If you are faced with a yard full of dirt, the idea of planting grass seed can be daunting. Whether you have a large or small yard, you can realize your dream of having thick green grass without breaking the bank by planting grass seed yourself.

Choosing the Best Grass Seed for Your Yard

Buy grass seed from a reputable source. Look for grass seed that has a NTEP rating, meaning it has been checked out by the National Turf Evaluation Program. Plant grass seed with the highest NTEP rating to get the most disease, pest and drought resistant lawn.

Plant grass seed that is right for your climate and the conditions in your yard. If you have cold winters and moderate summers, you should plant a cool season grass. If you have moderate winters and very warm summers, you should plant a warm season grass. Look carefully around your yard to see if it is shady or in full sun and generally wet or dry. Plant grass seed that will grow well in the conditions present in your yard; you may need to plant more than one type of grass seed.

Prepare Your Yard to Plant Grass Seed

If you are starting from scratch and do not have an existing lawn, you should loosen the soil to a depth of at least 2 to 3 inches. If you want to plant grass seed in a small area, use a gardening rake or hand tiller. For a large area, use a motorized tiller to save time.

Remove any debris from the ground, including sticks, stones and stumps. Break apart any large clumps of dirt, fill in holes and smooth out bumps. Correct any water drainage issues now so you won't have to after your lawn is established. This may seem like a lot of work, but your lawn will only be as good as the ground it's planted on.

Planting the Grass Seed

Plant grass seed evenly across the entire area according to the directions on the package. If you plant the seeds too far apart, you will have bare patches between the grass plants. If you plant the seeds too close together, the grass seedlings will compete with each other for nutrients and water. You can spread the grass seeds by hand or use a seed spreader.

Lightly drag a rake over the grass seeds to cover them with no more than one quarter inch of soil. The seeds need to be in contact with the soil in order for them to germinate and take root.

Water the grass seeds using a misting spray so that you don't disturb them too much. Continue to water frequently, but lightly, until the grass seeds germinate and grow to two inches. You may need to water more than once a day if the weather is warm.

The work you put in to plant grass seed in your yard will pay off for many years to come as you enjoy your beautiful green lawn.