I really like Rolawn’s Turf and Seeding Topsoil as it comes with pre-seeding fertiliser already added. If you’re planting … Fork over the site and rake level to leave a fine finish. 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. For a perfectionist will an ornamental lawn, this will not do. This removes air from the layer preventing settling later on. How and when to sow wildflower seed. Most plants prefer a neutral soil, meaning on a scale from 1 to 14, the pH will have to be around 7. This does take more time and also adds to the expense of creating a new lawn. Choosing grass seed There’s a wide range of grass seed to choose from, according to what you want the end result to be. Moisten the soil carefully, using a fine spray from a hose sprayer. 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. 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. For best results, give yourself a couple of months to do it. However, if you like to do a job well, it’s worth taking the extra time. You should remove every last piece of plant material from the area. Do not use residual weedkiller, as it can remain in the soil and will prevent the grass from germinating. As a result, many people skip this step. I used Roundup on one area of lawn, 2 weeks later weeds began to appear again. It may be a good time to invest in a sprinkler or a hand-held hose attachment - … The 8 stages in creating a new lawn from grass seed. This is good preparation work. This will also affect the pH of the finished job so it’s worth getting a pH for the new soil. 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. It takes time but pays dividends in giving a flat firm finish. As such, it’s worth taking the time to do it properly. The greater the quantity or depth of amendment will affect the steps you will take to incorporate it. Seeding a lawn is a precise business and requires careful preparation to encourage proper seed germination and growth. If there isn’t enough soil to dig at least 15cm deep, you’ll need to add some. Unfortunately, existing turf will not break up readily thereby making it harder work to rotovate or dig. Different types of grass seeds require different amounts of irrigation. 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. Preparation. 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. 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! 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. 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. Rake the soil to a fine finish. If you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission which helps maintain the site. For normal family and utility lawns, this step isn’t really necessary. Even if you don’t create your new lawn until October, the hard work will have already been done. Ready for wildflower planting. Your goal is a firm, weed-free, well-drained soil that’s clear of rocks, rubble and clay lumps. I use Rolawn’s GroRight Lawn Establishment Fertiliser. You need to really beat up the existing grass, to the extent that you can see up to 50% earth. And if perfection is your goal then consider bringing in double screened (1/4” sieved) sandy loam topsoil for the top few inches. This will activate the fertiliser and the moisture will provide good contact between the soil and turf or seed. Spray Grass – New Lawn Fast at a Fraction of the Cost of Turf. So, add a pre-seeding fertiliser to the soil. Preparation. 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 this happens stop and let the ground dry a little otherwise you could be causing drainage problems later on. WARNING: After each addition and blending of soil you should consolidate the layer by treading or using a medium roller over the entire area. Once you’ve levelled the soil, it’s time to tread it, or ‘heel it’ as some people say. Conversely, sandy soils may well need some moisture to maintain the texture. Should I spray Roundup again and till soil after weeds are gone? 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. Dig or rotovate the site to a … For a fine ornamental lawn, choose a seed mixture that doesn’t contain any coarse grasses, such as ryegrass. How to Prepare the Ground For Turf or Grass Seed, Step-by-Step Step 1: Remove Old Turf, Plants and Weeds. Lawn Seed. Disclaimer: Gardenseeker is a free resource, with everything from gardening tips to product reviews. Grass seed is the cheapest way to create a new lawn. You’ll need to dig the soil at least 15cm deep and turn it over thoroughly. Use a rake to break 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. See TREADING in the 'Penultimate Step' below. 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. That said, different breeds of grass have different planting periods. © 2020 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. 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. After removing all stones and other rubbish from the lawn area, you must prepare the ground. I often see sand layered at about 1” deep on top of prepared ground prior to seeding or turfing. So, September and October are always good months. What do you do to prepare it for overseeding with a wildflower seed mix? 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. Prepare the soil well by digging over, removing weeds and raking level. As if I was there doing it all for you! When adding soil or organics do so in stages and NEVER layer one soil on top of another without blending by digging or rotovating. Always water with a fine spray; to great a force of water will displace the seeds. The final step is to build up some moisture in the soil if things are dry. In this article, I’m going to show you, in 9 simple steps, how to prepare the ground for turf and grass seed. You can sow grass seed in spring or autumn. 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. You should take your time and be as thorough as possible. 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. Lawnsmith Ltd. All rights reserved. In addition the old turf will cause a bumpy lawn containing air pockets which will then increase the bumpiness over time. How to Prepare a New Seed Bed for Grass. 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 amounts should be given to you by the laboratory that did your soil analysis. TREADING: Next comes the old fashioned art of ‘treading’ or ‘heeling’ the soil surface. This, too, is very important. This will create a surface which is as flat as possible. Time It Right. However, if you take your time and do it right, you newly laid turf or seeded lawn will be a thing of beauty. Use glyphosate as this degrades on contact with the soil leaving no harmful residue. 