If that is not possible, then walk over it gently, basically you’re trying to compact the soil. Once spring arrives, the seeds will sprout and grow normally. We were lucky. These are: choosing the right grass seed, preparing the lawn area, sowing the grass seeds and aftercare. Tips for Planting Grass Browse our selection at https://www.telegraphplants.co.uk/. Over Christmas I was busy sowing grass seed. Meadow Grass Seed Mixes. Leave your grass to grow until it hits about 6-8cm and then, if possible, go over it gently with a garden roller. Whether you’re sowing a new lawn or overseeding an old one, you want to do it at the right time and in the right way. Lightly tickle this in with the rake just raking in the top 10mm, then sow the other half of the seed on the same area and lightly tickle it in again. Use weedkiller, or hand weed. He recommends cultivating the area to about 3-4 inches and lightly consolidated it (by heel walking) , rake it very lightly to a depth of 10-15mm before sowing half the seed. Grass seed usually takes up to 30 days to germinate, or even longer if the weather’s particularly cold, so it’s best to be prepared! Divide the area to be seeded into segments. Another trick beloved of experienced gardeners is to put a heavy covering over the ground, basically anything thick enough to block out all the light (it’s important that all light is blocked). Ideally, cover it with something which blocks out light completely to prevent weeds from taking hold. The alternative, ivy, with its much shinier leaf, looks a bit harsh by contrast and it catches on to things and climbs. Seed Head: This is the flower of the grass plant. James points out that sports stadium pitches are reconstructed at the end of each season and sown with pure rye-grass mixtures at the end of May/June. Bunch grasses spread by producing new tillers. So that just leaves the moss invasion. Since then I have heeded his excellent advice. There are various grades from those for occasional parking areas to those for pedestrian paths. Often soil temperatures on the surface can warm up remarkably quickly with a bit of sunshine. When to plant grass seed in the UK – the long answer Basically, you want to plant grass seed when there is warmth (but not excessive heat), plenty of sunshine and a decent amount of moisture. He also stresses that you should not to sow too deeply. This was being converted into a grand hotel and we needed to get the lawns presentable for the opening. If you don’t want to increase the light by reducing the canopies, maybe you should forget grass in these areas altogether. If you are using hard-wearing grass seed and doing everything properly and still finding that you regularly get bare patches in the same places on your lawn, then you should probably take this as a sign that the traffic is too much for any form of grass and that you either want to look at an alternative such as paving or at the very least give your lawn some help, for example, by putting down stepping stones. Here are some grass-seed related FAQs and the answers to them. The mesh is invisible once the grass has grown through and maintenance is as for normal grass. The best time to plant grass seed is when the weather is doing what you want it … Alternatively you could use string, preferably coloured string, and again you’ll need something to hold it down. When planning to sow grass, make sure to consult a two week forecast to mitigate any risk of adverse weather or sudden drop in temperatures. We rely on advertising to help fund our award-winning journalism. Hard Wearing Grass; High Quality Lawn Lawn UK is known for top quality premium lawn seed. There are 10,000 grass species offering a very wide range of types of plant. You can find out when to sow grass seed by checking the weather forecast, as heavy rain and strong winds can drown the seeds or wash or blow them away. For your area, you’ll need to know your soil type (in particular the pH level and how well it drains), plus the local climate. Give it a few weeks and all the weeds will be dead and ready for removal. When grass fully matures before the winter season, the lawn grows in full the following spring. A common cause of failure arises from sowing in spring. For grasses that do best in a dry soil, improve drainage by digging in … Autumn (generally September) is ideal If you can’t wait until September, do it in the spring (April/May is generally best) but keep an eye out for weeds However, all this advice is predicated on the weather. If young seed starts to chit and grow and so is full of moisture and extreme cold hits it, the water in the cells freezes, expands and then can rupture them. Many are ideal for gravel gardens, prairie planting, wildlife gardens and are great to add to the cutting garden; others perform well in containers. In one such area, my orchard, I have planted low sheets of Symphytum 'Hidcote Blue’. This will help prepare the soil and give your grass the best chance of growing. If you sow your grass seeds in spring, you’ll probably find that you get a lot of weeds in your lawn. If you sow in autumn, weeds are far less likely