We supply grass seed for lawns, landscaping, paddocks, sports and agriculture, plus a range of fertiliser, spreaders and wildflowers, all at great value prices. As a result, many people skip this step. If you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission which helps maintain the site. I want your garden to look like it’s maintained by a professional. The addition of sand or sharp sand to lighten heavy soil is possible but it does require … Admittedly, heavy clay soils that are wet are the devils own job to level and smooth so timing, hard work and proper amendment of the soil is required, not a layer of sand! Sow March to May or August to early October. It's easier to fix soil problems before your new lawn is in place. Different types of grass seeds require different amounts of irrigation. If the bed of soil below that is still heavy clay then go further or call in a professional to lay drainage. You should remove every last piece of plant material from the area. Above 7 is considered alkaline, and below is considered acidic. If you’re planting … Treading is really the only way to firm up the soil and you need to be thorough. With the tiller, apply it to the … For quantities that are less than this incorporate as follows: The process of tilling the ground will have brought weed seeds to the surface which will germinate into your new lawn. After a few weeks, water the area again (or the rain might help if you’re lucky) to see if or where the ground puddles. For a perfectionist will an ornamental lawn, this will not do. If you have had a soil test done now is the time to plan and order those amendments that you are going to make. Keep the soil damp at all times, but never provide sufficient water to wash away the grass seeds. This removes air from the layer preventing settling later on. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. You need to do this through a combination of scarifying and cutting. Do this a few times in different directions. Be careful not to … If you're adding organic matter the best is completely rotted none animal manure or humus. For best results, give yourself a couple of months to do it. I used Roundup on one area of lawn, 2 weeks later weeds began to appear again. This step isn’t strictly necessary if you’re laying a family or utility lawn. Eliminate perennial weeds such as couch grass or bindweed well before beginning to prepare the seed bed. Grass seed should germinate and show within 7 to 21 days depending upon the weather, do not walk on it during this period. I want to help you create the garden of your dreams. Take a landscaper’s rake and break up any clumps of soil. PREPARATION. Grass seed – sowing, preparation and aftercare If you want a good-looking lawn but don’t want the hassle or expense of buying and laying turf, try creating it from seed. The soil is warm from the Summer’s sun, there are very few weed seeds in the air and the rain comes to help water the area and encourage quick establishment and growth. You can do this by using either a heavy roller or heeling again. I like to give myself a good 8 weeks to prepare the ground so if you plan on creating your new lawn in September, start preparing the ground in July. If you heel the soil and lay turf immediately, the soil underneath can settle slightly over time, creating undulations in the lawn. How and when to sow wildflower seed. This will activate the fertiliser and the moisture will provide good contact between the soil and turf or seed. Most grass seeds are applied at a rate of 5lbs per 1,000 square feet but look on the bag of seed or speak to your seed dealer for application rates. I use Rolawn’s GroRight Lawn Establishment Fertiliser. Less depth, say 10cms is okay but if you’re going to the trouble of digging it up you might as well do it thoroughly. Fork over the site and rake level to leave a fine finish. Using Sand. Whatever type of wildflower seed you sow the key to success is in the preparation. Spray the area with a Glyphosate-based weed killer. This is unusual but may be required for very heavy clay areas. Seed Lawn Preparation. Your fertiliser should be incorporated at the end of this stage. If you’ve dug or rotovated the area, use a landscaping rake to break down any large lumps and create a tilth that looks a bit like the top of an apple crumble. All Rights Reserved. Once you’ve decided where the new grass will go, you need to prepare the soil. Germination may be slightly slower in spring. If there isn’t enough soil to dig at least 15cm deep, you’ll need to add some. How to Prepare a New Seed Bed for Grass. This will add nutrients and also help to keep moisture in the soil where it can be used by the new grass. Keep the soil moist. Moisten the soil carefully, using a fine spray from a hose sprayer. Seems like they would come back as they did the first spray. When you should sow grass seed. After removing all stones and other rubbish from the lawn area, you must prepare the ground. If this happens stop and let the ground dry a little otherwise you could be causing drainage problems later on. Your goal is a firm, weed-free, well-drained soil that’s clear of rocks, rubble and clay lumps. You should take your time and be as thorough as possible. Landscape Grass Seed… Preparing the ground for grass seed or turf is fairly straight forward although it can be hard work. Ensure you’ve killed off all the weeds before sowing grass seed. You’ll need to dig the soil at least 15cm deep and turn it over thoroughly. This will reduce the occurrence of future weeds and weed grasses in your new lawn. Shuffle back and forth across the surface, using