How To Grow A Lawn From Seed
There are two ways to create a new lawn. Turfing or seeding. Turfing is by the fastest and most reliable but if you’re on a tight budget, then seeding is a great alternative.
First; choose your seed
There are literally hundreds of different types of grass seed out there to choose from. If you’re a greenskeeper you’ll know exactly what you want. But if, like me, you’re somebody who enjoys gardening but likes to keep things simple there are two basic types of grass seed mixtures.
With ryegrass: Hardwearing, disease resistant and easy-going. Ideal for family lawns, general landscaping and lawns for dogs.
Without ryegrass: For a really fine-textured lawn that will tolerate being mown very short. If you are making a bowling green or a putting green this is ideal. This type of a grass needs quite an intensive maintenance regime.
Next; work out how much seed you need
Grass seed is sown at about 30 grams per square metre.
Measure the length and width of the area to be seeded (in metres) and then multiply those two measurements together to get the area in square metres.
Area = length x width
Then take the area and multiply it by 0.03 Kg – this will tell you the amount of seed you need in Kilo’s.
Area x 0.03Kg = Kg of grass seed required
Example: For a lawn 8m wide by 22m long.
22 x 8 = 176 square metres
176 square metres x 0.03 Kg = 5.28 Kg seed
(if this were my lawn I’d buy 5Kg seed and sow it slightly thinner)
Preparing the ground for seeding
Ground preparation for seeding and turfing are exactly the same.
- Remove every last piece of debris, plant material, leaves, roots, bricks, rocks etc from the area.
- Did or rotovate to at least 15cm deep – keep removing rubbish as it comes to the surface
- Rake and level
- Tread the ground to firm it down
- Apply pre-turfing/sowing fertiliser
- Rake and level again
- You’re ready for seeding!
Sowing grass seed
It’s important to sow seed as evenly as you can so choose a still, calm day and work logically.
Divide the area into small sections then weigh your grass seed into the right sized portion for each area.
So if your lawn was divided into sections of one square metre, you would need to weigh out 30g portions of seed.
Work backwards from the furthest away part of the lawn – that way you won’t tread on the seed you’ve already laid.
Keeping your hand close to the ground, sprinkle the seed evenly over the soil.
Lightly rake over the area so that the seed is just covered and gently water in the seed.
Be careful not to have the hosepipe on full power or you’ll wash the seed away.
Protect from birds and do whatever you can to prevent cats from digging in the loose soil.
Keep the soil moist until you can see nice strong grass plants coming through.
You will see weeds too but don’t worry, most of these will die back when you start to mow your new lawn. Anything massive like dandelions, plantains or docks will need to be removed as soon as you see them though.
More about growing a lawn from seed