Today, we’ll continue our series of lawn care for beginners articles.
We have showed you how to mow and water your lawn once it’s up and running.
Last week, we looked at fertilizing your lawn for best results.
Both of these articles presume you have the lawn already in place. Today, we’ll zoom backward and show you how to sow grass seeds to get that green grass in the first place.
This is only a beginner’s guide so we will not have time for more than the very basics of sowing your grass seed.
First thing’s first, then…
You need the right grass seed for the job.
Choosing Your Seed Mix
If you want to bring on a rich green lawn, getting the right seed is crucial.
You need to think about suitability for your growing environment. Durability is also important. Don’t overlook maintenance, either.
When it comes to seed, buy from a reputable source and be prepared to spend a little money. Cheap seed is likely to contain poor quality ingredients.
Get some horticultural blade grass. It might take longer to germinate but the results are well worthwhile.
You’ve got 3 broad choices when it comes to seed:
- General Purpose Lawn
- Luxury Lawn
- Shady Lawn
Type of Grass
You can choose from a wide variety of grasses to best fit your needs and garden.
- Festuca rubra commutata is a very fine leaved grass. This yields a dense lawn that copes well with both shade and drought. This grass allows pretty close mowing. Chewings fescue is suitable for general landscaping and ornamental lawns
Strong Creeping Fescue
- Festuca rubra rubra is a versatile grass. With fine leaves, it will work well in various conditions. You’ll get a high shoot density and resistance to shade or drought. Applications are widespread
Slender Creeping Fescue
- Festuca rubra litoralis is good if you have dry, shady conditions. It will tolerate a close shave with the mower. Slender creeping fescue is perfect for ornamental lawns
- Festuca trachyphylla is another flexible ornamental lawn favorite. You can mow it closely and it responds to parched or shaded conditions favorably
- If you want grass that establishes itself rapidly, ryegrass is the answer. Shoot density is impressive and it will stand up to heavy wear. For durable lawns and landscaping, perennial ryegrass is a smart choice
Make sure that you clear the area completely first.
Get rid of all the weeds to the best of your ability. It’s best to attack these by hand and to avoid using residual weed killer. This can end up choking your grass and inhibiting growth.
Dig the site over properly.
Add plenty of manure or rotted organic matter. You can use specific lawn soil to hold the necessary moisture in.
Tread over the surface then rake it.
Rake through some general fertilizer and your preparation is complete.
At this stage, it’s beneficial to hold fire for a couple of weeks. This hiatus will allow for the germination of any rogue weed seeds.
After 14 days, use a non-residual weedkiller to get rid of the top growth.
Put some general fertilizer on the surface. Rake and level.
With a nicely balanced feed, new grass should become quickly established.
Sowing Grass Seeds
Familiarize yourself fully with the instructions on the package. You should see clearly how much seed you will need.
Divide the area into smaller plots to work on.
Sow half the seeds in one direction using your preferred method. Some people prefer broadcast spreaders while others opt for the hand-sowing method.
Repeat in the opposite direction with the other half of the seed.
Make sure you rake the whole area thoroughly. This will cover all the seeds with soil.
Keep an eye on the weather. If it’s dry, water very sparingly for 2 or 3 days.
Germination will take place anywhere from a week to 10 days after sowing the seeds. It’s a remarkably quick process.
Check out here how to water your lawn.
Caring For Your Lawn
Once the grass starts approaching 7 or 8cm all over, it’s time to cut it back to 4cm. Don’t go shorter than this, though. You don’t want to be needlessly aggressive.
Keep mowing the lawn every 2 weeks. Start gradually reducing the height until it’s about 2.5cm.
Make sure you have a sharp blade when you are mowing. Follow our tips on cutting your grass here.
Wait for 6 months or so before you apply grass feed or weed killer. When you do start, go gently. You risk damaging soft, new grass if you overfeed it.
All you really need to start out with is the right amount of water. Get the moisture levels right and you’ll have a healthy green lawn in no time.
Dealing With Pests
The best time to deal with weeds is during the preparation stages. They are much easier nipped in the bud early.
Any batch of new grass can be prone to the occasional outbreak of weeds, though.
As always, weeds are best removed by hand.
Remember: Hold off on using any weed killer on new lawns for at least 6 months.
Birds can cause problems when you are sowing seed. They are liable to dust bath and kick some of the seeds up.
This can be sidestepped by using netting when you are sowing the seeds. Not only will this help to keep the birds away, it’ll help with germination into the bargain.
We hope you are enjoying this lawn care for beginners series. We want to provide you with all the information you need to enjoy a healthy, vibrant lawn.
Please don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions or feedback. We’re always happy to hear from our readers and delighted to help in any way we can.