If you put down grass seed in November or December, the seed will just lay dormant until the soil starts to warm in spring. Over Christmas I was busy sowing grass seed. If you want to plant grass seed, then your first step is to choose the right grass seed for your area and your lifestyle. We were lucky. Bear in mind that seed sown in the south of the UK will germinate sooner than that sown in the north of Scotland. Two of the chemicals that treat these (chlorpyrifos and imidacloprid) have been withdrawn, but there is a highly effective biological solution. In principle, if you store it properly, then good-quality grass seed can last for up to three years. Knowing when to sow grass Sowing season in the UK is generally from mid March - September, this is when temperatures are 8-10 degrees and above consistently, which is required for germination to occur. These grasses are best planted in the early summer because they will only germinate in warm soil. Often soil temperatures on the surface can warm up remarkably quickly with a bit of sunshine. For example, you might need to add a soil improver or top soil, or if your soil is very sandy, you might want to add some lawn soil or sharp sand to help improve the drainage. For the sake of completeness, if you have an area of really deep shade, then you’ll struggle to find any form of grass which will grow there, or anything else for that matter. After all this wet weather, some of us are thinking we need more paths. Dig or rotovate the site to a depth of 20-25cm (8-10in). For example, if part of your garden gets a lot of sunlight and another part is mostly in shade, then you might want to use different grass seeds for the different areas. Grass seed can survive the winter, and planting during the winter season is known as dormant seeding. Your grasses will enjoy a full fall season, plus a second cool, growing season come spring. These areas are best done in the spring. Although Guy did mention they do sell a grass seed 'Anytime’, which was launched recently, composed of three types of rye, which will germinate at 2-3C. In vulnerable areas such as under swings and play areas, there is a similar product, Safety Rubber Mat. An easy way to do this is to grab 4 garden canes and cut them to a metre each, you might also want to grab some stones to hold them in place. They are turned around from sowing to play in 5-6 weeks. If you’re lucky, there will be a measure in the pack. Meadow Grass Seed Mixes. If you’re planning to use a residual weed killer and/or moss killer then you want to do so at least a month before you seed your lawn. Grass Seed. Autumn (generally September) is ideal If you can’t wait until September, do it in the spring (April/May is generally best) but keep an eye out for weeds However, all this advice is predicated on the weather. Our in house heavy lifter, you certainly know when he’s around. Planting 1 or 2 seeds into a seed pod is a slower method, but works in the long run. 1 At this time, the ground is still warm enough to aid germination, but the days are cool and sometimes rainy. Best Times to Plant Grass Seed. I find it invaluable. A weed is “a plant in the wrong place”, but weeds can have significant consequences for grass leys. You can sow grass seed in spring or autumn. Moisture of the soil Sow half the seed in one direction, turn 90 degrees and sow the other half of the seed. You may want or need to skip this step if you are using grass seeds which come with a fertilizer treatment, check the instructions on the packaging. For example, fescue seeds for ornamental lawns often take longest to grow and require frequent watering, so if you forget to continually water them, they may take even longer to germinate. Bald patches created by leatherjackets and chafer bugs seem to be on the increase in lawns. There are basically four steps to sowing grass seed. Once this is all done, give the area a standard rake so that it is flat and then walk all over it so that the soil is compacted. A couple of days before you are ready to sow your grass seeds, rake in some lawn fertilizer to help get your grass seeds off to a good start. Starting ornamental grass seed by planting 1 or 2 seeds per growing cell will work, just not as fast as method #2. Now would be a good time to make any adjustments. BIG guy with a big heart, super warm and friendly guy. Give it a few weeks and all the weeds will be dead and ready for removal. Again, you might want to use different kinds of grass seed. This covers meadow grass, bamboos, cereals etc, all of which fall under the same family Gramineae. Make sure the grass is dry and the mower freshly sharpened. Germination may be slightly slower in spring. If you’re overseeding an existing lawn (basically dealing with bare patches), it’s preferable to scarify the lawn thoroughly first. Prepare the soil well by digging over, removing weeds and raking level. Pro tip, while you might think that “grass is grass” in actual fact when you see two types of grasses side by side, the difference between them can be very obvious. So that just leaves the moss invasion. As a general rule, plant cool-season grass seed at least 45 days before the estimated date of your first fall frost, before soil and air temperatures drop to less favorable levels. Our fridges are usually set for 5C for a good reason - at this temperature not a lot happens in terms of mould or any other type of growth. Thankfully, with the mild temperatures, in two weeks it was greening up and now it looks almost lush. Leave your grass to grow until it hits about 6-8cm and then, if possible, go over it gently with a garden roller. For the most part, however, what you see on the packaging is likely to be a shortened version of the following instructions. Some types of grass seed will rot if left in cold, wet ground, fescues are particularly prone to this, whereas rye grass is more tolerant. He recommends cultivating the area to about 3-4 inches and lightly consolidated it (by heel walking) , rake it very lightly to a depth of 10-15mm before sowing half the seed. Through dormant seeding, grass seed can be planted in November when the weather is cold enough to keep it dormant until the weather warms up in the spring. That said, no matter how well you store grass seed, the quality will deteriorate over time, meaning fewer seeds will germinate. James points out that sports stadium pitches are reconstructed at the end of each season and sown with pure rye-grass mixtures at the end of May/June. Try to make them as close to 1M by 1M as you possibly can the quantity of seed to use is generally given on this basis. The best time to plant grass seed is when the weather is doing what you want it … For grasses that do best in a dry soil, improve drainage by digging in … They’re simple to collect, and will germinate quickly, producing young plants that will be mature enough to flower by late next summer. Many are ideal for gravel gardens, prairie planting, wildlife gardens and are great to add to the cutting garden; others perform well in containers. These finest quality grass seed mixtures are designed to look perfect but still be versatile. These finest quality grass seed mixtures are designed to look perfect but still be versatile. 