Preparing and Sowing a Lawn
LAWN SEED MIXTURES
Seeding a lawn - A basic guide to preparing the ground, sowing the lawn seed and looking after your lawn in the following years.
Prepare the ground
by removing all rubbish, stones, bricks, weeds and plants.
Improve drainage wherever possible, deep digging will help. The
finer the prepared seed bed the better the lawn will be.
For lawns on a heavy soil incorporate more sand while digging this will help improve drainage. On light and sandy soil incorporating a good amount of peat into the soil will prevent drying out and loss of nutrients.
Level the site taking care not to remove too much topsoil from any one area. If possible the digging of the ground should be done in the autumn and left to stand for the witer, where the rain and frost will break down the large lumps and leave it crumbly. As the soil starts to dry out in the spring is the best time to prepare the fine seedbed. Roll or rake the ground, or tread and rake it in both directions, keep working it until you achieve a firm level seedbed. It is a good idea to rake in a pre-seeding fertiliser, this helps promote root growth and provide the essential early feed for your lawn.
Sowing into heavy soil / covering seed
Should you need to mix the soil due to it being too heavy to sow the seed into, it is recommended that you use peat to break it down, or to sow the seed into as it retains more moisture and nutrients to enable seed germination.
Seed can be sown from mid March until early October, as long as during dry periods the seedbed is kept constantly moist until the lawn is approx 5cm high. Water the seed bed with a fine spray to prevent the seeds or seedlings being displaced. During periods of drought it may be necessary to water continually to aid germination and avoid the young seedlings being scorched and killed off.
A general rule of thumb to get a good established lawn is 50 grams of seed per square metre, allowing a little extra for filling in or patching at a later date. A small area can be sown to be used as patching turf if required for any repair work later.
To sow the seed it is best to divide the area into easily manageable sections, then divide the seed accordingly. Sow half the seed for one section from left to right of the section, the other half of the seed over the first sowing but from front to back of the section. This will ensure an even spread of the types of seed over the section.
Mowing the Lawn
The first mowings are very important for good establishment of the lawn. When the lawn is 5-8cm it should be cut for the first time. Trim the lawn lightly and gradually lower the blades to the recommended mowing height of the lawn seed mixture used. Mow regularly but try not to remove more than a third of the growth at any one cutting. Do not mow the lawn when it is damp. After the first cut the lawn may be rolled, this encourages lateral growth and makes a closely knit turf.
A lawn is best mown little and often, that way you do not remove more than a third of the growth. Towards the end of the season gradually raise the cutting height of the blades. Always remove the cuttings.
LAWN SEED MIXTURES