How much does it cost to seed a lawn?
Get free estimates from landscapers near you
Lawn Seeding Cost Guide
Updated: August 19, 2022
Lawn seeding is the process of adding new grass to your lawn through seeds. This contrasts with adding grass to your lawn by using sod or other forms of fully mature grass. Seeding your lawn keeps it healthy, improving its looks and coverage.
The average cost to seed a lawn ranges from $700 to $2,000, with most homeowners spending about $1,500 on lawn seeding a 10,000 sq.ft lawn with Kentucky bluegrass. However, projects can dip as low as $300 to plant clover grass on 1,000 sq.ft. The costs can get as high as $4,000 to plant Bermuda grass on a 1 acre lawn.
Average Cost of Seeding a Lawn
|Grass Seed Cost|
|National average cost||$1,500|
Cost to Seed a New Lawn vs Replacement vs Reseeding
There are a few considerations to make when determining whether you wish to reseed or replace your lawn. Reseeding is the most common choice for lawn seeding and is most often done when there are patchy or bare areas in the yard. Seeding a new lawn is needed with new construction and when you have had renovations that required removal of sections of the lawn. In some cases, your lawn may be severely damaged, and the best option is to remove the old yard and put in new seed. Below you will see the average cost for a 10,000 sq.ft. yard, based on the type of seeding.
|Type of Project||Average Cost for 10,000 Sq.Ft. (Labor Included)|
|Reseeding||$700 - $1,800|
|Seeding a New Lawn||$800 - $1,500|
|Lawn Replacement||$2,400 - $8,500|
Reseed a Lawn
Reseeding is a common choice if you begin to have patchy areas in your lawn or your lawn is not as full but is otherwise in good shape. Reseeding a lawn runs an average of $700 to $1,800, depending on the type of seed and area. This is the most common type of lawn seeding and is sometimes considered a part of lawn maintenance. The process takes a few hours to a whole day, depending on the preparation, including aeration, mowing, raking, and cutting out new areas.
Seed a New Lawn
If your lawn is bare, either due to it being a new construction or renovation has led to its removal, then you will be looking at seeding a new lawn which costs $800 to $1,500, depending on the size of the area that needs seeding and the type of seed you choose. Seeding a new lawn is generally slightly less expensive than reseeding as you can avoid many of the preparations needed to get the old grass ready. With that being said, there are still preparations you have to make.
Be sure to time your planting correctly based on the type of seed you get. Generally speaking, you will be planting in late spring or early fall. Your contractors will test your soil, make any improvements, and get the soil ready for planting. This includes removing rocks and debris from the area, grading the soil, using fertilizers, and more.
In some cases, a lawn may be in such bad shape that it needs to be replaced. You can expect this to cost $2,400 to $8,500, depending on the type of seed and area that needs to be replaced. The process involves removing the old grass and prepping the yard before reseeding. Lawns need to be replaced for many reasons, from disease to uncontrollable weed growth to the desire to change the type of grass.
Grass Seeding Cost per Square Foot
One of the best ways to determine the overall cost of your grass seeding project is to know the average square footage of your lawn. The average cost to seed a single square foot of lawn ranges from $0.10 to $0.22. Let’s take a closer look at some of the most common lawn sizes below an acre. Depending on the size of your lawn, you can expect to pay anywhere from $100 to $1,100.
|Lawn Size||Average Cost (Labor Included)|
|1,000 sq.ft.||$100 - $220|
|2,000 sq.ft.||$200 - $440|
|3,000 sq.ft.||$300 - $560|
|4,000 sq.ft.||$400 - $880|
|5,000 sq.ft.||$500 - $1,100|
Cost to Plant Grass per Acre
The overall cost of your grass seeding project depends primarily on the size of your lawn. You can use a couple of different ways to measure your space. One of these is by acre, which is why we’re going to take a closer look at common measurements. Depending on the size, you can expect the cost to seed a lawn to run around $545 to $6,400.
|Size of Lawn||Average Cost (Labor Included)|
|⅛ Acre||$545 - $1,100|
|⅙ Acre||$625 - $1,250|
|¼ Acre||$875 - $1,600|
|⅓ Acre||$1,200 - $2,100|
|½ Acre||$1,750 - $3,200|
|1 Acre||$3,500 - $6,400|
Seed ⅛ Acre of Grass
On average, you can expect to spend $545 to $1,100 to have an ⅛ of an acre seeded. This cost depends on the type of grass seed chosen and the condition of the property. An area of ⅛ acre is 5,445 sq.ft., making it close to the average size yard in the U.S. Other factors that may affect the total cost include yard sloping and the dimensions of the space.