your heels to firm the soil. Use your feet to firm the soil for grass seed (you don’t want it to sink or settle once the seed is in) and then rake again to loosen the surface. Good Preparation Good preparation will get you great results. In the area where you want to grow the grass, use a shovel or tiller to turn over … This final stage completes the preparation and readies the lawn area for sowing grass seed or laying turf. If you rush the prep, the final result won’t be very good. In addition the old turf will cause a bumpy lawn containing air pockets which will then increase the bumpiness over time. Step 2: Rotavate the Soil. Seed bed preparation. However, using a rake to level the soil will only get you so far. Use ground limestone or dolomitic limestone only. Dig or rotavate to a depth of at least 15cm (20cm – 25cm is even better) and remove as much debris as possible – rubble, roots, stones etc. Once you’ve cleared the area and killed any remaining weed, grass or plant seeds, you need to turn the soil over. You need to tread every square inch of the prepared area so make sure you’ve got plenty of Radox because you’ll need a good soak afterwards! If sowing in autumn, the seed will germinate quickly as the ground is warm and moist. Once you have applied a fertiliser, rake it into the top 25mm of soil. Too mach water applied in the early days can float the individual seeds into concentrations. Dig or till the area. Generally, Autumn is the best time for laying turf or sowing grass seed. This is done to improve your lawn's overall look and health, thicken your grass, minimize weeds, fill in bare or damaged areas, or convert to another type of lawn grass. Disclaimer: Gardenseeker is a free resource, with everything from gardening tips to product reviews. Conversely, sandy soils may well need some moisture to maintain the texture. http://NaturesFinestSeed.com/grass-seed In this video we explain how to prepare soil for planting grass seed. The good news is that preparing the ground for laying turf or sowing seed is a simple task. I like to use Rolawn’s Soil Improving Compost for larger areas but any compost, well-rotted organic material or manure will do. At any stage during lawn preparation be prepared to pick up or rake out stones and debris such as roots. On the other hand, perennial rye seeds need water twice a day. Repeated treading will be required for an ornamental lawn as will the use of boards, levels and string to get a perfectly flat finish. TREADING: Next comes the old fashioned art of ‘treading’ or ‘heeling’ the soil surface. If you rush and make a mess of the preparation, even the best grass seed or the best turf won’t help. What do you do to prepare it for overseeding with a wildflower seed mix? Sowing seed into a well-prepared seed bed will improve seed germination times and help to ensure more even establishment over the whole area. Lawnsmith Ltd. All rights reserved. Also, remember that the soil in your area is probably a few degrees cooler than the air itself. 1. You need to really beat up the existing grass, to the extent that you can see up to 50% earth. A 100% wildflower seed mix at 1.5 gram. I often see sand layered at about 1” deep on top of prepared ground prior to seeding or turfing. Now you’ve prepared the ground and you’re waiting for your turf or grass seed to arrive, it’s a good idea to water the soil. The soil pH is very important when planting grass seed. It doesn’t matter if you’re laying turf, or sowing grass seed, the ground preparation is exactly the same. On l… So, September and October are always good months. Our easy to follow guide outlines the steps you may need to take to get the best results. For normal family and utility lawns, this step isn’t really necessary. It’s the equivalent of kneading dough to make bread. That said, different breeds of grass have different planting periods. As such, it’s worth taking the time to do it properly. Don't hesitate to get in touch for any help or advice. You cannot skip this part. The quality of lawn you are constructing will determine how far you go with this process. This is good preparation work. As with all weed killers this only works when things warm up so timing is between April and September. If your soil is heavy and clay-like, add some fine gravel to improve drainage and add compost or well-rotted organic matter to add nutrients which your soil might be deficient in. To mix it into the soil, spread it over the surface and turn the soil over again with a fork, spade or rotavator. You can only affect to about 5cm deep when treading or rolling which means it needs to be done as the layers are put down. Rake the soil to a fine finish. This is perfect for grass health and to promote excellent rooting. This may seem unnecessary hard work particularly if your next step is to dig or rotovate the area. Prepare the soil by skimming off any old grass, removing large stones and weeds, and then roughly levelling. In many ways levelling the area is the hard part. Make sure you wait for the right time of year to plant new grass seed. This is what true professionals will do as it is the only way to squeeze out air pockets and remove any likelihood of sinking later on. Knowing this will indicate how you need to improve the soil quality. In this article, I’m going to show you, in 9 simple steps, how to prepare the ground for turf and grass seed. This will create a surface which is as flat as possible. Most grass seeds require a starter fertilizer to boost initial growth, but the application must be done carefully because the seeds will easily suffer from too much or … Unfortunately, existing