A handheld seed spreader is an affordable and easy method for distributing lawn seed. For smaller lawns, you may choose to scatter the lawn seed by hand, although it is harder to achieve a consistent cover. For larger lawns, use a broadcast spreader to distribute higher volumes of seed.
When planting a new lawn, timing and proper soil preparation are as important as even seed distribution. The optimal time to plant cool-weather varieties is in the late summer or early fall. During that time, moisture levels are more consistent, and temperatures are high enough to encourage seeds to germinate but cool enough to encourage root and blade growth. Cultivate the soil, break up clumps of dirt, and remove weeds and rocks. Blend a fine layer of manure, compost or fertilizer into the soil, then rake the area smooth.
When the soil is ready, use a seed spreader or broadcaster to distribute the lawn seed systematically. Move back and forth in rows, then go over the same ground again in a perpendicular direction. Protect the new seed from birds with straw, netting or fabric. Water frequently to maintain even moisture, but be careful to prevent pooling or runoff. As the grass grows, water more deeply but less frequently.
Fertilize lawns twice each year, in the spring and fall. As grass ages, it does not reseed itself as prolifically. Overseed the lawn every two to three years to maintain even, healthy growth.