to be an issue, but if they do pop up then either ignore them or remove them by hand. Dig or till the area. Place fine-meshed netting over your seeded area to deter birds and for bonus points give your garden birds an alternative source of food which is easy for them to access. Measure out the grass seeds properly. While planting grass seed in November is too late to make the fall growing season, there is a method called dormant seeding. Join us, join in, save and live in luxury, for less, Enable registration in settings - general, When and How to Sow Grass Seed – Planting & Preparing Expert Guide, Best Drain Unblockers UK – [DIY Guide & Product Guide], How Much Does It Cost To Run A Hot Tub – [Complete Expert Guide], How to get rid of foxes in your garden – [UK Expert Guide], How to Sharpen Garden Shears – [Step By Step Guide], Best Cat Scarer – Complete Buying Guide and Review, When to Scarify the Lawn – Lawn Care an Expert Guide. Speaking of areas which join together, you can make your life a whole lot easier by keeping a hard border between lawns and beds, trees and ornaments. Soil temperatures are still warm (55° to 65° F), which is necessary for optimum seed germination, and cooler air temperatures are better for grass growth. Don’t go crazy and scalp your lawn, it won’t be nearly strong enough to take this sort of treatment yet. If sowing in autumn, the seed will germinate quickly as the ground is warm and moist. Basically allow up to 10 days for germination and then another 3 weeks or so for initial, slow, growth. If you’re planning to use a residual weed killer and/or moss killer then you want to do so at least a month before you seed your lawn. Another possibility would be if one part of your garden gets a lot of traffic but the other part is mainly ornamental. Resist any temptation to fertilize your lawn while it is becoming established (again, for the first six months or so). Planting grass seed in August and September, the best time to plant in the Northeast, gives the grass a chance to set before winter. The reason why late summer to mid-autumn has the edge over mid-spring is because most weeds have already been and gone, so there will be less competition for resources. I find it invaluable. For example, if part of your garden gets a lot of sunlight and another part is mostly in shade, then you might want to use different grass seeds for the different areas. While this comes with risks, it can also be beneficial and save you time on … Grass seed can survive the winter, and planting during the winter season is known as dormant seeding. An easy way to do this is to grab 4 garden canes and cut them to a metre each, you might also want to grab some stones to hold them in place. Assuming good growing conditions, you should expect it to take about a month for you to have something which looks recognizably like a lawn. From this point on, you stay off the area until you are actually read to sow your grass seeds. I like laying a square slab at 45 degrees to the path and then alternating this with a long thin slab. These finest quality grass seed mixtures are designed to look perfect but still be versatile. The window for planting grass seed in the U.K is actually quite wide and spans from mid-march to the end of September. Starting ornamental grass seed by planting 1 or 2 seeds per growing cell will work, just not as fast as method #2. Germination may be slightly slower in spring. There’s a good chance most of them will die back in the autumn in any case. The short answer to this question is that the best time to sow grass seed is between late summer and mid-autumn and the second-best time to sow grass seed is mid-spring. There are grasses for damp or dry soil, shady as well as sunny situations. You’re just going to have to ignore them for the first 6 months or so. In principle, if you store it properly, then good-quality grass seed can last for up to three years. Some types of grass seed will rot if left in cold, wet ground, fescues are particularly prone to this, whereas rye grass is more tolerant. Grass seed is best sown from late summer to mid-autumn; there is less competition from weeds, and the soil is warm, and damp from rain. Pro tip, while you might think that “grass is grass” in actual fact when you see two types of grasses side by side, the difference between them can be very obvious. It costs from around £2/m sq. This is a heavy duty polyethylene grid, which is simply installed by laying it over mown grass and pinning into place. Hard Wearing Grass; High Quality Lawn Lawn UK is known for top quality premium lawn seed. You can sow grass seed in spring or autumn. Your grasses will enjoy a full fall season, plus a second cool, growing season come spring. Depending on the seed used and the temperature you should start to see some green shoots within 10 to 14 days. These finest quality grass seed mixtures are designed to look perfect but still be versatile. Tiller: This is made up of leaf blades and sheaths, the stem and sometimes a seed head. Then move on to the next segment. Knowing when to sow grass Sowing season in the UK is generally from