So, you’ve been staring / glaring at your neighbours’ lush green lawn for the last few weeks and thought perhaps it’s time to sort the lawn out – once and for all, but can you still sow grass seed in summer?
Yes! It’s true that most keen gardeners will begin the sowing process around April/May, so by the time the good weather comes around the lawn is ready to enjoy. However, even if you’re a little bit late to the garden party, you can still sow lawn seed now, and in fact you may see the results a lot quicker. We’ve included some extra information below about when and if you should use fertiliser in the summer, and the best time to sow wildflower seed also.
Sowing Grass Seed
Most grass mixtures containing perennial ryegrass need around 8-10 degrees to germinate, and the UK generally begins to hit these temperatures around the end of April / beginning of May. With mixes that contain a high perennial ryegrass content – 80% and up, you could begin to see growth within 10 days. Grass seed like fescue requires slightly warmer temperatures of 15 degrees and upwards to germinate – if the weather drops below this and is slightly intermittent it may take 3-4 weeks to see the grass start to come through. However, whether you’re going for a perennial mix, a fescue mix, or one that’s a bit of both – your seed will still germinate this summer.
Watering Grass Seed
One thing to keep in mind about sowing grass seed at this time of year is that if the weather is particularly hot, or still dried out from last year, it may need more watering than normal. We recommend watering your lawn once a day deeply – at most, clay soils will need ½ inch of water, sandy soils will need 25mm, and normal soils will benefit from somewhere in between that. If you water in the morning and find that in the afternoon the soil is dried out, water again that evening, avoiding when raining.
Yes, you can still use fertiliser too – and it’s a great time to apply as lawns will need feed to keep their greenness throughout the summer if you haven’t already fed it! There are four options for summer feed, with all these options we recommend applying two weeks before you are due to sow seed – this allows ample time for the fertiliser granules to be absorbed and give the soil the best head start possible. Check out this guide for using the best lawn fertiliser.
Quick Release: Pre-Seed
Apply before August. Our Quick Release: Pre-Seed is a feed that is high in phosphate, this is a key ingredient to help strengthen the roots of new seedlings and improve seed to soil contact. Apply two weeks before seeding, and water in until the granules can’t be seen.
Quick Release: Spring / Summer
Apply before August. Our Quick Release: Spring / Summer fertiliser is a booster feed that is rich in nitrogen, giving your grass an intensive green treatment. This feed lasts for 6 weeks, but you should avoid application during very hot periods. We recommend applying on cooler evenings or overcast days. As with all granular fertilisers, make sure to water it in until it disappears into the soil.
Slow Release: Spring / Summer
Apply before August. This is a four-month fertiliser that slowly releases the nutrients into your soil for a balanced feed, and is the ideal treatment for any established lawn. Again, ensure to water the granules in.
Feed, Weed and Moss Killer
Ah yes, there are some still some folk in June thinking it may be a good idea to get rid of the weeds and moss in their lawn! In our book, almost anytime (apart from winter) is a good time to free your lawn of weed and moss. Apply this feed weed and moss killer that conveniently does three jobs in one, and see your moss and weeds disappear and your lawn get that feed it so desperately needs!
At this time of year, do NOT sow seed and spread fertiliser together. Grass will be quick to grow in hotter months, and if fertiliser is not absorbed entirely it could damage new seedlings and existing grass.
Sowing Wildflower Seed
It is true that you can sow wildflower seed now, but for the best results the ideal time to sow wildflower seed is in autumn. This does mean waiting until September, but by the time May comes around, your wildflowers will be bursting into bloom.
So see, you can sow seed in summer and it’s not too late to turn that garden around!