Why do I have flowering grass heads in my new lawn?
As with any living thing it must reproduce to survive. Grass is no different and has two main methods of reproduction. Some types of grasses reproduce via a method known as side tillering. The mother plant produces a stem that creeps either above the ground (known as stolons) or below the ground (known as rhizomes). New grass plants are produced and they are nurtured by the stolon or rhizome, almost like an umbilical cord, until they are mature enough to survive on their own.
Grasses also produce flowers known as florets. These flowers produce pollen grains which are carried on the wind and pollinate other grasses which then produce seeds. Some of these seeds will grow into new plants.
Grass produces seed naturally with most grasses producing in the late spring/summer. Grass will produce a lot more seed on newly laid turf. What you must also bear in mind is when turf is cut the grasses experience a great deal of stress. Basically the majority of the roots that provide food and water have been severed. Because of this the grass goes into self preservation mode and starts to produce a lot of seed. Once the turf has re-established a healthy root system the seed production will reduce especially if it is being well maintained and is receiving sufficient nutrients and water.
Why does my lawn have tough stalks?
Ryegrass stalks or soldiers are a common occurrence in lawns and can appear in late summer or autumn when the ryegrass plant is seeding. The stalks are fairly tough and will survive cutting with a cylinder mower. You should rake the lawn first to make the ryegrass stalks stand up but if you have a cylinder mower with a roller then it tends to roll them flat again. If you can remove the front roller or mow the lawn using a rotary mower. Going forward the problem is best managed by mowing the lawn more regularly whilst the ryegrass is seeding and make sure that good nutrient levels are maintained.