My dog has certainly left his mark on the lawn this year with a combination of running tracks which circle the lawn and spots of both yellowing burnt grass and deep green tufts spread across the entire back garden. Of course I can’t just blame my pup, the weather has also taken its toll and the dry period adding to the lawns misery
Lawn seed can be applied to your lawn most of the year. There are certain weather conditions however that must be avoided. From mid October onwards until mid march are the months to avoid sowing lawns. Frosty weather will quickly kill your grass seed that sits anxiously for a drop of water and warmer conditions to sprout. That really is the key to lawn establishment – Rain and warmth.
If you are planning on sowing lawn seed be sure to check the weather forecast first. If the soil is warm and dry and rain is forecast then you truly can’t find a better time to sow your seed. If you sow seeds and it doesn’t rain for the next two weeks then you will need to water in the seeds to encourage germination.
Ground preparation is important. In the case where you are just re seeding patches of lawn that have become worn due to excessive traffic, compaction, drought, pets or accidental damage maybe caused by lawnmowers or spilt weed killer or petrol then only small areas of the lawn will require preparation.
To prepare your soil for sowing lawn seed you will first need to rake away the dead grass and dispose. Next assess your soil – ideally you will need approx 3 inches of decent topsoil to successfully grow a lawn. Using a garden fork – dig the topsoil to a about half the depth of the fork and loosen the topsoil layer. This will create a nice seed bed and make for better rooting conditions for the young lawn seed seedlings
Next aerate the lower layer of soil by forcing the garden fork down into the soil, lever the fork back and forward so as to lift the soil slightly. This will improve drainage conditions and allow for better grass growth.
Continue this process across the length of your lawn and then rake over to ensure the soil is level. Now you can begin sowing your lawn seed. In the case of re sowing patches of grass it is best done by hand as you can more accurately determine the positioning of the lawn seeds.
Application rate for lawn seed is generally 35 grams per m2. This would be roughly a half a cup or one large handful. Scatter the seeds and then loosely rake over to ensure good contact between the seed and the soil. Finally water in the seeds with a fine water jet, you should do this even if rain is expected as it encourages the soil and seed to cling together before a heavy shore might wash the seeds away.
2 weeks later and your patches will begin to turn green, after about 4 weeks you should start cutting the grass to encourage a thicker sward. Be sure not to fertilise in the first 12months as this can scorch the grass.