Newly germinated grass

Seeding a New Lawn

Sowing a new lawn from seed can be a highly satisfying task, especially when the seeds begin to germinate and transform your lawn into a lush sea of fresh green blades. Below, we have provided answers to some frequently asked questions, as well as a detailed step-by-step guide for sowing a new lawn from seed.

When is the Best Time to Sow Grass Seed?

Grass seeds can be sown anytime from mid-spring to mid-autumn, but for sowing a new lawn from scratch, the ideal time is early autumn.

During this time, the soil retains heat from the summer months and rainfall is typically more abundant, which helps to keep the ground moist.

Additionally, the young grass will have ample time to grow and strengthen its root system throughout the winter months.

Ideally, the average daytime temperature should be around 12°C for the grass seeds to germinate.

Most grass seed blends typically take between 7-10 days to germinate, but some fast-growing blends can show visible growth in as few as 4 days.

Which type of grass seed should I sow?

There are many different varieties of grass, and choosing the right seed blend is crucial for your particular use.

Multi / General purpose

A multi-purpose or general-purpose seed mix is perfect for areas with frequent footfall, including areas used for family activities, by pets and general wear.

These typically consist of perennial ryegrass with some fine or red fescue.

Shade mix

Seed mixes for shade can vary. Some are suitable for areas with light, dappled or partial shade, with some blends suitable for growing in deeper shade.

These typically consist of fescue grasses, such as red fescue and chewing fescue.

Fine / Luxury mix

Luxury or fine mixes are suitable for ornamental lawns that do not receive much footfall.

Ornamental lawns will generally require more maintenance, and these grass blends should be suitable for low-height mowing and achieving those all-important lawn stripes.

These typically consist of fescues, such as strong creeping red fescue, and chewing fescue. Browntop is also commonly included in the blend.

Guide - Sowing a new lawn from seed.

Step 1 - Preparation landscaping

Taking the time to properly prepare your soil is crucial for achieving a healthy and vibrant lawn. Rushing this step can result in poor results and wasted time and money.

Firstly, ensure that the area is weed-free. This can be done by removing all weeds by hand, ensuring that you remove the entire root system of the weed. For larger areas, a systemic weedkiller may be more suitable.

Now that the area is weed-free, it's time to create the perfect seed bed. The best way to do this is with a tiller or cultivator, as they will loosen and aerate the soil, allowing the grass seedlings to establish a strong root system.

After tilling the soil, rake the area to create a level surface ready for your seeds. Be sure to remove any large stones or debris during this process.

If your soil is of a heavier type, such as clay, you may want to consider adding topsoil or well-rotted organic material to improve soil structure. Mix this material into the existing soil by raking it in. Adding this material will enrich your soil with nutrients and improve drainage, both of which will support the growth of your new lawn.

Step 2 - Sow the seed

Whether you prefer to sow by hand or with a drop or broadcast spreader, the key is to ensure an even distribution of seeds. For larger areas, a broadcast spreader is typically the tool of choice.

The amount of seed required can vary, so it's best to consult the instructions on the container of grass seed. As a general guideline, 30g-50g per m2 is typically recommended.

When sowing by hand, take care to scatter the seed evenly across the area. For drop and broadcast spreaders, consult the user guide for recommended settings when sowing a new lawn.

Once you've spread the seed, firmly press them into the soil by walking over the area. This ensures good contact between the seeds and the soil, which is crucial for germination. Consider using a lawn roller for larger areas to aid in the firming process.

Step 3 - Water the seed

Proper watering is crucial for the success of your new lawn.

Water the area with a sprinkler, ensuring that no dry patches remain. Ideally, use a fine mist spray setting on the sprinkler if available. Avoid aiming a hose directly at the area as it can disperse the seeds.

It's important to keep the soil moist and prevent it from drying out. Water at least once a day when there is no rainfall. During hot spells, you may need to water more frequently.

Continue to water your new lawn for at least another 3-4 weeks after it has germinated. This will help it become well-established.

Step 4 - Mow the lawn

Once your new grass has reached a height of around 6-8cm, it's ready for its first mow.

Regular mowing is essential for a thick and well-established lawn, as it encourages the grass to develop new blades and thickens the lawn.

Use the highest setting on your lawn mover. It is recommended not to cut more than 1/3 of the total height of the blade in a single mowing session.

Continue to mow once a week, or as needed, ensuring not to exceed 1/3 of the total height. Remove any weeds by hand, making sure to remove all parts of the roots. Do not use weedkillers at this point, even ones that are lawn-safe, as they can potentially damage new grass. They are usually safe to apply after six months, but always read the manufacturer's instructions carefully.

grass shortly after germination
Grass shortly after germination ready for the first
New lawn thickened out
Thickened lawn after regular cutting and frequent watering 4 weeks later
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