Picking the right time of year to sow grass seed is crucial to the development of your lawn. Find out the best time to sow grass seed at Love The Garden. While establishing a lawn from seed can be done at anytime of the year, there are a few things to consider when considering seeding a lawn in the spring.
Best time to sow grass seed
A fantastic lawn isn’t as difficult as you think and doesn’t need to be costly either. Armed with the right information, you can figure out when the best time to sow grass seed is, how to choose it, sow it, and look after it. Get to grips with the basics with our tips and tricks.
When to sow grass seed
If you are wanting a new lawn, you’re likely impatient to start, but the key to success is knowing the best time to sow grass seed. The best time to do it is between late summer and mid-autumn. There’s a few reasons for this: firstly, the soil is warm and damp from rain, which provides the ideal environment for your seed to germinate. Another advantage is there’s less competition from weeds around this time of year.
If the ground is drier than usual for this time of year water the lawn after sowing seed and keep moist until the lawn is established.
If you missed the chance to sow your grass seed in autumn, you can also try in mid-spring, but you should be prepared to tend to your lawn and give the grass plenty of water.
The worst time of year to sow grass seed is summer. It’s too hot and dry – the seeds are more likely to shrivel up and die.
One of the advantages of seed over turf is it’s easy to cover difficult areas like slopes and corners, and you can choose from a range of different seed mixes depending on what your needs are.
You can also choose from a range of more specialist mixes, like Miracle-Gro EverGreen Luxury Lawn Seed, which uses a sports-grade seed, or Miracle-Gro EverGreen Shady Lawn Seed, that’s designed to thrive in more shady locations.
You can also choose from low-maintenance seed that comes not just with seed but also controlled time-released fertiliser and soil enricher to help your lawn grow thick and healthy.
Preparing your lawn
To give your seed the best chance to grow evenly, first you need to prep your lawn. We recommend killing off the old lawn before any cultivation. Just skimming off the old grass can leave behind weed roots which will grow again to re-infest the new lawn. Clear all debris off the lawn such as stones or roots and rake the soil flat to give you an even surface to work with. You can do this by forking over the surface with a rake or level.
Next, firm the soil by walking over it, then repeat the process. If you are working with sandy soil, you’ll want to add lawn soil to help hold moisture better as well.
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. This will help prepare the soil and give your grass the best chance of growing.
Sowing the seeds
Take some time to read the instructions of your seed packets, as different mixtures have different requirements. Be sure to follow them as closely as possible.
Divide the area into small plots so you can easily keep track of where you’re working and evenly distribute the seed. Using a lawn spreader will help with distribution. Sow half the seeds over the surface in rows going lengthways, then repeat with the other half of the seed mix, working in rows going widthways.
Alternatively, if you have a spreader with a half seed rate employ this setting on your spreader.
Once that’s finished, rake the whole area to make sure your seed is distributed evenly across the soil.
After sowing the lawn seed water in and keep moist until established – do not rely on rainfall alone.
Caring for your lawn
Watching your lawn grow is one of the most satisfying parts of the process.
The warmer the ground is, the faster the germination process will happen, but expect it to take 2-3 weeks. Try to make sure the ground is disrupted as little as possible during this time.
When the new grass is about 7.5cm high cut off the top ⅓ with a sharp mower blade. Cutting the grass will encourage it to send out more shoots to thicken up the sward.
In the first six months, tend to any weeds by hand and avoid using grass feed or weed product. Weed seeds from the soil will germinate with the grass seed, most will be annual weeds which will die out with cutting, and in the winter. Perennial weeds can be treated when the lawn is established.
Seeding a lawn in the spring
Establishing a lawn from seed can be a rewarding experience and a less expensive option in comparison to sod. While establishing a lawn from seed can be done at anytime of the year, there are a few things to consider when considering seeding a lawn in the spring.
Use of Pre-emergent Fertilizer
If a pre-emergent fertilizer was applied to your lawn to prevent crabgrass and other weed seeds from germinating the same will happen to newly planted grass seed. Therefore, you will need to scratch the surface of the ground exposing the dirt which will disturb the pre-emergent barrier and allow your grass seed to germinate. If your lawn has not been fertilized yet, you will need to pick a blend of fertilizer without a pre-emergent control. If you use a lawn care provider be sure to inform them that you plan to seed in the spring and they will use a starter fertilizer blend without a pre-emergent herbicide.
Springtime weeds will seem to grow anywhere and everywhere and will grow faster then grass seed. First reaction may be to use your favorite herbicide to control those weeds, but hold off at least 60 days from the time the seed was planted or until the newly planted seed areas have been mowed at least 3 times, which ever is the later to make sure it is mature enough for weed control products.
During the summer drought months established lawns will be able to go dormant and then bounce back during the fall, but areas seeded during the spring may not be developed enough or have a deep enough root system. Consider extra watering to these areas during those periods of lack of rainfall.
Sum it up
Seeding a lawn can be done at anytime during the year; however there are things consider such as types of fertilizer to use, control of weeds and additional watering requirements during the summer months. In addition to the above information, please visit our blog on taking care of a newly seeded lawn. As always a good idea to consult with a lawn care professional and ask any questions you may have. Look around, ask friends or family, and research companies on the Better Business Bureau to find a company that you can trust.