Friday, 10 April 2015

HOW TO GROW A LAWN FROM SEED





Click here for the 'Seeds of Eaden' seed shop

I have just finished a little maintenance on my lawn.  We turfed the area last year but several shadier areas had become bare and there were a few weeds (mostly moss) in it. Now it is spring it was time to give the lawn a little TLC.




I decided not to re-turf the lawn as 70% of the grass sward was still in good condition.  Rather I decided to use grass seed to fill in the bare areas as this is a quicker and cheaper alternative to re turfing;' although establishment of the area will take several months rather than the instant effect of re-turfing.  Remove any perennial weeds by hand with a fork and fill the divots with soil.

This is a spring job, mostly because the temperatures are consistently warm enough now to allow grass to germinate but not too sunny that the newly germinated grass is at risk of drying out without persistent watering.


First you need to remove all the thatch (the dead grass that lies on the surface of the soil) and moss. To do this use a springbok rake to rake over the grass area.  This will remove all the thatch and debris, as well as tilthing up the soil in preparation for seeding. In order to ensure better establishment of the grass seed you need to improve the nutrients in the soil so add a pre-seed fertiliser to the ground.  You may also wish to infill any divots or uneven levels with top soil at this time.

The key to a successful lawn is to select the correct type of grass seed.  There are many seed mixtures available which are suitable and the success of your lawn will depend on selecting the right type of grass variety for the use and maintenance of your lawn. There are many different types of lawn grasses which can be used in combination to find a perfect grass surface for your needs. So whether you require a shade loving seed mixture, a hard wearing lawn for the kids to play football on, a wildflower meadow or a showcase lawn there is a grass mixture out there for you.

Distribute the grass seed across the lawn at a rate of 25 g/m2.  You can either use a hopper to distribute the seed on larger areas or sprinkle by hand for smaller ones. Water the seed in gently using a rose attachment (or you will displace the seed and end up with a patchy result).  

Water regularly during the first few weeks until germination of the seed.  This will usually take 7-14 days depending upon the temperatures and soil conditions. Do not walk on the lawn during this time so barrier off any areas as necessary to prevent access.  Your grass seed will be a great meal for birds so if you have a lot of birds in your garden you may wish to deter them by hanging CDs or similar.  You may need to top up areas with seed as necessary.

Do not mow your lawn during the establishment period as the new grass is very weak and easily damaged.  When the grass is 7.5 cm high you can top off the top third growth and mow gently with a mower set at its highest cutting height. Do not cut lower than 5 cm initially, and mow infrequently at first (every seven days) and gradually lower the level of the mower to the desired cutting height.

Water well during establishment as drought will easily kill your new grass. Do not apply a selective herbicide to the lawn for at lest six months after establishment. 


For related articles click onto:
Fairy rings and toadstools
Grass maintenance - laying turf
Grass maintenance - sowing a lawn from seed
Lawn care
How to grow a lawn from seed
Weeding

Paths - Brick paving
Preparing a seed bed
Potagers
Soil structure
Using pedestrian mowers


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