Sow Lawn Seed : How to Grow Lawn From Seed



Step 1:     Measuring the site

Measure the proposed lawn area to find out how much lawn seed and fertiliser you will need to buy. 

Click here to use our handy area measuring tool. 

Knowing how large the area is will help you know how much seed and fertiliser to buy. You will also need to know this if you need to order in some topsoil.


Step 2:     Preparing the Site

The first thing to do when preparing for your DIY lawn seed project is to make sure there is no grass or weeds growing on the site. To remove any weeds and grass, mark out where the instant lawn will go, then spray the area with a glyphosate based chemical (like Roundup or No-Grow etc). Leave the area for 1 week, then remove all dead or dying weeds.

Step 3:     Preparing The Soil

Before you sow lawn seed, you’ll need to prepare your soil. The amount of work required to do this can range from extensive through to not much at all! To help you know what you'll need to do, have a read of the information below:   

  • If your soil is already sandy and not hard setting, all you need do is turn it over and level it. You might also consider adding some organic compost to help hold water in the top soil for longer.
  • If you have a poor, heavy or clay soil, you'll need to remove a layer to allow for a some fresh sandy loam. After removing the existing soil, rotary hoe in 1kg/m² of gypsum before applying sandy loam. The ideal depth of sandy loam top soil ranges between 50 and 100 mm.

If you are unsure of your soil type or how to prepare it, bring a sample to us for a free appraisal. We will tailor an easy to follow soil preparation guide for you.

After the top soil has been spread, roughly level it with a rake. The next step is to get the surface perfectly level in preparation for sowing the seed. To achieve a level surface, we'd recommend using a hand held soil screed. Soil screeds (sometimes referred to as levelling rakes) are an amazing tool and do an do a really good job of taking the highs and lows off the surface. You can buy them from most hardware stores or they can be hired from your local hire shop. 

Lastly, remember to keep the soil level 10 mm below your edges to allow some room for the turf to grow.  

Step 4 - Sowing the seed

Sow the lawn seed onto a prepared soil that has been raked lightly in one direction. This can be done by hand or with a spreader. The raking will leave behind furrows in the soil that the seed will settle into.

Mix the lawn seed with some Paul Munns Organic Lawn Food. This will help provide the new lawn with all the nutrients it will need to thrive. Broadcast the seed and Organic Lawn Food over the area and lightly cross rake. Cross raking is where you rake across the rake furrows you created before sowing the seed. In this way you create a grid pattern type effect. Some seed will be left on the surface and some seed will get buried. This is OK. We wouldn't recommend spreading any soil on top of the seed. 

Step 6 - Watering

Irrigate lightly four to six times daily during germination depending on the temperature. The hotter the temperature, the more you should water. The idea is not to let the seed dry out during the germination period.

Make sure you water your lawn as per the instructions during germination and in accordance with the SA Water "Water Wise Measures". If the lawn seed dries out, it can die very quickly. As the lawn matures, you can reduce the frequency of watering. 

Quick Tip: When you water, use a light spray and try not to wash the seed into piles

Germination Times

Your lawn should germinate sometime between 2 and 3 weeks (sometimes earlier) depending on the variety and the weather conditions.


In most cases, you can mow your lawn for the first time at around 4 weeks after sowing. Run a small test area first to make sure the mower doesn’t pull out the new lawn. Don’t mow heavily at first. Just trim the tops of the lawn. 

We recommend that you apply a second application of Paul Munns Organic Starter Fertiliser at the 4 week mark. New lawns are hungry! You'll probably notice at this point that it's starting to go a lighter green or even a bit yellow. Frequent fertilising in the early days will ensure that your new lawn continues to establish quickly.