Things to consider when sowing a new lawn with ground reinforcement within.
The when and how of sowing grass seed is an on-going debate that we’re not sure we’ll ever truly get to the bottom of. Official guidelines from Lawn UK suggest any time from the end of March to mid-October providing you look after the seed well.
The BBC on the other hand, say:
“Early autumn is the perfect time to sow a new lawn while the soil is warm and damp and it will cost you less than turfing.”
So, it seems it’s pretty much down to personal preference and whether you’re okay with, and able to, dedicate the extra time that may be necessary to maintain the ground and provide the essential water that’s necessary at certain times of the year.
Before you start choosing the seed or preparing the soil you need to question why you need to seed or re-seed your lawn. If this is something you’re finding necessary every year, then it might be time to re-think.
If the winter weather has taken its toll on your lovely lawn yet again, then you need to make sure this time is the last. There are a number of specialist products out there intended to prevent lawn damage and flooding. Don’t worry though, specialist doesn’t have to mean expensive, in fact, X-Grid is one of the most cost-effective and environmentally friendly ground strengthening solutions available. Simply pack the grids with soil and sow the seed as you normally would. As soon as the grass has been able to grow through the grids, you wouldn’t even know they were there. Find out more about the many X-Grid applications and how it could help you here.
The seed you choose will depend entirely on your garden and the conditions it faces. It’s essential you choose the correct seed if your lawn is going to grow and survive – for more information on the types of seed available, take a look at our previous post.
If in doubt though, a hard-wearing family lawn mixture is suitable for most gardens.
Before sowing the seed it’s essential to prepare the ground correctly. This involves removing weeds, stones, leaves and any old grass that still exists. You should ensure the ground is level and then compact the soil slightly by walking over it – place your weight on your heels and then walk over it again. Finally, rake a light, granular fertiliser into the soil a few days before sowing the seed.
Sowing the seeds
It’s much easier to evenly distribute the seed if you’ve marked out the area into smaller sections. Canes are brilliant for this as they can be laid flat on the ground and you can be sure that each section is the same size. It’s recommended that seed is spread at around 50g per square metre unless the packet states otherwise; split the 50g in two and ensure you spread half horizontally and the other half vertically. This way you can be sure of a good coverage and consequently a healthy looking lawn. After sowing the seed be sure to lightly rake the area and then water thoroughly.
Freshly laid grass seed is extremely tempting to birds so if you want to make sure you don’t lose half of it to a hungry bird and her chicks, it’s a good idea to stretch some kind of netting over the top.
It’s not just birds you need to be wary of though. Humans can be just as damaging to freshly laid lawn seed. Cordoning the area off with canes and string is a great way of preventing any unwanted footsteps and the removal of that essential seed.
Finally, it’s essential to keep the area well watered. The reason many people choose to sow a new lawn in the autumn is because mother nature generally takes care of the watering for you. In spring and summer however, this is completely down to you, especially during hot, dry spells.
So, there you are, perfect, comprehensive advice on when and, most importantly, how to sow your perfect luscious lawn whatever the time of year.