To Grow Your Own Lawn from Seed:
The most important consideration in establishing a new lawn are: drainage, quality of the soil, preparation of the seedbed, your choice of seed, fertility and moisture.
If you choose to plant your new lawn in the Spring, begin just as soon as the soil is dry enough to work, preferable mid-April to mid-May. This will give your new grass time to get established before hot weather sets in.
Fall is often a better time to start your lawn, from mid-August to the end of September. Your seedbed is less likely to dry out at this time of year and the grass should be well established before Winter.
The area to be seeded should be level evenly as possible with a gentle slope away from buildings. You should avoid steep slopes or terraces if possible where water may erode or wash away topsoil. The entire surface should have a layer of good topsoil about 12-15 cm deep. You may have to mix peat moss or composted manure into your topsoil for best results.
Rake the surface thoroughly to prepare the seedbed and avoid any depressions that may hold surface water. Apply a good quality fertilizer, preferable with an analysis on a 1-201 or 1-1-1 ratio. The middle number representing the proportion of phosphorous. We sell a fertilizer called a turf-starter that is formulated just for starting new lawns. This will assist in developing a healthy root system. Rake the surface again forming a firm seedbed before seeding. If you find that you are unable to get a firm seedbed just by raking, then use a roller with little or no water in it to slightly compact the soil.
Choosing and Planting the Seed:
It pays to select good quality seed. It is also wise to choose a mixture of at least two or three varieties in accordance with your requirements. This will depend on sun and shade conditions. Don’t skimp when seeding. It is best to use a mechanical spreader, although small areas may be hand seeded. Get the seed on as evenly as possible, applying half the seed in one direction. Then travel back and forth crossing your first pattern at 90 degrees with the balance of the seed.
With a fan rake lightly scratch the seed into the top 1/8 to1/4 inch of the topsoil. Then lightly roll to ensure that the seed is in firm contact with the soil. Water slowly and evenly until 2.5 cm of topsoil is thoroughly moist. Keep the soil moist until the grass seedlings are well established. Avoid creating puddles.
Tending the New Lawn:
When the new grass has grown to a height of 6 – 8 cm it may be cut, but not shorter than 4 – 5 cm. Do not let the grass grow so long that it will not stand upright. Ensure that your mower blade is sharp to avoid unnecessary bruising of the grass plants. While there must be reasonable growth of leaves to develop a good healthy root system, cut regularly so cuttings will only be about 12 to 15 mm long. This avoids having to remove cuttings.
Feeding a New Lawn:
If you start your lawn in the spring it will require feeding again in late June and again n the Fall. For this first feeding use half the rate recommended on the fertilizer package. Use the full recommended rate for the Fall feeding.
What About Weeds:
If you have been careful to put down good topsoil, weeds during early growth should not be a big problem. Some careful hand weeding is best for the few weeds that may appear during the first 4 – 6 weeks. After a new lawn, has been cut at least twice you may apply a chemical weed control if necessary, but be sure to follow the directions on the package very carefully.
Over seeding Can Improve Your Lawn:
Your lawn will continue to improve with age if you follow these simple rules:
- Keep your lawn free of weeds either by hand weeding or with a chemical weed control.
- Fertilize your lawn at least three times a year, following the directions on the package.
- Each Spring or Fall, after cutting the grass short, rake thoroughly and, if necessary, add a little top dressing.
- If the soil appears hard and compacted, try going over it with an aerating roller, then top dressing and reseeding as on the previous pages.
- Try to keep your lawn cut to about 5 cm in height, and avoid leaving cuttings longer than 12 to 15 mm on the lawn after mowing.
Should you have any problems or questions concerning your lawn or other aspects of gardening, please do not hesitate to call us! We look forward to serving you in the future.