Spring and fall are great times to install your new lawn. Natural rainfall combined with 50+ degree soil temperatures are the perfect conditions for sowing seed. The following are general guidelines, though not every step may be applicable to your situation.
Rent a sod cutter and remove the existing lawn.
If underlying soil is compacted, then core aerate or roto-till the area, loosening the soil 1-2 inches deep. Unless grading is necessary, a shallow till is sufficient and helps keep dormant weed seeds from the surface where they might sprout.
If the soil has a high clay content and/or holds water during the rainy season, till in Profile Turface MVP soil modifier [click here to find a retailer near you] at the rate of 1 bag per 100-200 square feet and/or a good soil compost blend from a trusted local supplier.
Optional: Spread a weed-free topsoil or compost/soil blend 1 inch thick over the area to help improve soil fertility.
*Pro Tip: Add lime at a rate of 50 pounds per 1,000 square feet to achieve a pH of 6.5 to 7.0. Most lawns benefit from an annual application of lime, available in our Portland store.
With a landscaping rake, remove large clods and irregularities in the grade.
Settle and compact the area with a water roller to firmly compress the soil. The finished seedbed should be firm, not fluffy. You should be able to walk on your seedbed without sinking more than a quarter inch into the soil. Rent a rake and water roller from us!
Seed and Fertilizer Application
Spread the PT lawn seed you have selected for your site at the recommended rate with a broadcast spreader. Earthway ergonomic handheld spreaders are available in our shop and online. For large areas, a walk behind broadcast spreader will make the job go faster.
Apply PT Starter fertilizer at a rate of 10 lbs per 1,000 square feet. Starter fertilizers supply an immediate source of nutrients needed for a vigorously growing new lawn.
Completely cover the seedbed with an approximately 1/8″ layer of PT's Grass Straw Mulch, applied by hand or with an expanded mesh mulch spreader. Grass mulch is a sustainable alternative to peat moss and helps to protect the planting, holds in warmth and moisture while also allowing beneficial UV rays to penetrate to the seedlings. We sell mulch bales in our Portland shop and rent the spreaders, specifically designed for this product.
Water to keep seed moist at all times during the germination period--at least 3 weeks or until the seedlings are an inch or so tall. Please refer to more detailed PT Planting Instructions on this site.