Seed ⅙ Acre of Grass
A ⅙ acre yard space that needs reseeding costs $625 to $1,250. A yard that is ⅙ acre is just over 7,260 sq.ft. You can expect to pay on the lower end when choosing less expensive grass options and when seeding an area with fewer landscaping and trees. Your cost will be higher if you choose higher quality grass and need more preparation.
Seed ¼ Acre of Grass
On average, it will cost between $875 and $1,600 to plant grass seed on a fourth of an acre of land. A yard this size is 10,890 sq.ft. The overall cost to plant grass seeds in a yard this size depends on a few factors, such as if the area is ready to receive the seed, the overall state of your yard, the dimensions of the space, and the type of grass you’re planting.
Seed ⅓ Acre of Grass
A ⅓ acre yard is 14,520 sq.ft., making it a larger than average yard space to seed. For seeding on a piece of property this size, you can expect to pay $1,200 to $2,100. The dimensions of the space that needs seeding and the chosen grass seed will be the main factors in the overall price, though preparation of the area also affects the cost.
Seed ½ Acre of Grass
The cost to seed a half-acre of grass ranges from $1,750 and $3,200. A yard this size is 21,780 sq.ft. The cost to seed a yard this size varies depending on the current state of your lawn. If no additional help is required, the overall costs can be much lower. On the other hand, the more preparation you need, the more expensive your project will be. Other aspects that impact the overall cost include the shape of your yard and the type of seed you are planting.
Seed an Acre of Grass
In most cases, the cost to seed an acre of grass ranges from $3,500 to $6,400. Most seeds are sold to cover around 5,000 sq.ft. With that being said, an acre of grass is approximately 43,650 sq.ft. In some areas, you may be able to purchase your seeds at a discount for this volume, but the labor costs may be slightly higher because of the area that must be covered.
Grass Seeding Cost by Method
Many different methods can be used to plant grass seeds in your yard. The one you choose depends on the size of your lawn, your budget, and your preferred timeline for your project, among other things. Depending on which method you choose, you can expect to pay between $700 and $7,840 per acre of seed planted. Let’s take a closer look at the most common methods.
|Method||Cost per Acre (Labor Included)||Cost per Sq.Ft. (Labor Included)|
|Aeration and Overseeding||$700 - $1,400||$0.08 - $0.25|
|Hydroseeding||$2,000 - $4,000||$0.08 - $0.20|
|Slice Seeding||$3,920 - $7,840||$0.09 - $0.18|
Aerate and Overseed Lawn
The cost to overseed and aerate a lawn ranges from $700 to $1,400 per acre or $0.08 to $0.25 per sq.ft. for a lawn in moderate condition. Lawn aeration costs $480 and $650 per acre, while the cost to overseed a lawn ranges $450 and $900.
If you have an existing lawn that’s thin and patchy but not in poor enough condition to warrant completely replacing the lawn, overseeding may be a good alternative. In overseeding, the seed is added to your existing lawn. It’s designed to fill in bare spots and create a fuller, thicker, and lusher-looking lawn.
Often, people pair this with the aeration process for best results. Aerating a lawn involves extracting small cores from the soil, which are then dropped back on top of the ground to break down and enter the soil once more. This leaves behind small holes in the earth into which the seeds from the overseeding process can fall.
Average Cost of Hydroseeding
Hydroseeding is an efficient method of seeding a lawn. On average, hydroseeding prices range $2,000 and $4,000 per acre, or $0.08 to $0.20 per sq.ft. This spray-on grass seed price includes soil prep, materials, and installation.
This differs from traditional seeding in a few ways, starting with the fact that it is quicker and easier. However, it is often more expensive. The process involves combining fertilizer, seed, mulch, soil amendments, and water and using a high-pressure machine to apply it to the soil.