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. However, it makes a huge difference in how well your lawn establishes and grows in the long term. Starting grass from seed can result in a lush green lawn within a few months. 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. Keep the soil damp at all times, but never provide sufficient water to wash away the grass seeds. If you rush and make a mess of the preparation, even the best grass seed or the best turf won’t help. You cannot skip this part. For example, a seeded Bermuda grass lawn must be lightly watered three or four times a day. Make sure you wait for the right time of year to plant new grass seed. This may seem unnecessary hard work particularly if your next step is to dig or rotovate the area. The secret to creating a beautiful lawn is thorough preparation. 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. If your soil is sandy and free-draining, add some compost or well-rotted organic matter to improve water retention. Eliminate perennial weeds such as couch grass or bindweed well before beginning to prepare the seed bed. This will reduce the occurrence of future weeds and weed grasses in your new lawn. This final stage completes the preparation and readies the lawn area for sowing grass seed or laying turf. Rake the area flat until the whole area is as even as you can get it. Using a rotary tiller makes this easy. 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. There’s nothing complicated about it but it does take time and hard work if you want to create the best finish you can. Using Sand. Also, remember that the soil in your area is probably a few degrees cooler than the air itself. Too mach water applied in the early days can float the individual seeds into concentrations. We supply grass seed for lawns, landscaping, paddocks, sports and agriculture, plus a range of fertiliser, spreaders and wildflowers, all at great value prices. If you’re adding lime be careful not to overdo it. As such, I advise you to improve your soil if you can. Step 2: Rotavate the Soil. Then start seeding. The video below from Rolawn shows how to prepare the ground, step-by-step. River sand is the best and builders or coastal sand a no-no! Repeated treading will be required for an ornamental lawn as will the use of boards, levels and string to get a perfectly flat finish. 1. When adding lime do so as evenly as possible otherwise you will have different pH values and therefore different growth properties throughout the lawn. Dig or till the area. If there are places that sink, add soil to them and tread those areas again to make the ground as level as possible. Use ground limestone or dolomitic limestone only. I'm a professional gardener with degrees in Horticulture & Landscape Gardening. The good news is that preparing the ground for laying turf or sowing seed is a simple task. Getting ready for the grass planting, giving the seed grass the best start. Agricultural Grass Seed. Once you prepare your seed bed and hand rake the area you can apply the grass seed starting fertilizer. Landscape Grass Seed… 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. Choose one that breaks down on contact with soil like Elixir’s Glyphosate Weed Killer Concentrate. You can do it quicker but the results won’t be nearly as good. 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. Heavy clay soils benefit the most from the addition of sand but they are also the hardest to blend. The flatter you can make the area, the better your lawn will look when it’s laid. It's easier to fix soil problems before your new lawn is in place. Paddock Grass Seed. I like to use Rolawn’s Soil Improving Compost for larger areas but any compost, well-rotted organic material or manure will do. Clear the area you are preparing Above 7 is considered alkaline, and below is considered acidic. Germination may be slightly slower in spring. 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. Take a landscaper’s rake and break up any clumps of soil. Don't hesitate to get in touch for any help or advice. PREPARATION. Seed bed preparation. Once you’ve cleared the area and killed any remaining weed, grass or … It doesn’t matter if you’re laying turf, or sowing grass seed, the ground preparation is exactly the same. If the bed of soil below that is still heavy clay then go further or call in a professional to lay drainage. You need to do this through a combination of scarifying and cutting. This is perfect for grass health and to promote excellent rooting. 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. Seems like they would come back as they did the first spray. On the other hand, perennial rye seeds need water twice a day. If you rush the prep, the final result won’t be very good. Either add soil to those areas or flatten the high spots. Do this a few times in different directions. This is done supposedly to add a smooth finish and improve drainage. Adding 6” or 15 cm of new soil. The addition of sand or sharp sand to lighten heavy soil is possible but it does require … http://NaturesFinestSeed.com/grass-seed In this video we explain how to prepare soil for planting grass seed. I want to help you create the garden of your dreams. Improve the soil. If you don’t do it, the ground will settle as it rains and your lawn will become bumpy and uneven very quickly. All Rights Reserved. Spray the area with a Glyphosate-based weed killer. Use weedkiller, or hand weed. It’s important to get the chemical nutrients into the soil before laying turf or sowing grass seed. 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. Grass seed should germinate and show within 7 to 21 days depending upon the weather, do not walk on it during this period. The first thing to do is clear the area where your new lawn is going to be laid or sown. We are reader-supported: © 2020 GardenSeeker.com. Knowing this will indicate how you need to improve the soil quality. If you’ve got the energy and inclination tread again in a different direction, rake to level and repeat one last time. Sow a grass and wildflower seed mix at 4 grams to the sq metre. In the area where you want to grow the grass, use a shovel or tiller to turn over … It’s the equivalent of kneading dough to make bread. 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. Water the Lawn. Your fertiliser should be incorporated at the end of this stage. You can do this by using either a heavy roller or heeling again. Start off by raking the area to a reasonably smooth level. It is best to dig the area over as deep as you can; there really is no substitute for this. If you have had a soil test done now is the time to plan and order those amendments that you are going to make. 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