Some tips for installing a lawn through hand-seeding include buying top-quality seed, preparing the soil properly, using a fertilizer spreader to spread the seed, and watering. Another top tip for planting a lawn by hand is getting a soil test. It's best to do this two months before planting, as it takes time to get results.
The first two steps to hand-seeding a lawn are to buy quality seed and to properly prepare the soil. Green View Fertilizer recommends seed rated by the National Turf Evaluation Program. These seeds are resistant to insects, drought and disease. Properly prepare soil by loosening the top two or three inches of soil and remove debris. Level off areas that might collect too much water and use a starter fertilizer right after seeding. You can seed small areas by hand, but larger areas work better with a mechanical spreader. The proper amount of seed is about 16 seeds per square inch. Too many seeds cause plants to fight for nutrients.
Water the area frequently, but do not saturate it. When seedlings start to emerge, you can cut down the watering slightly. It's best to plant grass in the spring or fall. In the fall it is important to time it before freezing temperatures hit the area.