How to Grow Grass Without Seed

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Things You'll Need

  • Hoe

  • Shovel or trowel

  • Plastic bag

  • Rototiller

  • Fertilizer, per soil test

  • Lime, per soil test

  • Rake

  • Grass sprigs

  • Lawn roller

  • Measuring tape

  • Sod

  • Knife

How you prepare the soil determines how healthy the lawn will be.

Plant sprigs or sod to grow grass without seeds. Sprigs are horizontal stems that reproduce underground. They are also called runners, on which grass roots and shoots develop. Sod is a slice of ground surface with established grass. It is sold in rolls, providing an instant lawn upon installation. The success of either grass-growing method depends on how well you prepare the soil.

Site Preparation

Step 1

Remove rocks, roots, weeds and debris from the planting site.

Step 2

Take soil samples from five different spots to come up with about 2 cups altogether. Blend them in a plastic bag and submit the it to a soil-testing laboratory for nutritional and pH analysis. Contact your local cooperative extension office to learn where to send the sample for testing.

Step 3

Rototill the ground to a depth of 4 inches, incorporating recommended soil amendments based on results of the soil test. Work 2 inches of manure or other organic matter into the soil to improve water and air circulation underground. Rake the planting surface to smooth it out.

Planting Sprigs

Step 1

Dig 1.5-inch-deep furrows 5 inches apart with a hoe.

Step 2

Purchase 5 to 10 bushels of sprigs per 1,000 square feet of lawn space. Space sprigs evenly in the trenches.

Step 3

Fill the furrows with a thin layer of soil. Allow some of the sprigs to remain exposed.

Step 4

Firm the ground and make good contact between the sprigs and the soil by running a lawn roller on the planted area.

Step 5

Water the bed 2 to 4 inches deep at planting. Continue to keep the site moist until the lawn becomes established. At that point, begin to follow the watering, feeding and mowing schedule for the grass species you are growing.

Laying Sod

Step 1

Measure the lawn area before ordering the sod. Apply the sod to the prepared area immediately upon on delivery, as sod roots dry and die quickly in storage.

Step 2

Moisten the soil surface and begin to arrange the sod on it in straight lines. Stagger side-by-side sections to eliminate gaps in the lawn. The pieces should come in contact with one another.

Step 3

Cut the sod with a knife to plant it around flowerbeds, along driveways and next to irregular garden areas.

Step 4

Begin to water the sod within 20 minutes of laying the first section, even if you haven't finished the entire installation. Apply 1 inch water at planting. Continue to hydrate the grass consistently until it becomes established. At that point, begin to follow the watering, feeding and mowing schedule for the grass species you are growing.

Step 5

Run a lawn roller over the sod after installation to make good contact between the roots and the soil.


Emma Watkins

Emma Watkins writes on finance, fitness and gardening. Her articles and essays have appeared in "Writer's Digest," "The Writer," "From House to Home," "Big Apple Parent" and other online and print venues. Watkins holds a Master of Arts in psychology.