This causes seeds to germinate very quickly and stops erosion, weed growth, and dust pollution. The binding agents in the hydroseed mixture allow the grass to touch moisture in the mulch constantly. Binders and fiber in the mixture prevent the seeds from being washed away.
The slice seeding cost ranges from about $3,920 to $7,840 per acre. The cost per sq.ft.is $0.09 to $0.18. This method is typically more expensive than other seed distribution methods. Because of the cost, it’s not usually recommended for the entire lawn, just areas that are dead or very patchy.
Slice seeding, or power seeding, is a mechanical method of depositing seed into the ground. This process utilizes a machine that cuts a slit into the earth and manually deposits the seed down into the slit. This method is recommended for bare patches or for areas of the lawn that are completely dead. Because it makes sure that the seed makes contact with the earth, it ensures good germination and planting of the seed, so you get better results.
Grass Seed Cost by Type
Hundreds of different types of grass seed are available, all with distinct characteristics and costs. If you are seeding an area of an existing lawn, you may need to have your existing grass tested or identified to determine its type before applying new seed to get the best match. If you are seeding a new lawn, be sure to research what types of seeds grow best in your climate and soil.
As you are deciding which type of grass to plant, be sure to differentiate between warm-season grass seed and cold-season grass seed. Some of the best ways to measure how much grass seed you’ll need is to calculate the grass seed pricing per pound and per sq.ft. Some of the more common types of seed include:
|Grass Type||Cost per Sq.Ft. (Materials Only)||Cost per Pound (Materials Only)|
|Buffalo||$0.09 - $0.16||$1 - $7|
|Fine Fescue||$0.30 - $0.60||$2 - $9|
|Kentucky Bluegrass||$0.35 - $0.45||$3 - $11|
|Ryegrass||$0.35 - $0.65||$3 - $14|
|Tall Fescue||$0.35 - $0.65||$3 - $14|
|St. Augustine||$0.35 - $0.75||$3 - $18|
|Timothy||$0.40 - $0.50||$4 - $8|
|Zoysia||$0.40 - $0.60||$4 - $13|
|Bermuda||$0.40 - $0.85||$4 - $15|
|Centipede||$0.75 - $0.85||$8 - $16|
Buffalo Grass Seed
It costs approximately $0.09 to $0.16 per sq.ft. and $1 to $7 per pound for Buffalo grass seed. This type of grass is very low maintenance and as tough as turf. It is the only native grass that can act as lawn grass. Buffalo grass is a warm-season turf, which means it should be planted in the late spring or early summer. It has better resistance to droughts and cold weather than most other warm-season grasses.
Fine Fescue Grass Seed
Fine Fescue grass costs $0.30 to $0.60 per sq.ft. and $2 to $9 per pound. This standard turf grass is best used in cooler areas with plenty of shade. This eco-friendly grass is very resilient. However, it is not great for high-traffic areas. It is also a cool-season grass, which means it should be planted in the early fall.
The cost of Kentucky bluegrass seed ranges from $0.35 to $0.45 per sq.ft. and $3 to $11 per pound. Kentucky bluegrass is a cool-season grass that is one of the most popular options for homeowners throughout the United States. However, since it has fairly shallow roots, it is not as resistant to heat and drought.
Ryegrass seed prices average $0.35 to $0.65 per sq.ft. and $3 to $14 per pound. Ryegrass germinates quickly and can be used for permanent and temporary lawns. It is a cool-season grass, which means you can enjoy green grass from fall through spring. Ryegrass is more suitable for cooler temperatures, so you should not choose this grass variety if you live in a hot or dry place.
Tall Fescue Seed
Tall fescue costs approximately $0.35 to $0.65 per sq.ft. and $3 to $14 per pound. This cool-season grass is extremely versatile and is tolerant to cold, heat, drought, and shade. Tall fescue is a great middle-ground option because it is more resistant to heat than other cool-season grasses. It is also more resistant to cold weather than warm-season grasses.
St. Augustine Grass Seed
If you plan to plant St. Augustine grass, expect to pay between $0.35 to $0.75 per sq.ft. and $3 to $18 per pound. This type of grass is incredibly resistant to heat and humidity, making it a great choice for coastal locations. However, it is not best used for areas that experience heavy foot traffic.