mid March - September, this is when temperatures are 8-10 degrees and above consistently, which is required for germination to occur. I checked with experts to find out what risks I am taking by sowing at a time of year when we could have a sudden freeze. BIG guy with a big heart, super warm and friendly guy. This may seem like a long time, but you need every trace of the chemicals to be out of the soil before you sow your grass seeds, otherwise it will very probably kill them. Although Guy did mention they do sell a grass seed 'Anytime’, which was launched recently, composed of three types of rye, which will germinate at 2-3C. Once this is all done, give the area a standard rake so that it is flat and then walk all over it so that the soil is compacted. You never want to plant grass seed in winter or summer, because it will be either too cold or too hot and too dry and basically your grass seed is far more likely to shrivel and die than it is to grow. The exception to this is if the packaging specifically says that the grass seed needs to be fertilized, in which case follow the instructions. Turfing is an option, but is far more expensive and often doesn’t give you the right seed mix. This means that, in practice, you should really aim to use up grass seed within one year. 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These grasses are best planted in the early summer because they will only germinate in warm soil. Again, don’t overdo this as seeds also need light. When you sow the seed it will be at marginally varying depths and not all germinates exactly at the same time so it is unlikely for it all to be affected by frost. A couple of days later, mow off the top third (so down to 4-5cm), to encourage new growth. When the grass hits 5cm (2 1 / 2 ”) you can start mowing your new lawn. In vulnerable areas such as under swings and play areas, there is a similar product, Safety Rubber Mat. Bald patches created by leatherjackets and chafer bugs seem to be on the increase in lawns. Our fridges are usually set for 5C for a good reason - at this temperature not a lot happens in terms of mould or any other type of growth. Large tracts had to be sown with grass. If you put down grass seed in November or December, the seed will just lay dormant until the soil starts to warm in spring. 1 At this time, the ground is still warm enough to aid germination, but the days are cool and sometimes rainy. Nemasys Chafer bug killer and Nemasys leather jacket killer (pitchcare.com). Two of the chemicals that treat these (chlorpyrifos and imidacloprid) have been withdrawn, but there is a highly effective biological solution. Go slowly for the first few times you mow to ensure the grass is cut as cleanly as possible. Basically, you want to plant grass seed when there is warmth (but not excessive heat), plenty of sunshine and a decent amount of moisture. If you’re lucky, there will be a measure in the pack. Choose warm-season grass such as bermudagrass or bahiagrass, if you live in a hot Southern region. Perfect for seeds to germinate. Thankfully, with the mild temperatures, in two weeks it was greening up and now it looks almost lush. For best results, lawn seed should be sown in spring (from March to May) or early autumn (September to mid October), when the soil is moist and warm. Planting during cool weather in fall and spring coincides with the most active growth periods for these grass types. If it builds, screws or fixes, Jeff knows all about it. Eliminate perennial weeds such as couch grass or bindweed well before beginning to prepare the seed bed. If you’re overseeding an existing lawn (basically dealing with bare patches), it’s preferable to scarify the lawn thoroughly first. Through dormant seeding, grass seed can be planted in November when the weather is cold enough to keep it dormant until the weather warms up in the spring. Bear in mind that seed sown in the south of the UK will germinate sooner than that sown in the north of Scotland. Moisture of the soil They are turned around from sowing to play in 5-6 weeks. Start by reading the instructions on the packaging and give them priority. A couple of days before you are ready to sow your grass seeds, rake in some lawn fertilizer to help get your grass seeds off to a good start. Creeping grasses spread by stolons or rhizomes. If you have a cylinder mower, remove the front roller as it will be a bit too much at this point. Ornamental grasses can be planted all year round but ideally plant them in spring or autumn. It’s really important to keep your soil moist, so if you don’t get rain, then you will need to water manually for at least the 7-10 days after sowing. This means the grass should begin to grow between five and 30 days after laying down the grass seed. Grass Seed. For example, where a field contains a 20% dock infestation, this can equate to a loss in 20% of potential grass production. It is important to remember to lay them about 5mm below the level of the surrounding grass so you can mow over the top. As a general rule, plant cool-season grass seed at least 45 days before the estimated date of your first fall