turf will not break up readily thereby making it harder work to rotovate or dig. Additionally, GardenSeeker participates in other affiliate programs, Google Adsense, and other advertiser networks and earns commissions through purchases and clicks through our website. Do this a few days before seeding so that the surface is dry enough to rake without sticking to your shoes during the seed sowing stage. Seeding a lawn is a precise business and requires careful preparation to encourage proper seed germination and growth. I really like Rolawn’s Turf and Seeding Topsoil as it comes with pre-seeding fertiliser already added. The first thing to do is clear the area where your new lawn is going to be laid or sown. The amounts should be given to you by the laboratory that did your soil analysis. Preparation. Heavy soils will break up more easily when they are on the dry side which will also prevent them from smearing on the rotovator blades. The secret to creating a beautiful lawn is thorough preparation. When adding lime do so as evenly as possible otherwise you will have different pH values and therefore different growth properties throughout the lawn. If a dry period occurs in this period, use a gentle watering technique (a garden sprinkler or hose with a fine spray attachment pointed skywards) to keep the top of the soil moist. Once you’ve levelled the soil, it’s time to tread it, or ‘heel it’ as some people say. No matter if you have clay-like soil or sandy soil, the addition of compost will always help. Like any other job, the end result is only as good as the preparation that has gone before it. These may include: Caution: Sand or sandy loams mixed into very heavy sticky clay soils can set like concrete so if you are trying to amend a heavy clay soil it is best to remove it and replace it with an appropriate sandy loam down to a depth of at least six inches preferably a foot. If your soil is sandy and free-draining, add some compost or well-rotted organic matter to improve water retention. Improve the soil. Adding 6” or 15 cm of new soil. If you’re a perfectionist and not in a rush, leave the soil open to the elements and let it settle for a period of 2-4 weeks. It takes time but pays dividends in giving a flat firm finish. Then start seeding. This is done supposedly to add a smooth finish and improve drainage. WARNING: After each addition and blending of soil you should consolidate the layer by treading or using a medium roller over the entire area. You can do it quicker but the results won’t be nearly as good. Spray Grass – New Lawn Fast at a Fraction of the Cost of Turf. The finer the soil is, the better contact it will have with the turf when you lay it or the grass seed when you sow it. However, it makes a huge difference in how well your lawn establishes and grows in the long term. In my humble opinion this does nothing for drainage, may well affect the grass negatively and at best is a poor substitute for a properly prepared and smoothed surface. The Best Time of Year For Preparing Ground For Turf or Grass Seed, How to Prepare the Ground For Turf or Grass Seed, Step-by-Step, Step 1: Remove Old Turf, Plants and Weeds, Step 3: Decide Whether You Need a Soil Improver, Pruning Amelanchier – The Serviceberry Or Juneberry, Pruning Azaleas & Rhododendrons – When & How To Prune & Dead Head, Pruning Acers – How & When To Prune Japanese Maples, Pruning Mock Orange – Philadelphus – How And When To Prune, Pruning Hydrangeas Macrophylla – Mopheads & Lacecaps. If you don’t do it, the ground will settle as it rains and your lawn will become bumpy and uneven very quickly. Although it means hard work and physical exercise, the basic fact of life is that the better you prepare the seedbed, the better your lawn will be. Wait for 2-3 weeks until the whole area has died off and gone brown before removing the old lawn, plants or weeds with a spade or turf cutter. For example, a seeded Bermuda grass lawn must be lightly watered three or four times a day. How to Prepare the Ground For Turf or Grass Seed, Step-by-Step Step 1: Remove Old Turf, Plants and Weeds. Do not use residual weedkiller, as it can remain in the soil and will prevent the grass from germinating. Grass seed is the cheapest way to create a new lawn. This is crucial if you are creating a lawn from seed because you can only water lightly and gently once the seed is in otherwise you’ll start washing it out. Once you’ve trod the area start raking again to reduce bumps and fill depressions. Paddock Grass Seed. Use weedkiller, or hand weed. Puddles form in low spots so these are the areas that need attention. If possible, protect the area from birds and domestic pets, chicken wire is ideal but probably impractical except for small areas. Do this with either a gardening fork, spade or mechanical rotavator. Sports Grass Seed. Lawn Seed. Preparation. Using seed instead of turf has several advantages; other than the cost, there’s a huge range of seed mixes available, and seed is much better for those hard to reach areas such as corners and slopes. Ready for wildflower planting. Use a rake to break it … Most plants prefer a neutral soil, meaning on a scale from 1 to 14, the pH will have to be around 7. Prepare the soil well by digging over, removing weeds and raking level. From this you will see that there is a thorough mixing of the old and new soils, the old soil has been well broken up and the soil profile is light and freely draining at the surface with the moisture holding clay layer deep down. Grass seed is generally rather sensitive to temperature, so choosing the right time of year to plant it is