Timothy Grass Seed
Timothy grass seed costs between $0.40 and $0.50 per sq.ft. and $4 to $8 per pound. Timothy grass is a warm-season grass and is most commonly used for animals to graze. It features long, narrow seed heads that can be harvested for hay. This type of grass doesn’t do well in excessive heat or drought-like conditions. However, it grows well in colder regions.
Zoysia Grass Seed
Zoysia grass costs approximately $0.40 to $0.60 per sq.ft. and $4 to $13 per pound to buy Zoysia grass. Zoysia is a warm-season grass that tolerates heat and drought. So, it doesn’t need much water or maintenance either. To top it off, Zoysia can handle heavy foot traffic and light shade.
Tifway Bermuda grass seed prices range from $0.40 to $0.85 per sq.ft. and $4 to $15 per pound. It is a warm-season grass that is more sensitive to cold temperatures. Bermuda grass is very durable and recuperates quickly if damaged. Plus, it is highly resistant to diseases. On the downside, it requires a bit more maintenance. You’ll need to frequently mow your lawn and use fertilizer to keep it in peak condition.
Centipede Grass Seed
Centipede grass costs approximately $0.75 to $0.85 per sq.ft. and $8 to $16 per pound. It is a warm-season grass that is very climate-specific. Due to the strict soil requirements, it mostly thrives in the southeastern region of the United States. Centipede grass is low-maintenance, nutrient-heavy, and heat-tolerant.
Labor Cost to Seed a Lawn
The key to maintaining your lawn is making sure it is growing under the best conditions. The amount of labor it takes to seed your lawn and the total cost depends largely on several factors, including the total size of the area being seeded, the condition of the lawn and soil, and the type and amount of seed you’re spreading.
Most lawn services professionals charge by the hour, with rates ranging from $40 to $80 per hour. It's common for labor to include cutting and removing old grass, raking soil, spreading the seed, mowing existing grass, fertilizing and watering the lawn, and so much more. Other services include pest control and tree and stump removal. The goal is to make sure your lawn is in the best condition and is ready to receive the new grass seed. Depending on your specific needs, the preparation and seeding process can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days.
Lawn Preparation Before Seeding
Before adding new seed to your lawn, your soil may need to be prepared. The type of work that needs to be done depends on the condition of the area.
For areas with existing grass, the area may require mowing and removal of old or dead grass. If you have a dead lawn or if you want to change the type of grass, you need to have a removal service done. Grass removal costs start from $1.50 to $3 per sq.ft., including labor and materials. You may also need to remove trees, which costs between $400 to $1,100 or remove stumps, ranging from $200 to $700. For all areas, the soil may require fertilizer or herbicides to protect the new seed and help it grow. It may also need to be raked or aerated and turned to help improve quality. You may also need to reslope or regrade your yard, which costs between $1,500 and $2,600.
To avoid dead grass in the first place, consider having your soil tested to tell you what type of grass may grow best there. Matching the seed you use to your area and soil ensures that your new lawn has healthy growth and withstands your climate.
These preparations are usually included in the cost to grade and seed a lawn. However, the extra steps may increase the cost of the total job by $2 to $8 per sq.ft. for areas with poor soil quality or in areas that need old grass or weeds removed first.
What to Cover New Grass Seed With?
One important part of planting grass seed in your lawn is making sure the seed stays in place long enough and is moist and warm enough to grow in the soil effectively. To achieve both of these things, your contractor will place a layer of materials over the newly planted seeds and keep it there until the seedlings begin to show. You can choose from various materials, ranging between $10 and $100.
Compost costs $10 to $35 per cubic yard and protects and provides nutrients to the soil to ensure it stays healthy through the development stage. A 50 ft. roll of plastic germination cover costs $13 to $30 and is designed to protect grass from animals, weather, and direct sunlight.
