Quick advice on seeding a lawn from Paynes Turf.
If your budget doesn’t stretch to turfing your new lawn, try creating it from seed. Autumn, with its warm damp conditions, is generally the best time of year to grow grass from seed, but equally good results can come from sowing grass seed in the spring, as long as the seeds are given plenty of water.
Choose a seed that is right for you and your garden. A grass seed made up of 50% Perennial Rye Grass and 50% Strong Creeping Red Fescue is a great ‘all rounder’ which will produce a lush, dense and hardwearing lawn. Speciality seed mixes are also available, including sports mixes, wild flower seed and shade tolerant grass seed.
Prepare the soil by removing old turf, stones, weeds or roots. Dig over or rotovate the soil to a depth of around 15cm, breaking up any compacted areas. Level the soil using a rake and add a layer of Premium Blended Loam mixed with a pre-seeding fertiliser.
‘Treading’ the surface is a time-consuming, albeit necessary part of the preparation process, ensuring a flat firm surface. Tread up and down the entire area, moving half a foot length each time, treading down firmly to remove any air and reduce the risk of the lawn ‘sinking’ later on.
It is vital at this stage to water the soil well, as once the grass seed is down you will only be able to water lightly to reduce the risk of washing the seeds away. Watering the ground will also give the soil the opportunity to settle, giving you the chance to correct any holes or lumps before sowing the grass seed.
Sowing the seed
Use a rake to break up the soil lightly, creating a good open surface for seeding. Apply the seed either using a fertiliser spreader or by hand, ensuring even distribution of the seed. Rake the soil and seed together lightly, creating a good seed to soil contact. Always follow the seed manufacturers instructions on dosing and make sure the seed is applied evenly across the entire area.
Rolling the soil
Use a water roller or a lawn mower roller to lightly roll the soil, creating a smooth firm flat surface. Roll up and down the area in two different directions to ensure a smooth, even finish.
Water the seeds
Water twice a day for at least 2 weeks using a hose with a very fine spray. Excessive watering will only wash away the seeds or spoil the distribution, resulting in bare patches. After 2 weeks, continue to water but reduce watering to once a day or once every other day, depending on weather conditions.