How To Prepare Your Lawn Before Sowing Grass Seed
Sowing Lawn Seed – Top Tips and Best Practice
When sowing a lawn for the first time it is best to do a little research – here are some top tips that will help you achieve a perfect lawn.
When is the best time to sow a lawn?
- It is recommended to sow in April, May, June or late August and September. During this time of year, germination can be quick as the seed is exposed to good growing conditions – warm air/ground temperatures, moisture and sunshine. Growth in these conditions can be expected from 7 to 21 days.
- If soil conditions are too cold the grass seed will wait until the weather warms up before germinating. If you decide to sow when the weather is very hot such as during July or August, the soil can be very dry so get your hose at the ready and be prepared to water the lawn daily
How to Prepare the ground before seeding
- Ideally, the area you are going to seed should have at least 150mm depth of good quality sterilised and graded garden topsoil You can do this by digging the soil over with a spade or using a rotavator.
- You need to rake out any large stones and dig out any weeds
- Let the ground settle for about 2-3 weeks and remove any stubborn weeds
- You can rent a lawn roller in any decent tool hire company and roll the soil. If you notice any large bumps or hollows now is the time to rake them flat. Alternatively, if you have a small area to seed you can simply tamp the ground either with your feet to give some compaction.
Choosing the right grass seed
- Choosing the right grass seed depends on what you would like the lawn to be used for. If you have children and you want them to be able to play football on your lawn then you would be best to use a hard-waring lawn seed.
- If on the other hand you want to have a well-manicured lawn that won’t have any heavy traffic you might choose a fine grade grass seed.
- If you are repairing an area of your garden that doesn’t get much sunlight or that is very dry you might choose a drought tolerant grass seed.
How much grass seed do I need?
- Best rule of thumb is 35-45g per meter squared.
- Try to spread the grass seed evenly. You can do this by hand or by investing in a seed spreader.
- You can use an empty lawn roller to help the grass seed stick to the soil, best to do this on dry soil. You can spread a very light layer of top soil on top and tread lightly to firm in.
TIP: Grass seed needs to be snugly surrounded by soil to germinate. The seed also needs air too, so remember not to compact it in too tightly.
Do I need to water newly sown grass seed?
- Yes, you should water the seed little and often – ensure not to flood the seed. Your grass should appear after 7 to 21 days depending on temperature.
- Once your grass appears make sure to keep the lawn watered using a fine mist setting.
When can I mow the grass for the first time?
- You need to ensure the grass is at least 8cm (3 inches) before first cut.
- Keep the setting as high as possible on your lawn mower. It is recommended to keep the grass at a height of 8cm (3 inches) for first and second cut. This will ensure that the grass continues to grow rapidly and spread throughout the lawn.
- You can cut down shorter and shorter after the third time but bear in mind not to cause any stress on the grass if you cut too fine.