Organic mulch over grass seed runs around $30 to $100 for around 100 sq.ft. and provides the proper moisture for seeds to ensure growth and keep them from drying out. Putting straw over grass seed is a popular option because it keeps the seeds in place while providing proper moisture and warmth. You can expect to pay an average of $45 to $80 for about 80 sq.ft.
|Material||Average Cost (Materials Only)|
|Compost||$10 - $35 per cubic yard|
|Plastic||$13 - $30 per 50 x 2 ft roll|
|Organic Mulch||$30 - $100 per cubic yard|
|Straw||$45 - $80 per bale|
Seed and Straw Cost per Square Foot
One of the best ways to keep newly planted grass seeds safe and warm is to lay a thin layer of straw over them until they start growing. The cost to seed and straw a lawn varies depending on the size of your space. The cost to seed and straw an acre of land is $8,275 to $14,590. The seed and straw cost per sq. ft. is $0.09 to $0.18. You can expect to pay between $2,070 and $21,890, depending on the size of your lawn.
|Lawn Size||Average Cost (Labor Included)|
|1,000 sq.ft.||$150 - $250|
|5,445 sq.ft.||$825 - $1,350|
|10,890 sq.ft.||$1,650 - $2,725|
|21,780 sq.ft.||$3,250 - $5,445|
|43,560 sq.ft.||$6,600 - $10,900|
Alternatives to Grass in Backyard Cost
When it comes to decorating and seeding your backyard, grass isn’t the only option. In fact, many homeowners prefer not to use natural grass for a multitude of reasons. For starters, grass requires regular maintenance and resources. Instead, people opt for one of the many alternatives to keep their lawn in top shape without the extra work. Depending on which one you choose, you can expect to pay between $4.50 and $200 per pound of seed.
Clover is a popular and affordable option that spreads quickly and grows thick but requires little maintenance. Another resilient option that works well in shaded areas is evergreen moss ground cover.
If weather is a concern in your area, there are options for any temperature. The fragrant green Corsican mint ground cover and low-growing Dichondra ground cover thrive better in warmer temperatures. If you are in an area that does not see much rainfall, White Dutch clover is drought and pest-resistant and produces intricate flowers.
More expensive options include the Roman Chamomile ground cover that is fragrant and works well in direct sunlight, and Red Creeping Thyme, ideal for heavy traffic areas and changing seasons.
|Grass Alternatives||Average Cost per Pound (Materials Only)|
|Clover Seed||$4.50 - $11|
|Evergreen Moss||$7 - $15|
|Corsican Mint||$10 - $21|
|Dichondra||$18 - $25|
|White Dutch Clover||$20 - $32|
|Roman Chamomile||$80 - $115|
|Red Creeping Thyme||$100 - $200|
Grass Seed vs Sod Cost
Growing your lawn from seed is time-consuming and depends on several factors such as weather, sun, and water. This means that if you are starting a new lawn from a cleared area, it may be several weeks to months before you get some results. It may take about two years before you get a filled-in and lush lawn. Therefore, some homeowners who wish to speed up the process turn to sod to help their lawn get results faster.
Sodding your lawn is the process of transplanting developed grass and roots onto your property. The grass is already growing, and the roots only need to reach the soil below to take hold and form a healthy lawn. This gives you instant results from a visibility standpoint, although sod can still be impacted by pressure, sun, and moisture.
The biggest advantage to using seed over sod is the cost. If you have 5,000 square feet, prices will be very different whether you plant seeds or install sod. Planting seed costs between $550 and $1,500, whereas sod installation runs between $5,800 to $7,200.
|Project||Average Cost per Sq.Ft. (Labor Included)|
|Seeding||$0.09 - $0.18|
|Sodding||$0.87 - $1.76|
Grass Seed vs Artificial Grass
Depending on where you live, you may be weighing the pros and cons of installing regular grass seed versus artificial grass. Natural grass is less expensive at the start, ranging from $0.09 to $0.18 per sq.ft.. The average cost to install artificial turf, on the other hand, ranges from $5 to $12.50 per sq.ft. Choosing grass seed allows you to choose from more options and blends, so you can better suit your yard’s aesthetic. Plus, planting seeds is much faster than laying turf. Also, you can save any extra seed to use for repairs down the road.
However, artificial options require much less maintenance over time. That means no watering, lawn service, pest control, or anything in between. Due to this, turf becomes a much more cost-effective option over time. It’s also better for the environment as it doesn’t need any water or additional materials to stay in peak condition.