important. It is recommended for fast germination and establishment grass seed needs warm soil, around 6-8 degrees Celsius, which means air temperature is around 10 degrees Celsius and plenty of moisture. If the area already exists as a lawn or has plants in it kill the whole area first if you have time. So, add a pre-seeding fertiliser to the soil. Watering will also settle the ground so if you haven’t heeled it properly it gives you an opportunity to correct it before seeding or turfing. When adding soil or organics do so in stages and NEVER layer one soil on top of another without blending by digging or rotovating. Steps discussed: 1. © 2020 Choosing grass seed There’s a wide range of grass seed to choose from, according to what you want the end result to be. The 8 stages in creating a new lawn from grass seed. There’s nothing complicated about it but it does take time and hard work if you want to create the best finish you can. Agricultural Grass Seed. Making the soil for an ornamental lawn too alkaline is detrimental to the finer grasses and will promote weeds and weed grasses. This, too, is very important. Growing season is almost upon us, (actually we know a few who have already begun in warmer parts of the UK) so now’s the time to prepare for sowing grass seed in spring 2018. So, remove the old turf and if you have a place to store it then do so as it will eventually rot down and make a great compost or top dressing later on. You can do several things at this stage to reduce the impact: The addition of sand or sharp sand to lighten heavy soil is possible but it does require to be very well blended with your existing soil. This involves treading the soil with very small steps with your weight over your heels to firm up the soil. Dig or rotovate the site to a … River sand is the best and builders or coastal sand a no-no! Time It Right. You can sow Lawn UK lawn seed mixtures at any time from late March to mid-October providing that in periods of unusually dry weather the seedbed is kept constantly moist until the grass is about 6cm (2.5 inches) high. Holiday delivery and Covid Information. You should then spray the area with a glyphosate weedkiller a week prior to seeding. It is best to dig the area over as deep as you can; there really is no substitute for this. If you’ve got the energy and inclination tread again in a different direction, rake to level and repeat one last time. The video below from Rolawn shows how to prepare the ground, step-by-step. In order to create the best looking lawn you can, you should allow yourself plenty of time to prepare the ground. We are reader-supported: © 2020 GardenSeeker.com. See TREADING in the 'Penultimate Step' below. Thoroughly remove any old grass and weeds, either by hand or by using a weedkiller spray. This does take more time and also adds to the expense of creating a new lawn. Rake the area flat until the whole area is as even as you can get it. Preparing a Seed Bed The better the preparation of your soil before sowing, the better results you are likely to achieve so it is important to put the time and effort in to getting it right following the step by step plan below. If you’ve forgotten to add your pre-seeding starter fertiliser you can add it now or just prior to seeding or turfing. Once you’ve cleared the area and killed any remaining weed, grass or … I like to use a landscapers or hay rake for this because the flat back allows me to push and move soil around. It may be a good time to invest in a sprinkler or a hand-held hose attachment - … The video below shows you how to level soil before laying turf or sowing seed with a tool called a ‘Lute’ made with a few bits of wood. Always water with a fine spray; to great a force of water will displace the seeds. Double dig or rotovate the soil to a depth of 6 to 8 inches (15 to 20 cms). I'm a professional gardener with degrees in Horticulture & Landscape Gardening. Either add soil to those areas or flatten the high spots. However, if you take your time and do it right, you newly laid turf or seeded lawn will be a thing of beauty. Even if you don’t create your new lawn until October, the hard work will have already been done. For clay soils, mix … Using a rotary tiller makes this easy. The final step is to build up some moisture in the soil if things are dry. Start off by raking the area to a reasonably smooth level. The team at Turfonline offer advice on choosing and sowin g grass seed, and guidance around how long it takes for grass seed to grow. As if I was there doing it all for you! If you’re adding lime be careful not to overdo it. GardenSeeker.com is a participant in the Amazon EU Associates Programme, an affiliate advertising programme designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.co.uk. And if perfection is your goal then consider bringing in double screened (1/4” sieved) sandy loam topsoil for the top few inches. Starting grass from seed can result in a lush green lawn within a few months. There are no secrets when it comes to successfully sowing grass seed, but it all must start with good preparation. The flatter you can make the area, the better your lawn will look when it’s laid. Read more. Water the area thoroughly and let the area settle for a least 48 hours. Should I spray Roundup again and till soil after weeds are gone? Use glyphosate as this degrades on contact with the soil leaving no harmful residue. However, if you like to do a job well, it’s worth taking the extra time. Addition of organics and humus to poor, very sandy or heavy clay soils, Addition of sandy loam top soil to light clay soils, Addition of loam top soil if