If your lawn is brown and bald after a summer of touch-football games and barbecues, early fall is the best time of year to plant a new one. According to specialists at the Home Depot, the process can be broken down into six steps:
Rake the soil smooth, removing all large roots, stones, and debris.
Add organic matter. Dig or till into the soil a 1-inch layer of compost, sphagnum peat moss, or dried manure. Smooth area again with rake.
Seeding. If the area you are seeding is smaller than 150 square feet, scatter the seed by hand. For larger areas, use a broadcast or drop spreader.
Divide the seed into two equal portions. Sow the first portion across the lawn in rows, and the second portion at right angles to the first.
Mulch lightly after seeding the area to keep soil moist.
Gently water the seeds immediately after seeding, soaking the soil six inches deep. A minimum of seven days is needed for seeds to germinate. Until seedlings are visible, water with a sprinkler as often as needed to keep the soil moist, until the grass is a half-inch or so high.