Seeding Your lawn
1. Measure the area of your planned lawn with a tape and determine how many square feet (length x width) you will be seeding.
2. Deeply till the soil to a depth of 4 to 6 inches. Minimize drainage problems by having soil slope away from foundations.
3. Rake or till in topsoil, lime, peat moss, compost etc. as needed to a depth of at least 4 inches. Rake and level the soil, removing rocks, roots and large clods.
4. Roll the area with a roller 1/3 full of water to firm the soil surface and reveal low areas that need more soil. Add additional soil if needed. Rake and roll again if you add more soil.
5. Water the prepared area to settle the soil and to provide a moist base for the seed. It is best to water a day or two before you seed. If the soil is too moist, it may stick to the spreader tires.
6. Apply seed at recommended rate (about 7-8 pounds per 1000 sq ft. for most Western Washington mixtures). If using a drop spreader, (it is a good idea to seed half the recommended rate in one direction), then turn 90 degrees and seed the remainder perpendicular to the first pass. It is okay to use a broadcast spreader but take care not to spread seed into unwanted areas such as flower beds.
7. Apply starter fertilizer, such as 16-16-16 (at 6 lb. per 1000 sq ft) with a spreader. Follow recommended application rates.
8. Apply a very thin layer of peat moss or topsoil. No more than ¼” should be applied.
9. Watering: Weather conditions will dictate the amount of watering required. Watering once a day may be sufficient during cool damp periods. A hot summer day may require as many as 3-4 waterings per day. A water timer may be necessary during the critical establishment phase (approx. the first 4 weeks). Whatever the weather conditions, be sure to water frequently enough to keep the seeds and soil moist. Avoid puddling and washouts. After your first or second mowing, reduce the frequency of watering to one to three times per week depending on weather conditions.
10. The seed should germinate in about 5-10 days. The first mowing should take place when the grass blades get about 2″ to 3″ high (depending on weather, watering etc. this will be about 3-4 weeks after seeding). Mow to approx. 1 ½” to 2″. A good rule of thumb is to never mow off more than 1/3 of the grass height during any one cutting. Should the grass get too tall before it is mowed, raise the mower and work back down to the correct cutting height over several mowings.
11. After the first or second mowing, fertilize with a starter fertilizer such as 16-16-16. Fertilize again with a starter fertilizer about 4 weeks later then follow a standard fertilization schedule. It is best to apply fertilizer when the lawn is dry, then water thoroughly to reduce possibility of burning the grass.
12. Keep traffic to a minimum until the lawn has been mowed several times.