frost, before soil and air temperatures drop to less favorable levels. A soil thermometer is an extremely handy bit of kit and the results can often surprise you (a great guide to sowing early veg, too). If you’re not, you’ll need to find one or use scales. Make sure the grass is dry and the mower freshly sharpened. If you want to plant grass seed, then your first step is to choose the right grass seed for your area and your lifestyle. In most case people tend to know about lawn grass, paddock grass seed and in some cases ornamental grasses that can be planted in borders. In Massachusetts, for example, early fall is the ideal time to plant grass seed. James Grundy of Pitchcare points out that the two main factors for germination are temperature and moisture. For your lifestyle, think about now and in the future. This not only protects the grass but also provides a safety surface. Get rid of any surface debris and deal with any weeds. And mind you, this was the suggested method on the seed packet. Many ornamental grasses can be grown easily from seed.Increase or refresh your stock by collecting seeds in autumn, for sowing in spring. Repeat and then finish with a rake to get rid of any footsteps or any other hollows which have formed and leave a perfectly flat surface. Because it can’t tolerate extreme heat or cold, the best time to plant cool-season grass is in the spring or fall. You could choose to make a feature of this or to blur the difference by using a combination of the two seed types over the part where the two areas join together. If in doubt, sow grass seed which requires little maintenance, because it will still look better than high-maintenance grass seed which hasn’t been properly maintained. If we get a sudden dry snap after the grass has started to germinate (which is often not really visible) the vulnerable tiny plants shrivel up and die. Best Times to Plant Grass Seed. Always eating and always active, Jeff literally never stops, always has a smile on his face but more importantly for our readers, is an expert reviewer, We will never spam you and ONLY send you deals and updates worth reading, This site is community-driven and all reviews and opinions toward the products are welcomed. They grow from the crown of the plant. If nothing else, this means that you can do away with the edging shears and just mow right to the edge of your lawn area. Award-winning garden designer Charlotte Howard said, “Grass seed can take between 5 and 30 days to germinate, depending on the variety.There are many different types of grass seed mixes depending on the sort of lawn you want. Very hard-wearing grass seeds may germinate in as little as 3-4 days but 7-10 days is more common. A weed is “a plant in the wrong place”, but weeds can have significant consequences for grass leys. A blend of grass seeds guarantees durability throughout the seasonal changes. In the area where you want to grow the grass, use a shovel or tiller to turn over … For the most part, however, what you see on the packaging is likely to be a shortened version of the following instructions. Grass reinforcing meshes (terram.com) can offer a soft solution. This guide will tell you everything you need to know. When you should sow grass seed - Lawn UK When you should sow grass seed 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. For example, fescue seeds for ornamental lawns often take longest to grow and require frequent watering, so if you forget to continually water them, they may take even longer to germinate. A couple of days before you sow your grass seed it’s also a good idea to rake in a small amount of general lawn fertiliser such as Miracle-Gro Growmore Garden Plant Food at 35gm/sqm a few days before sowing seed. Advise the people in your life that they need to stay off the seeded area until it is properly established for which read about a month. There are basically four steps to sowing grass seed. This covers meadow grass, bamboos, cereals etc, all of which fall under the same family Gramineae. When to plant grass seed in the UK. For the sake of completeness, if you have an area of really deep shade, then you’ll struggle to find any form of grass which will grow there, or anything else for that matter. So how can he explain my previous successes with winter grass sowing? You should never roll it immediately after sowing. There will also be fewer weeds for the grass to compete with at this time of the year. This year in early December we sowed quite a stretch of parkland for a client. This will get rid of any thatch and remaining weeds (especially moss) which could suffocate your grass seeds. Do not use residual weedkiller, as it can remain in the soil and will prevent the grass from germinating. However, we all know how our weather likes to throw us surprises so you still need to keep an eye on the weather forecast when you’re thinking of planting grass seed. Whatever you do, you want to end up with soil which is free of lumps. For example, premium shade, which is a fine quality lawn mixture also grows well in the shade. Wait until temperatures get above 65°F during the day and then