Maintaining real grass can be a challenge when you’re dealing with changing climates, which can sometimes leave you with a worn-out yard that even has dead patches. Artificial turf maintains its new, fresh look no matter what the weather throws at it.
|Project||Average Cost per Sq.Ft. (Labor Included)|
|Seeding||$0.09 - $0.18|
|Artificial Grass Installation||$5 - $12.50|
Enhancement and Improvement Costs
Hydromulch costs between $0.50 and $1.00 per sq.ft. This process involves spraying damaged soil with water, seed, fertilizer, mulch, dye, and a binder to make the vegetation grow back faster. Hydromulching is similar to hydroseeding with the addition of mulch into the mixture. This helps create a healthy and more sustainable environment for sprayed seeds by providing a protective layer and additional moisture.
Add Sprinkler System
On average, it costs between $4,000 and $7,000 to install a sprinkler system in your yard. However, the size of your yard and the quality of the sprinkler impact those costs. A sprinkler system simplifies the process of watering your lawn, which can be especially helpful if you live on a larger plot of land. Plus, it can add value to your home overall.
Additional Considerations and Costs
- Repairs and renovations. If you have an existing lawn, you may find that repairing or renovating it is much less expensive than completely reseeding the entire lawn. This may include a mixture of fertilizing and amending the soil and adding seed to help recover the grass that is already there.
- Maintenance. Grass seed requires more maintenance than sod because the seed needs to put down roots. During this time, you will need to take extra care of the newly seeded lawn. You will need to water frequently, fertilize regularly, and consider using an herbicide to prevent weeds from growing with the seeds.
- Amount of seed. If you have many acres to seed, you may need to order your seed by the truckload to be delivered. There may be an additional charge for this. Smaller bags of seed are usually included in labor costs.
- Rock and stone removal. If your soil is extremely rocky, you may need to pay additional rock and stone removal fees and disposal fees. This may add $200 to $400 to your total costs.
- Tractor cost. For very large acreage, a tractor may be required to spread the seed. This keeps labor costs down.
- When is the best time to plant grass seed?
The best time to plant grass seed in your lawn depends on the type of grass. There are two main types of grasses: cool-season and warm-season. If you are planting cool-season grass, the best time to start planting is in the fall. On the other hand, you should wait for springtime to plant warm-season grasses. These varieties grow best in soil temperatures ranging from 65 to 70 degrees, which is why you should start planting in late spring, early summer. Be sure to plant the seeds about 90 days before the first fall frost.
- How much grass seed per square foot?
One of the best ways to figure out how much grass seed you need is by measuring the square footage of your lawn. As a general rule of thumb, you’ll need between 1 and 10 pounds of seed for every 1,000 sq.ft. of space. However, this varies greatly depending on the grass type you choose. For example, you will need 2 to 3 pounds of Kentucky Bluegrass per 1,000 sq. ft. but between 8 and 10 to plant Tall Fescue on 1,000 sq. ft. of land.
- How much does it cost to reseed a lawn?
If your lawn is looking thin or patchy, reseeding is a great way to revitalize it efficiently. You can expect to pay between $400 and $1,500 to reseed a lawn.
- How much does it cost to grade and seed a yard?
The total cost to grade and seed a 5,000 sq.ft. yard would be around $2,100 to $3,000. This includes the cost of the materials you will need, such as topsoil, sod, and the labor needed to grade the yard and plant the seeds.
- What is the difference between seeding and overseeding?
Seeding installs new seed on either new top soil or freshly aerated ground. Overseeding adds new seed to existing lawns that are thin or patchy and need additional grass to fill out.
- Can you put down too much grass seed?
Not really, as not all seeds germinate and plant, but as long as you’re getting even coverage, you should be good to continue.
- Should you aerate before slice seeding?
Yes, you should always aerate whenever possible unless you’re putting down new topsoil or loam, as it will help the new seed grow.
- Are coffee grounds good for grass?
Yes, coffee grounds contain nitrogen and phosphorus, which are good for the grass and fertilize and stimulate growth.
The information provided by our cost guides comes from a great variety of sources. For more information, read our Methodology and sources.
Related Cost GuidesBackyard Pond Installation Build a Patio Retaining Wall Landscaping Lawn Fertilization Outdoor Lighting Rainwater Collection System Snow Removal Stump Grinding Tree Removal Chicken Coop Green Roof Installation Home Electric Vehicle Charging Station Home Insulation Build Natural Pool Off-Grid Solar System Rainwater Collection System Smart Thermostat Installation Water Treatment System