planting a new lawn and have laid down good quality lawn soil, is to roll it with a barrel roller.  We rented ours for a couple of hours at a local tool-supply rental shop.  You fill it with water to add weight, and then roll it over the entire thing to compact the soil before planting the lawn seed.  It helps to take out ruts, dips, and divets in the lawn so that you don’t have areas with poor drainage where water will puddle.

Using a barrel roller to compact the ground.

After it’s been rolled and the soil is compacted, you are ready to add your good quality lawn seed into your drop spreader and layer it over the surface of the soil.  If you don’t own a drop-spreader you may be able to rent one at a home improvement or tool centre, but I would say that if you want to take care of your lawn it is worth owning one of your own.  In addition to helping you spread grass seed, they are perfect for quickly and easily spreading fertilizer over your lawn on a semi-annual basis.

Read the instructions on your grass seed bag for what to set your drop-spreader (or hand-spreader) to as far as speed of distribution. Make sure to select a good quality grass seed that is suited to your lawn (sun, shade, high-traffic etc.).

Pouring the grass seed.

Go back and forth over the soil, overlapping each strip.  Once you have covered the whole lawn going back and forth in one direction (e.g. north/south), start at a perpendicular point and walk/spread the seed back and forth in the opposite direction (e.g. east/west).

Spreading the seed evenly onto the ground.

A man using a seed machine on the ground.

Lastly, repeat the spreading procedure and lay down a good quality lawn-starter fertilizer to give your seed the best chance of having the nutrients it needs to get a strong, healthy start.  (PS – this is not a sponsored post for Scotts – we just like the quality of their products).

Pouring in the fertilizer.

Now… water! Water, water, water some more.  But you don’t want standing water on the soil – you just want to keep the grass seed moist so that it can germinate properly.  We used a sprinkler for the most part but watched it carefully so as to not get it overly wet.  At first you need to water a few times a day depending on the weather and temperature conditions.  If it’s still cold at night or not that warm during the day, it may take longer for your seed to germinate so be patient!

A few months in, give your lawn another dose of fertilizer and then start on a regular and consistent fertilization schedule each spring and fall.  It’s amazing what a difference it makes!

The green grass in front of the home.

Deer on the lawn.

I also created a simple video that shares are key tips for how to seed your lawn from scratch…

If you want to read more about getting your lawn into great shape, I shared these other posts…


Ready for some more summer DIY ideas?!

I am super excited that today is the first day in the Seasonal Simplicity Summer Series!! After being cooped up at isolated at home, I think we are all ready for a little bit of summer – even if it’s just getting outside and enjoying the sunshine and our own backyards!

Today I’m joined by some of my blogging friends who are also sharing their Summer DIY/Craft ideas! Just click the links below the images to be taken to their post…

How to Seed a New Lawn from Scratch at The Happy Housie
DIY Palm Leaf Shadow Art Box (PB Knockoff) at Craftberry Bush
How to Make an Outdoor Pallet Tabletop at My Sweet Savannah
DIY Outdoor Planter with Candle at Clean & Scentsible
DIY Hanging Patio Garden at Tatertots and Jello

DIY Outdoor Candle Holders at The Handmade Home
DIY Painted Coasters at My 100 Year Old Home
Outdoor Tabletop Herb Garden at Inspiration for Moms
DIY Modern Sun Art at Cassie Bustamante

DIY Shell Candles at Finding Silver Pennies
DIY Beaded Garden Markers at Zevy Joy
Easy DIY Macrame and Driftwood Wall Hanging at Dans Le Lake House
DIY Printed Fern Art at Satori Design for Living

DIY Criss Cross Outdoor Planters at She Gave it a Go
Coastal Coaster DIY at Rambling Renovators
Stamped Spoon Garden Markers at Life is a Party
Summer Porch Updates at Taryn Whiteaker Designs

Want to remember all of these awesome Summer DIY ideas?
Just PIN it!

Awesome DIY Summer Projects To Try poster.

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  1. Thanks for the tip to just keep the seed moist rather than just have standing water on the soil. A ton of people have told me to water them all the time. So I’ll try my best to just keep the seed moist at most.

  2. Your lawn looks so lush! Thank you for the tips. We need to put more grass seed in the front. I don’t know what we’re doing wrong but each year it looks great during the summer after we reseed and it grows in patchy in the spring! LOVED seeing the deers. xx

  3. I am so impressed with your lawn! I pinned it to my outdoor board so I can reference it for us. We have an area of our backyard that is bark and we would like to seed grass. So great!


  4. We seeded our entire backyard at our last house since there was a big slope towards the house. It takes some work, but overall very rewarding. Yours looks great 🙂

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