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how do you lay a lawn on dirt lot

I moved into a home with no backyard. I have three dogs and want to put in some lawn for them. I am curious how to do this without breaking the bank. I am more than willing to do this myself (I have a room mate).

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Posted 2013-06-10T19:53:13+0000  by mary67 mary67


Hi there mary67,


I’m Jen, from The Home Depot.  Welcome to the community.


Sounds like you have a bit of a challenge with the dogs.  Are they big dogs that like to dig holes or little dainty dogs that will not get in the way of your planting new grass?  I have had both. Years ago,  I had 2 Labradors and Basset Hound and they were a problem.  They loved the cool dirt and each day they would dig and dig.  Today, I have two Yorkies. So, if I were to plant a lawn now it would not be a problem because they do not go outside for very long and they do not dig.


I had a similar question earlier this Spring.  Here was my answer that includes the proper steps on starting a new lawn.  You may have to make adjustments for your pets and section off the yard to allow the grass to grow while the dogs are playing in a different section.


Please let me know if you have any additional questions and good luck!

Posted 2013-06-11T13:10:04+0000  by Jen_HD_BOS

Goodness, is that it?! :) I thought it was going to be some long drawn out process. 

About how long will it take for the grass to begin to grow? The dogs are small and not really diggers. We have a Jack Russell that can squeeze out under the fence and we are working on cover up those holes with sand/dirt and possibly laying rail road ties or bricks. But for the most part, they stay in the house and go out to do their business.


The process sounds incredible easy. I am definitely going to be working on this fairly soon.  Thanks for your help.

Posted 2013-06-11T23:21:37+0000  by mary67

Hi again,


Yes, that is mostly it!  People go wrong when then do not follow the steps properly or they forget to water regularly. 


The timeline will depend on what type of seed that you purchase.  Be sure to let someone know in your local store what your project is so they can show you what seed is perennial in your area.  This means that it will stay with you year after year.  Believe it or not there are some grass seeds that only grow for a season.  These are usually the less expensive bags and they are intended for people that need grass fast, for a party or to sell a house.


The back of the bag will tell you how many days it will take to germinate.  Usually around 7-14 days.  This is when you will see the grass sprout.  Your goal is to continue watering until it is at least ready to mow.  After 3 mowing’s…your grass will be stronger.


Keep in mind, if you live in a hot climate, it will be difficult to start the seed.  Grass grows best in temperatures usually in the 70’s.


Let me know if you have any other questions!

Posted 2013-06-12T13:12:09+0000  by Jen_HD_BOS

Hi Jen,

Thank you again!

We do live in a hot climate, the Hi Desert in San Bernardino County.  The temps have been reaching triple digits some days, the area we are considering isn't that large and we figure we will be watering often, at least twice a day.  I understand that the instructions will be on the bag, but, I am wondering because of the hot climate, will we kill the seed if we overwate? I've recently transplated some plants I purchased from Home Depot and they are going pretty strong. I water almost every day and just about saturate the soil. I'm wondering if we would need any additional additive to help the seed to germinate in this warm to hot climate, ie, miracle gro, etc. We are looking forward to getting this project started this weekend.

Posted 2013-06-13T19:17:09+0000  by mary67

Hello mary67,


Hello from California! Jen is off today, so I will give you a hand. Sod or seed, both are going to be watered at least 3 times a day, In the heat you are having, you may want to add one more watering time. Usually the watering time only will last 5 minutes, but I would make it at least 10 in your situation, even more than that, you should not have an overwatering issue, as long as the water does not puddle. Feeding the lawn is important, but will not make the seed germinate any faster, the heat and the water do it all. You can add Scotts' Starter fertilizer, it will not burn or overfeed your new lawn.


Hope this helps,

scotts starter fertilizer.jpg

Posted 2013-06-14T17:17:10+0000  by Gail_HD_OC
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