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. For example, premium shade, which is a fine quality lawn mixture also grows well in the shade. Browse our selection at https://www.telegraphplants.co.uk/. Thirty years ago I worked with an experienced 70-year-old head gardener, Les Jones, on the gardens at Stapleford Park. Stepping stones are another way to toughen up your grass paths. There are an infinite number of patterns you can use enabling you to create curvy or straight paths. Perfect for seeds to germinate. You could choose to make a feature of this or to blur the difference by using a combination of the two seed types over the part where the two areas join together. If in doubt, sow grass seed which requires little maintenance, because it will still look better than high-maintenance grass seed which hasn’t been properly maintained. This means the grass should begin to grow between five and 30 days after laying down the grass seed. No weeds can compete and the mower restricts its spread. Planting during cool weather in fall and spring coincides with the most active growth periods for these grass types. Grass seed usually takes up to 30 days to germinate, or even longer if the weather’s particularly cold, so it’s best to be prepared! Whenever you repair lawns, the unpredictable nature of our weather means you are taking a chance. Ideally, cover it with something which blocks out light completely to prevent weeds from taking hold. Whatever you do, you want to end up with soil which is free of lumps. Here are some grass-seed related FAQs and the answers to them. The window for planting grass seed in the U.K is actually quite wide and spans from mid-march to the end of September. Start by reading the instructions on the packaging and give them priority. Grass reinforcing meshes (terram.com) can offer a soft solution. Before laying a new lawn, take some time to think about the part it will play in your overall garden layout. Since then I have heeded his excellent advice. If young seed starts to chit and grow and so is full of moisture and extreme cold hits it, the water in the cells freezes, expands and then can rupture them. Former Joiner and handyman with over 25 years in the business, Jeff is our 'hands-on' tools, garden and hardware expert. Early fall is the very best time to plant grass seed. The exception to this rule is if you want to plant grass seed under trees which shed their leaves as the grass seed will struggle to grow under the debris and if you clear up the debris, you’ll probably find yourself accidentally clearing up the grass seed as well. Again, keep a light hand, use a manual watering can with a rose on or a hose gun with a mist spray (or a sprinkler with a mist setting). Once spring arrives, the seeds will sprout and grow normally. Test Your Soil (Optional) Fortunately, you can get beautiful results without a soil test as long as … While planting grass seed in November is too late to make the fall growing season, there is a method called dormant seeding. Another trick beloved of experienced gardeners is to put a heavy covering over the ground, basically anything thick enough to block out all the light (it’s important that all light is blocked). When you’ve finished rake over the area so that the grass seeds are in the soil rather than just on the soil. Because it can’t tolerate extreme heat or cold, the best time to plant cool-season grass is in the spring or fall. Depending on the seed used and the temperature you should start to see some green shoots within 10 to 14 days. If you’re not, you’ll need to find one or use scales. Well, when you bring in the mower in spring, most will hopefully be out-competed by your thickly growing lawn - fingers crossed! There are grasses for damp or dry soil, shady as well as sunny situations. There are various grades from those for occasional parking areas to those for pedestrian paths. Assuming good growing conditions, you should expect it to take about a month for you to have something which looks recognizably like a lawn. If you don’t want to increase the light by reducing the canopies, maybe you should forget grass in these areas altogether. If you have a cylinder mower, remove the front roller as it will be a bit too much at this point. When to plant grass seed in the UK. You never want to plant grass seed in winter or summer, because it will be either too cold or too hot and too dry and basically your grass seed is far more likely to shrivel and die than it is to grow. “She’s lost the plot”, you might be thinking. Overfeeding anything can damage it and in the case of new grass it can lead to areas looking burned. Tiller: This is made up of leaf blades and sheaths, the stem and sometimes a seed head. This will help prepare the soil and give your grass the best chance of growing. Wait until temperatures get above 65°F during the day and then seed. If it builds, screws or fixes, Jeff knows all about it. Soil temperatures are still warm (55° to 65° F), which is necessary for optimum seed germination, and cooler air temperatures are better for grass growth. Do not use residual weedkiller, as it can remain in the soil and will prevent the grass from germinating. The flowers come early, often in March, great for hungry, early flying bees. For your lifestyle, think about now and in the future. Tips for Planting Grass Alternatively you could use string, preferably coloured