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Sowing a lawn from seed

Planting a lawn from seed is usually far cheaper than buying turf, and the process is fairly straightforward.

Types of seed

General-purpose

A blend of robust grass types that will cope with heavy traffic, grow quickly and require regular mowing.

Fine or luxury

Finely-textured grass is not suited to heavy use, though it needs less mowing.

Shady

Such lawns can cope with shady conditions, but cannot stand up to very heavy use.

How to sow

Kill any weeds, but don’t use residual weed killer as it might affect grass growth. Dig or rotovate the soil to 20-25cm, then dig in well-rotted manure for moisture retention. Leave to settle for at least several days. Tread the area then rake, repeating each several times and in different directions, then add general-purpose fertiliser. Scatter half of the seed in lengthways rows, then the other half widthways. Rake lightly to cover seed with soil, then water every few days with a sprinkler during dry spells.

After sowing

Once the grass has grown to around 5-7cm, reform by treading or using a roller. Two or three days after, cut around a third of the length from the grass, removing the front roller first and ensuring the blades are sharp. If sown in autumn, the grass may not need further attention until spring. For spring-sown grass, gradually reduce the cutting height when mowing.

Tread carefully!

Try to use your new lawn as little as you can – before June for autumn sown lawns, or before late autumn for spring-sown. Keep that Charles Taylor garden furniture off your new grass for now!

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