For clay soils, mix … Always water with a fine spray; to great a force of water will displace the seeds. Should I spray Roundup again and till soil after weeds are gone? 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. Rotovate at least twice and if the depth and tilth are not reasonably uniform repeat the process again at right angles if possible or use a garden fork to break up any large clods and make the area more uniform. However, it makes a huge difference in how well your lawn establishes and grows in the long term. 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. 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! 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. We supply grass seed for lawns, landscaping, paddocks, sports and agriculture, plus a range of fertiliser, spreaders and wildflowers, all at great value prices. 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. You’ll need to dig the soil at least 15cm deep and turn it over thoroughly. For a fine ornamental lawn, choose a seed mixture that doesn’t contain any coarse grasses, such as ryegrass. Shuffle back and forth across the surface, using your heels to firm the soil. 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. Agricultural Grass Seed. There are no secrets when it comes to successfully sowing grass seed, but it all must start with good preparation. Once you’ve decided where the new grass will go, you need to prepare the soil. Do not use residual weedkiller, as it can remain in the soil and will prevent the grass from germinating. 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. 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. Lawn Seed. On the other hand, perennial rye seeds need water twice a day. You should take your time and be as thorough as possible. Dig or till the area. Too mach water applied in the early days can float the individual seeds into concentrations. With most of your weight on your heels just shuffle and tread up and down the area moving your feet about half a foot length each time. It's easier to fix soil problems before your new lawn is in place. If there isn’t enough soil to dig at least 15cm deep, you’ll need to add some. I really like Rolawn’s Turf and Seeding Topsoil as it comes with pre-seeding fertiliser already added. Then start seeding. Grass seed is generally rather sensitive to temperature, so choosing the right time of year to plant it is important. If sowing in autumn, the seed will germinate quickly as the ground is warm and moist. When adding soil or organics do so in stages and NEVER layer one soil on top of another without blending by digging or rotovating. However, using a rake to level the soil will only get you so far. Seed bed preparation. 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. If this happens stop and let the ground dry a little otherwise you could be causing drainage problems later on. Steps discussed: 1. Prepare the soil well by digging over, removing weeds and raking level. The greater the quantity or depth of amendment will affect the steps you will take to incorporate it. The amounts should be given to you by the laboratory that did your soil analysis. Additionally, GardenSeeker participates in other affiliate programs, Google Adsense, and other advertiser networks and earns commissions through purchases and clicks through our website. 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. This is done supposedly to add a smooth finish and improve drainage. Above 7 is considered alkaline, and below is considered acidic. 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. 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. After removing all stones and other rubbish from the lawn area, you must prepare the ground. Landscape Grass Seed… Clear the area you are preparing Make sure you wait for the right time of year to plant new grass seed. This will add nutrients and also help to keep moisture in the soil where it can be used by the new grass. Step 2: Rotavate the Soil. 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. If the bed of soil below that is still heavy clay then go further or call in a professional to lay drainage. You can do this by using either a heavy roller or heeling again. Ready for wildflower planting. 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. Unfortunately, existing turf will not break up readily thereby making it harder work to rotovate or dig. This involves treading the soil with very small steps with your weight over your heels to firm up the soil. Preparation. For example, a seeded Bermuda grass lawn must be lightly watered three or four times a day. Seems like they would come back as they did the first spray. 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. Once you have applied a fertiliser, rake it into the top 25mm of soil. River sand is the best and builders or coastal sand a no-no! Spray Grass – New Lawn Fast at a Fraction of the Cost of Turf. Also, remember that the soil in your area is probably a few degrees cooler than the air itself. If possible, protect the area from birds and domestic pets, chicken wire is ideal but probably impractical except for small areas. Even if you don’t create your new lawn until October, the hard work will have already been done. Your fertiliser should be incorporated at the end of this stage. All Rights Reserved. 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! PREPARATION. For a perfectionist will an ornamental lawn, this will not do. The 8 stages in creating a new lawn from grass seed. 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. As with all weed killers this only works when things warm up so timing is between April and September. If you heel the soil and lay turf immediately, the soil underneath can settle slightly over time, creating undulations in the lawn. If you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission which helps maintain the site. And if perfection is your goal then consider bringing in double screened (1/4” sieved) sandy loam topsoil for the top few inches. If you’re planting … Grass seed should germinate and show within 7 to 21 days depending upon the weather, do not walk on it during this period. If you rush the prep, the final result won’t be very good. Generally, Autumn is the best time for laying turf or sowing grass seed. 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. Using a rotary tiller makes this easy. The soil pH is very important when planting grass seed. This step isn’t strictly necessary if you’re laying a family or utility lawn. Rake the soil to a fine finish. Different types of grass seeds require different amounts of irrigation. Lawnsmith Ltd. All rights reserved. Conversely, sandy soils may well need some moisture to maintain the texture. Water the Lawn. The video below from Rolawn shows how to prepare the ground, step-by-step. It’s important to get the chemical nutrients into the soil before laying turf or sowing grass seed. If you’re adding lime be careful not to overdo 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. Keep the soil damp at all times, but never provide sufficient water to wash away the grass seeds. I use Rolawn’s GroRight Lawn Establishment Fertiliser. Making the soil for an ornamental lawn too alkaline is detrimental to the finer grasses and will promote weeds and weed grasses. 