string, and again you’ll need something to hold it down. A couple of days later, mow off the top third (so down to 4-5cm), to encourage new growth. In most case people tend to know about lawn grass, paddock grass seed and in some cases ornamental grasses that can be planted in borders. Nemasys Chafer bug killer and Nemasys leather jacket killer (pitchcare.com). When you sow the seed it will be at marginally varying depths and not all germinates exactly at the same time so it is unlikely for it all to be affected by frost. Whether you’re sowing a new lawn or overseeding an old one, you want to do it at the right time and in the right way. You can find us not only on this site but on the social media channels below. So how can he explain my previous successes with winter grass sowing? Once you’ve scarified your lawn, or if you’re creating a new lawn dig over the earth with a fork if you can. But, if you do repair a small area and unexpectedly very cold weather is forecast, using a bit of fleece is fantastic for helping boost temperatures and keeping hungry birds at bay. For example, where a field contains a 20% dock infestation, this can equate to a loss in 20% of potential grass production. Resist any temptation to fertilize your lawn while it is becoming established (again, for the first six months or so). This means that, in practice, you should really aim to use up grass seed within one year. Stolon: This is a horizontal above-ground stem or runner. The exception to this is if the packaging specifically says that the grass seed needs to be fertilized, in which case follow the instructions. A blend of grass seeds guarantees durability throughout the seasonal changes. 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It costs from around £2/m sq. If you sow your grass seeds in spring, you’ll probably find that you get a lot of weeds in your lawn. Grass Seed. For example, premium shade, which is a fine quality lawn mixture also grows well in the shade. This is important as using too few seeds will obviously result in thin grass (if they survive) but using too many will lead to wastage as the excess seeds will not have room to germinate and so will just rot away. Go slowly for the first few times you mow to ensure the grass is cut as cleanly as possible. Always eating and always active, Jeff literally never stops, always has a smile on his face but more importantly for our readers, is an expert reviewer, We will never spam you and ONLY send you deals and updates worth reading, This site is community-driven and all reviews and opinions toward the products are welcomed. Guy Jenkins, consumer manager at Johnsons Lawn Seed, says many gardeners in the south do sow in winter, but ideally the ground temperature should be 6C at least. This is a heavy duty polyethylene grid, which is simply installed by laying it over mown grass and pinning into place. In one such area, my orchard, I have planted low sheets of Symphytum 'Hidcote Blue’. Divide the area to be seeded into segments. This will allow the warm weather grasses to get the benefit of warm temperatures that come with summer while giving them time to become established prior to cooler weather in the fall. The rain will help consolidate it. Ideally, you should finish by going over the area with a garden roller, but if you don’t have one, just walk over it, if possible put a cover down first, a plank will do or a tarpaulin, to give your seeds a bit of protection. Dig or till the area. Basically, you want to plant grass seed when there is warmth (but not excessive heat), plenty of sunshine and a decent amount of moisture. James Grundy of Pitchcare points out that the two main factors for germination are temperature and moisture. He also stresses that you should not to sow too deeply. You can also save yourself issues with roots causing damage to the edges of your lawn and also to foliage dropping onto your lawn and needing to be cleaned up quickly before it suffocates your grass. This will get rid of any thatch and remaining weeds (especially moss) which could suffocate your grass seeds. For your area, you’ll need to know your soil type (in particular the pH level and how well it drains), plus the local climate. When grass fully matures before the winter season, the lawn grows in full the following spring. Award-winning garden designer Charlotte Howard said, “Grass seed can take between 5 and 30 days to germinate, depending on the variety.There are many different types of grass seed mixes depending on the sort of lawn you want. Advise the people in your life that they need to stay off the seeded area until it is properly established for which read about a month. Place fine-meshed netting over your seeded area to deter birds and for bonus points give your garden birds an alternative source of food which is easy for them to access. Seed warm weather grass seeds in early spring and into the summer. Grass seed germination can start as quickly as 5-10 days while some take up to a month to grow, so it will vary depending on many factors. Choose warm-season grass such as bermudagrass or bahiagrass, if you live in a hot Southern region. Grass seed is best sown from late summer to mid-autumn; there is less competition from weeds, and the soil is warm, and damp from rain. Measure out the grass seeds properly. The reason why late summer to mid-autumn has the edge over mid-spring is because most weeds have already been and gone, so there will be less competition for resources. A common cause of failure arises from sowing in spring. There will also be fewer weeds for the grass to compete with at this time of the year. Large tracts had to be sown with grass. Ornamental grasses can be used to great effect in our gardens, from providing a calming presence to more exuberant flowering plants to being the only focus of the design. You’re just going to have to ignore them for the first 6 months or so. Bunch grasses spread by producing new tillers. Specific features: 10 kg bag; covers … A soil thermometer is an extremely handy bit of kit and the results can often surprise you (a great guide to sowing early veg, too). Turfing is an option, but is far more expensive and often doesn’t give you the right seed mix. Creeping grasses spread by stolons or rhizomes. 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