seed. The rain will help consolidate it. Grass Seed. The Grass People Superstar: best grass seed for large areas. Before laying a new lawn, take some time to think about the part it will play in your overall garden layout. Our in house heavy lifter, you certainly know when he’s around. For example, you might need to add a soil improver or top soil, or if your soil is very sandy, you might want to add some lawn soil or sharp sand to help improve the drainage. You may want or need to skip this step if you are using grass seeds which come with a fertilizer treatment, check the instructions on the packaging. You can also save yourself issues with roots causing damage to the edges of your lawn and also to foliage dropping onto your lawn and needing to be cleaned up quickly before it suffocates your grass. Grass seed germination can start as quickly as 5-10 days while some take up to a month to grow, so it will vary depending on many factors. Planting 1 or 2 seeds into a seed pod is a slower method, but works in the long run. Stolon: This is a horizontal above-ground stem or runner. If you can’t, then, as a minimum put a fork through it to aerate the soil. These areas are best done in the spring. “She’s lost the plot”, you might be thinking. We urge you to turn off your ad blocker for The Telegraph website so that you can continue to access our quality content in the future. Try to make them as close to 1M by 1M as you possibly can the quantity of seed to use is generally given on this basis. Again, keep a light hand, use a manual watering can with a rose on or a hose gun with a mist spray (or a sprinkler with a mist setting). Generally, we recommend sowing grass seed in mid-late spring and again in early autumn. Thirty years ago I worked with an experienced 70-year-old head gardener, Les Jones, on the gardens at Stapleford Park. No weeds can compete and the mower restricts its spread. Prepare the soil well by digging over, removing weeds and raking level. Depending on the nature of your garden, you may want to plant different types of grass seed for different areas. Whenever you repair lawns, the unpredictable nature of our weather means you are taking a chance. Guy Jenkins, consumer manager at Johnsons Lawn Seed, says many gardeners in the south do sow in winter, but ideally the ground temperature should be 6C at least. Early fall is the very best time to plant grass seed. This is important as using too few seeds will obviously result in thin grass (if they survive) but using too many will lead to wastage as the excess seeds will not have room to germinate and so will just rot away. Bald areas in your lawns can creep in from too much shade as trees expand their canopies. Test Your Soil (Optional) Fortunately, you can get beautiful results without a soil test as long as … Once you’ve scarified your lawn, or if you’re creating a new lawn dig over the earth with a fork if you can. Seed warm weather grass seeds in early spring and into the summer. Again, you might want to use different kinds of grass seed. Well, when you bring in the mower in spring, most will hopefully be out-competed by your thickly growing lawn - fingers crossed! They’re simple to collect, and will germinate quickly, producing young plants that will be mature enough to flower by late next summer. For example, premium shade, which is a fine quality lawn mixture also grows well in the shade. Dig or rotovate the site to a depth of 20-25cm (8-10in). After all this wet weather, some of us are thinking we need more paths. Sow half the seed in one direction, turn 90 degrees and sow the other half of the seed. Former Joiner and handyman with over 25 years in the business, Jeff is our 'hands-on' tools, garden and hardware expert. You can find us not only on this site but on the social media channels below. Some types of grass seed will rot if left in cold, wet ground, fescues are particularly prone to this, whereas rye grass is more tolerant. In a perfect world, I would prefer to sow in September, but this is not always possible. Overfeeding anything can damage it and in the case of new grass it can lead to areas looking burned. In these locations you might want to go for either wood chips or some sort of decorative edging. Ideally, you should finish by going over the area with a garden roller, but if you don’t have one, just walk over it, if possible put a cover down first, a plank will do or a tarpaulin, to give your seeds a bit of protection. If you are going to use residual weed killer or moss killer, then it’s preferable to use one which also feeds your lawn as this will help to add the nutrients the grass seeds will need to grow. Les surprised me by saying that he would sow grass seed at pretty much any time of year and it pretty much  always germinated and grew. When you’ve finished rake over the area so that the grass seeds are in the soil rather than just on the soil. And raking level most of them will die back in the future this wet,! Answers to them these locations you might want to use up grass seed for large areas hardware expert sometimes! 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