Last week I wrote about the advantages of growing your own lawn from seed including choosing the perfect mixture of seed type to suit your requirements and growing conditions, and preparing the ground for your new lawn.
Final Ground Preparation
Now that you’ve prepared your sowing area, ensuring that it is weed and rubble free and sufficiently compacted (repeated heeling by treading on the soil with your weight on your heels, transversing the lawn area at right angles will help to level the ground and remove any air pockets) it is advisable to leave the bare earth for a couple of weeks which will give any weed seeds the chance to germinate. You can then hoe them off or use a glyphosate weedkiller which will leave the ground safe for planting within a few days of application.
Finally use a lawn fertiliser to treat the prepared ground this will help to give your new lawn a healthy start. It is important to choose a specialist lawn fertiliser since this will have the correct balance of nutrients specifically needed by grass.
Sowing Your Lawn Seed
There is no need to prepare your actual lawn seed – all good lawn seed mixtures come ready to sow. In order to get a uniform looking lawn you will need to distribute your lawn seed evenly avoiding over seeding some areas and under seeding others. For the amateur gardener this presents quite a challenge. The recommended method is to divide your lawn area into one metre wide strips mark these off using string or twine and then take a metre long cane and place this at right angles to the strip so you will have a square metre to sow.
There will be instructions on your lawn seed packet on how much seed to use per square metre, carefully weigh out this amount and then split it in two so that you can sow each square metre at transvers angles which will help for a more uniform sowing effect. It is advisable to prepare these all at once so if you have 40 square metres to sow prepare 80 small portions of seed – two for each square metre.
Sow your first marked square metre then move the cane up a metre and sow the next square metre and so on until you’ve finished. You can lightly and I must emphasize “lightly” rake the seed to slightly cover it with soil and then keep the area well watered.
Although the seed may be protected with a bird repellent coat, this does not help for the birds messing up your carefully prepared lawn bed by taking a dust bath! To keep birds away you can either use netting or simply stretch black cotton thread across the sown area.