Grass Seed Spring Sowing Guide 2020
Last month marked the wettest February ever in the UK* so it’s no surprise that some lawns are looking a little bit worse for wear after the deluge!
With spring just around the corner, it’s time to put the wet weather behind us and get our lawns back to looking their very best. This usually means repairing / reseeding with new grass seed.
When the weather dries up, it’s important not to bury your head in the sand and assess the issues that your lawn may be facing. Common issues most existing / established lawns will experience are yellowing, patchiness, weeds, moss, and areas where grass is struggling to grow. Here’s our 4-step process to getting your lawn back on track:
1. Remove weeds / moss
Weeds and moss are unfortunately commonplace in most lawns and usually form without anyone being at fault. Even the most attentive gardener will see weeds and moss pop up uninvited in their grass! If the weeds / moss are only in certain parts of your lawn, you can try to remove these by hand or use a handheld spray weedkiller. If you find that the weeds / moss are throughout the lawn, you would better benefit from a Feed, Weed and Moss product that works in three steps to obliterate them from the lawn entirely. You can scarify to initially remove moss / thatch, but a more stringent approach may be needed to stop it returning.
The majority of UK lawns will be compacted at some level unless winter maintenance has been carried out. This stems from walking on the lawn when its particularly cold / frosty, or from heavy use in summer. We recently wrote a guide on the necessity of aeration and how to do it, but in short – aerated lawns will benefit from enhanced colour / lushness due to the improvement in nutrient dispersal and are less likely to flood as drainage improves. You can aerate a small lawn / area by spiking it with a pitch fork, or for a large area you can use a hollow tine aerator.
Much of the yellowing / dull colour of lawns emerging after winter can be attributed to low nitrogen. Grass is a living thing, and although its not quite as demanding as the rest of us – it does require a feed from time to time. To get the most out of a fertiliser application, we recommend opting for our SLOW RELEASE: Spring / Summer fertiliser that provides a 4-month nitrogen rich feed, so will get your grass green in no time and keep it that way throughout summer. If you’re starting a new lawn from scratch on soil that hasn’t been fertilised before, our QUICK RELEASE: Pre-Seed fertiliser will inject the soil with all the nutrients it needs to get your grass growing as quickly as possible. You can apply these fertilisers before or after seeding, but if you want to speed up your lawn recovery process you may wish to do apply them at the same time, ensuring that your fertiliser is watered in thoroughly.
At The Grass People, we appreciate we have a lot of different grass seed mixes and you may be mulling over one or two of them. All our mixes can be used to repair patches, overseed or to sow a new lawn from scratch. For repairing / overseeding, we recommend sowing at a rate of 35g per m2. For sowing a new lawn from scratch, you should sow at 50g per m2. Before sowing, you should aim to get a good seedbed. If you’ve got rid of the weeds and moss and improved your drainage, you’re half way there! There are many different scenarios in which you may need a certain type of grass seed mix:
Grass seed for patchy lawns with pets / kids
You love your lawn and so do your kids / pets, but it turns out your current grass just isn’t up to scratch! Our FAMILY: Kids and Pets mix is 80% perennial ryegrass which just so happens to be one of the toughest, fastest growing grass seed’s about! Whilst also being quick to recover from damage, the 20% fescue in the mix helps to give your lawn the thick lush sward you’ve always longed for.
Grass seed for general lawn use
So, you use your lawn a lot, don’t necessarily have kids or pets but need something that is hardwearing, fastgrowing but still looks stellar – well look no further than one of our bestsellers – SUPERSTAR: Back Lawn.
Unless your home is set on an 18-hectare heiress mansion, your lawn is likely to suffer from some shade. We have two specialised shade mixes – one for non-permanent, dappled shade (STEADFAST: Shade) and one for blocked, permanent shade (STEADFAST: Ultra Shade). Both mixes contain shade tolerant fescues and can be blended with any of our other mixes.
Last summer we introduced our IMPRESS: Clay Master lawn seed, and we’re so glad we did – because it’s become one of our most popular! Clay soils can be prominent and problematic and certain parts of the UK, and if you have them – you’ll know all about it! Regular grass seed will struggle to grow in clay soils that although nutrient laden, can become swamp-like in winter and Sahara-like in summer! The perennial ryegrass content in the mix (50%) makes it hardwearing and fast growing, but the tall fescue component (45%) is particularly good at growing in clay soils conditions as it is a deep rooting seed. The 5% of smooth stalked meadow grass creates a luscious lawn that also has shade tolerant properties.
Sandy soils have the exact opposite issue of clay soils as they are free draining, but they do struggle to retain water which often causes seed to dry out and die. Our THRIVE: Sandy Soils mix is made up of 100% fescues which are a drought tolerant seed species and therefore thrive in sandy soil conditions!
A well-kept lawn is one of life’s little pleasures, and we understand that part of that means simply enjoying your lawn from afar rather than using it every day. For a pristine bowling green style lawn, our STATEMENT: Front Lawn is a 100% fine fescue mix that tolerates close mowing to create those estate statement stripes. Due to the nature of the mix, it will not tolerate wear and tear and is ideal for those who relish regular lawncare.
*Wettest February ever recorded in the UK
Complete this 4 step process and you're ready to get your lawn on this summer!