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Summer 2007
 
John Cushnie On...
 

PREPARE FOR GRASS
6 August 2007

Depending upon your local weather conditions we are fast approaching the ideal time to sow grass seed.

LawnLate August to mid October is traditionally the best time to make a new lawn. The soil is still warm and there is usually sufficient rain for good germination.

Start with clean soil that is free of perennial weeds. Where necessary apply glyphosate weedkiller to kill existing weeds. Cultivate the soil either by hand digging or where the area is large by using either a hand or tractor rotovator. These may be hired from a d.i.y.store.

Level the site and remove all stones larger than 5 cm. On a new build site there may be a lot of builder’s debris to be removed.
Rake in a general purpose fertilizer such as Growmore at a handful per square yard.

Make sure that the ground is uniformly firm and rake off surface stones and hard lumps of soil.

Select a seed mixture to suit your needs. You may want a hard wearing grass fit for play and games. There are some species of grass better suited to shaded or dry areas and if you want the perfect lawn with fine bladed grasses then it is available at extra cost.

Scatter the grass seed evenly over the area at a handful per square yard.

lawn cutterWith a new garden it is a good idea to sow beyond the lawn area and into the proposed borders and beds. Once the grass is established it is easy to shape the areas for planting by cutting into the lawn rather than trying to sow to a line marking the edge of the bed.


Rake the seed into the top half-inch of the soil and if the surface is soft roll with a heavy roller.

If the weather turns dry and remains so for the next ten days it will be necessary to water. Allow the sprinkler to thoroughly soak the top inch of ground. A light damping of the surface will encourage germination but the seedlings will wither and die in the dry soil.

When the grass is 2-3 inches high roll the lawn to firm the young plants in the soil and then give it a light cut with a rotary mower with the blade set at 2 inches.

Don’t be tempted to apply weedkillers until the following growing season. Annual weeds will die during the winter.

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