1. Prepare soil by raking, digging, or roto tilling a seed bed of loose dirt 6-12 inches deep incorporating organic material and / or soil amendments as needed. After tilling and amending soil is a good time to install sprinkler system, drain lines or conduit for electrical wiring.
NOTE: It is important to know your square footage so you know how much you will need to purchase also a soil test / analysis is helpful in determining the amount of amendments needed to support a healthy turf area. Any reputable nursery or lawn and garden center could guide you on how to get this done.
2. Rake out any large pebbles, rocks or sticks that may interfere with fine grading, seeding or seed rooting successfully into ground. Raking to a smooth flat surface trying to eliminate depressions that may accumulate excess water or puddle. Grading so water may drain to a specific area like to drain locations or other preferred parts of the yard while achieving a desired effect. Leave final graded height 1/2 inch below finished grade/ top of sprinkler heads, concrete slabs, walkways, sidewalks, and curb edges, to allow for seed topper depth and the natural rising of the soil level over time.
NOTE: It’s a good idea to firm graded area with a “sod roller” to push out excess air, exposing and filling low spots, if you don’t these will appear once you start watering. DON’T FILL ROLLER MORE THAN A QUARTER FULL, that will compact the soil too much!
3. Now you are ready to spread seed, starter fertilizer. AGAIN!! It is important to know your square footage. Spread the required (as per what is recommended on the bag) amount of seed evenly over the entire area taking care not to spill large amounts in one spot. It is recommended to set spreader so you can walk one direction than the other to spread seed evenly. After seeding you will want to spread a starter type fertilizer next at recommended rates over entire seeded area also going one direction than the other to apply evenly. Now lightly rake (stir) entire area to help seed come in contact with the soil, then roll area again with sod roller to press seed slightly into soil.
NOTE: It helps to do all these steps dry so soil fertilizer and seed doesn't stick to tools.
4. Next you spread seed topper (screened organic compost), it is important to spread topper no deeper than a ¼ inch over seed and fertilizer. A cage roller or compost spreader is very helpful in applying topper evenly without disturbing seed. After applying seed topper, now roll area with sod roller to press topper onto seed, rolling like this helps to keep seed from floating and moving once you start watering.
NOTE: Now is a great time to pick up tools sweep walkways, patios, sidewalks, curb and gutters, So much easier while everything is dry. Done?
NOW YOU CAN WATER!! (See watering tips for newly seeded lawns).