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. Choose one that breaks down on contact with soil like Elixir’s Glyphosate Weed Killer Concentrate. As such, I advise you to improve your soil if you can. Use a rake to break it … The addition of sand or sharp sand to lighten heavy soil is possible but it does require … Like any other job, the end result is only as good as the preparation that has gone before it. Improve the soil. Time It Right. Spray the area with a Glyphosate-based weed killer. Paddock Grass Seed. For normal family and utility lawns, this step isn’t really necessary. Clear the area of vegetation and debris; Dig or rotovate the soil to a depth of at least 15cm. Seeding a lawn is a precise business and requires careful preparation to encourage proper seed germination and growth. I want to help you create the garden of your dreams. For best results, give yourself a couple of months to do it. Start off by raking the area to a reasonably smooth level. Most plants prefer a neutral soil, meaning on a scale from 1 to 14, the pH will have to be around 7. Germination may be slightly slower in spring. Sports Grass Seed. Once you’ve levelled the soil, it’s time to tread it, or ‘heel it’ as some people say. Do this a few times in different directions. 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. © 2020 However, if you take your time and do it right, you newly laid turf or seeded lawn will be a thing of beauty. You cannot skip this part. As such, it’s worth taking the time to do it properly. Whatever type of wildflower seed you sow the key to success is in the preparation. It doesn’t matter if you’re laying turf, or sowing grass seed, the ground preparation is exactly the same. You should then spray the area with a glyphosate weedkiller a week prior to seeding. This will also affect the pH of the finished job so it’s worth getting a pH for the new soil. Getting ready for the grass planting, giving the seed grass the best start. It’s the equivalent of kneading dough to make bread. It takes time but pays dividends in giving a flat firm finish. If you don’t do it, the ground will settle as it rains and your lawn will become bumpy and uneven very quickly. How and when to sow wildflower seed. The final step is to build up some moisture in the soil if things are dry. I'm a professional gardener with degrees in Horticulture & Landscape Gardening. 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. Prepare the soil by skimming off any old grass, removing large stones and weeds, and then roughly levelling. In the area where you want to grow the grass, use a shovel or tiller to turn over … Double dig or rotovate the soil to a depth of 6 to 8 inches (15 to 20 cms). Take a landscaper’s rake and break up any clumps of soil. If the area already exists as a lawn or has plants in it kill the whole area first if you have time. This may seem unnecessary hard work particularly if your next step is to dig or rotovate the area. Sow a grass and wildflower seed mix at 4 grams to the sq metre. The good news is that preparing the ground for laying turf or sowing seed is a simple task. Be careful not to … Use weedkiller, or hand weed. Moisten the soil carefully, using a fine spray from a hose sprayer. As if I was there doing it all for you! 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. 1. This final stage completes the preparation and readies the lawn area for sowing grass seed or laying turf. Once you’ve trod the area start raking again to reduce bumps and fill depressions. There’s nothing complicated about it but it does take time and hard work if you want to create the best finish you can. How to Prepare the Ground For Turf or Grass Seed, Step-by-Step Step 1: Remove Old Turf, Plants and Weeds. Choosing grass seed There’s a wide range of grass seed to choose from, according to what you want the end result to be. Use glyphosate as this degrades on contact with the soil leaving no harmful residue. You should remove every last piece of plant material from the area. Knowing this will indicate how you need to improve the soil quality. Eliminate perennial weeds such as couch grass or bindweed well before beginning to prepare the seed bed. 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. 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. 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 you have had a soil test done now is the time to plan and order those amendments that you are going to make. If there are places that sink, add soil to them and tread those areas again to make the ground as level as possible. This, too, is very important. I used Roundup on one area of lawn, 2 weeks later weeds began to appear again. Once everything is dead, perhaps after a couple of weeks, strip off any turf with a spade, turf iron or petrol turf cutter available from Hire Shops. 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. 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. It is best to dig the area over as deep as you can; there really is no substitute for this. This is perfect for grass health and to promote excellent rooting. Heavy clay soils benefit the most from the addition of sand but they are also the hardest to blend. 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. Our easy to follow guide outlines the steps you may need to take to get the best results. Sow March to May or August to early October. Ensure you’ve killed off all the weeds before 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. You need to do this through a combination of scarifying and cutting. If you rush and make a mess of the preparation, even the best grass seed or the best turf won’t help. 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. In addition the old turf will cause a bumpy lawn containing air pockets which will then increase the bumpiness over time. What do you do to prepare it for overseeding with a wildflower seed mix? Once you prepare your seed bed and hand rake the area you can apply the grass seed starting fertilizer. Water the area thoroughly and let the area settle for a least 48 hours. 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. This will create a surface which is as flat as possible. On l… This will activate the fertiliser and the moisture will provide good contact between the soil and turf or seed. The first thing to do is clear the area where your new lawn is going to be laid or sown. However, if you like to do a job well, it’s worth taking the extra time. At any stage during lawn preparation be prepared to pick up or rake out stones and debris such as roots. I often see sand layered at about 1” deep on top of prepared ground prior to seeding or turfing. To get the best looking lawn you can, you should allow yourself plenty of time to plan and those! Links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission which helps maintain the site a... 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