Out with the old. Your new lawn does not want to compete with old sod and weeds.
If you are fertilizing separately, broadcast the fertilizer per the manufacturer’s instructions, but do not till it in.
Step 1: Get rid of the old sod
You have one final decision to make — whether to buy a seed product that incorporates fertilizer and mulch, or whether you will purchase fertilizer and mulch separately.
If you plan to remove all vegetation, it may be simpler to use a nonselective broad-spectrum herbicide that will kill any plants it contacts. Follow label instructions carefully and be sure it doesn’t overspray or run off the area where you want it applied.
Keep foot traffic to a minimum during this time. You can also consider putting up “Please keep off the new grass” signs to discourage accidental trampling by your kids and neighbors (and their dogs).
Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) is a perennial lawn weed that spreads by wind-blown seeds.
Joey Williamson, ©2015 HGIC, Clemson Extension
It is best not to apply any herbicides during the first year after seeding or sodding a lawn. Besides, during this first year, there may be no weeds that need controlling. Simply mow and bag the clippings for any minor weed problems.
Types of Weeds
Annual vs. Perennial: Annuals germinate, grow, and die within a twelve-month period. Summer annuals, such as goosegrass or crabgrass, germinate in the spring, grow through the summer, set seed, and die at the onset of cold weather. Winter annuals, such as chickweed, henbit, purple deadnettle, or annual bluegrass, germinate in the fall, grow through the winter, set seed, and die as temperatures rise in early summer
February – March:
November – January:
5. Cover Seed and Mulch if Necessary
To cover the seeds, simply drag the back of a leaf rake, or any lightweight object such as a door mat, lightly over the area so that no more than 1/4 inch of soil covers the seed. On sloping areas, or to reduce the frequency of waterings, the area can be lightly mulched with straw. The tendency is to mulch too heavily, however. Only a small amount is needed, so that the seedbed is clearly visible through the mulch.
How to Read a Grass Seed Analysis Label
Click here to learn how to read a label.
How to Seed a New Lawn from Scratch
1. Prepare the Soil
The soil must first be tilled by plowing and disking, or by using a rotary tiller. The ideal seedbed is composed of soil particles from pea to marble size, to create a good lodging place and protection for the seeds. A common mistake is to work the soil too finely, so that after watering the surface tends to crust over and dry out quickly.
What to consider before you buy grass seed
All grass seed may look alike, but there’s a world of difference in results. And once the seed is sown, you have to live with the results for a long time — or else tear the lawn out and start over. So before purchasing grass seed, it’s wise to consider the following:
How to Seed Bare Spots and Thin Areas
1. Prepare the Soil
The soil must be worked up to a depth of approximately one inch to provide a lodging place for the grass seeds. In small areas, this can be done using any sharp garden tool. On large areas, a power slicing machine can be rented from most equipment rental stores.
After 6 Weeks
Left Side: Fertilized Same Day
Right Side: Not Fertilized Same Day The grass seed can be spread using either a drop or rotary spreader, using the setting indicated on the seed package. It is important to fertilize the same day with Scotts Starter Fertilizer to get the seedlings off to a fast, strong start. It doesn’t matter which you apply first.