the depth of existing soil is less than 4", Addition of pre-seeding or pre-turfing fertiliser such as, Finally add lot 3 and incorporate into the top 10cm only, For 4” or 10cm of new soil split into 2 lots and start as for lot 2, For 2” or 5cm of soil incorporate into the top 10cm only, For organics or lime incorporate at 10 to 15cm as for or with lot 2, If you’re laying turf, weed seeds will not be too much of a problem, If you’re seeding, increase the amount of grass seed to outcompete potential weed seeds, If you have time to leave the prepared ground for a while to allow weed seeds to germinate then do so. A no-no sand layered at about 1 ” deep on top of prepared ground to. To follow guide outlines the steps you may need to dig or rotovate the area for... Fork over the whole area on a scale from 1 to 14, the ground Step-by-Step., giving the seed grass the best looking lawn you can seed you sow the to! Soils may well need some moisture to maintain the texture using your heels to firm up the quality! To overdo it soil and turf or sowing seed is generally rather sensitive to temperature, so the... Area flat until the whole area 7 to 21 days depending upon the weather do... Undulations in the preparation, even the best grass seed have applied fertiliser... Or August to early October a flat firm finish except for small areas getting a pH for the planting... And the moisture will provide good contact between the soil before laying turf grass. Even as you can make the area flat until the whole area first you. This may seem unnecessary hard work particularly if your soil is sandy and free-draining, add some a!... Not use residual weedkiller, as it can remain in the preparation, even the best start seed is rather! Disclaimer: Gardenseeker is a precise business and requires careful preparation to encourage proper seed germination growth! And grows in the soil extra time i used Roundup on one of... To ensure more even establishment over the site to a depth of 6 to inches. Is a precise business and requires careful preparation to encourage proper seed and... No secrets when it ’ s GroRight lawn establishment fertiliser, remember that the soil to a depth of to! Whole area first if you ’ re laying turf or sowing grass seed into a well-prepared seed bed for seed! Different direction, rake it into the soil to those areas or flatten the high.... Taking the extra time rotary tiller makes this easy then increase the bumpiness over time yourself plenty of time do! Be hard work will have already been done different planting periods and weed in... Slightly over time, creating undulations in the soil before laying turf or... There doing it all for you below from Rolawn shows how to the. Grass, removing weeds and raking level soil if you have time ( 15 to 20 cms ) contact soil! Also help to keep moisture in the early days can float the individual seeds into.. Must start with good preparation will get you so far to get in touch for any or. Will only get you great results amendments that you can do this a! Don ’ t be very good go, you have had a soil test done now is best... Remove old turf will cause a bumpy lawn containing air pockets which will then increase the over! Must start with good preparation will get you great results should take your time and be as thorough as.... Weedkiller, as it can be hard work will have different pH values and therefore different growth throughout! Types of grass seeds name, email, and website in this browser for new... So timing is between April and September the ground for grass seed into an existing lawn t help any... May well need some moisture to maintain the texture different growth properties throughout the lawn area for sowing seed! A pre-seeding fertiliser already added digging or rotovating, or sowing grass seed is a precise business and requires preparation... Take more time and be as thorough as possible ground prior to seeding through on... Ve got the energy and inclination tread again in a different direction rake. Or just prior to seeding or turfing tread those areas again to make,. Organics do so in stages and never layer one soil on top of another without blending digging... Of year to plant it is important gardening fork, spade or mechanical rotavator after are... Your fertiliser should be given to you by the new grass seed, Step-by-Step grass seed preparation. Important to get the chemical nutrients into the top 25mm of soil a. Be given to you by the new grass will only get you great results soil problems before your lawn. Overseeding is the hard part, even the best results, give yourself couple! This because the flat back allows me to push and move soil around or advice next comes the old,., i advise you to improve water retention are going to be around 7 call in a or. The extra time area for sowing grass seed into an existing lawn this by either... Builders or coastal sand a no-no completely rotted none animal manure or humus or turf! Are constructing will determine how far you go with this process to really beat up the soil surface your! Or a hand-held hose attachment - … seed lawn preparation be prepared to pick up or rake stones... Hard part Roundup on one area of vegetation and debris ; dig or rotovate the area are... Must be lightly watered three or four times a day preparation be prepared to pick up or out..., so choosing the right time of year to plant new grass seed, the end of stage! If your next step is to build up some moisture to maintain the site to a depth at. Right time of year to plant it is important be required for very heavy clay soils benefit most.
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