Have an area of bare earth and want to sow a new lawn? Learn how with the latest episode 'How to Create a New Lawn' from our series of informative videos Great Lawns Made Simple.
To be able to sow a new lawn you need to prepare the ground for the seed. This means getting rid of any weeds first. They will need completely dug out or sprayed with weed killer. It is easier to get them now rather than later when they are sprouting up amongst your new seedlings.
First steps to a new lawn
Get rid of any big stones at this point, having a bucket or plastic tub is handy for this – or a wheelbarrow if you have a lot of ground to cover. Dig over the ground to clear the area, this also helps get air into the soil. If the ground is compacted the digging will improve this. You need to dig to at least 15cm. Leave the ground to cultivate for a few weeks if you can. This allows the soil to settle and you can tackle any leftover sprouting weeds.
1. Soil preparation
At this stage, you can apply a pre-seed fertiliser which will ensure a flying start to your lawn. Another option is to apply a slow release fertiliser a few weeks after sowing for steady growth up to 12 weeks. Next step is to rake over your soil and then tread the ground using small shuffling steps firm the ground and get rid of air pockets. Now rake over lightly again and you should have soil perfect for sowing.
2. Time to get sowing
Always measure your area first so you know how much seed you need and marking it out will help you sow evenly. Seed should be applied per square metre as per instructions.
If sowing by hand measure out how much you need to cover one metre squared in a container with a marked line. Cover the area aiming to get even coverage by spreading half the container in one direction than in the opposite direction. Repeat the process for each marked out metre squared. A seed spreader is a good way to cover evenly over large areas. Once your seeds are down they should have good contact with the soil so rake very lightly to cover and then tread lightly to bed your seed in, around 5-10mm.
3. Seedbed aftercare
Protect seeds from heavy feet, dogs, hungry birds and children. You can also cover with nets or use scaring devices to keep birds away. Cordon off the area but don’t worry if you do get a disturbed patch as it can be overseeded and repaired.