These areas are best done in the spring. In principle, if you store it properly, then good-quality grass seed can last for up to three years. 1 At this time, the ground is still warm enough to aid germination, but the days are cool and sometimes rainy. Browse our selection at https://www.telegraphplants.co.uk/. If you’re lucky, there will be a measure in the pack. I find it invaluable. Bear in mind that seed sown in the south of the UK will germinate sooner than that sown in the north of Scotland. Eliminate perennial weeds such as couch grass or bindweed well before beginning to prepare the seed bed. Then move on to the next segment. In a perfect world, I would prefer to sow in September, but this is not always possible. When grass fully matures before the winter season, the lawn grows in full the following spring. Again, don’t overdo this as seeds also need light. Hard Wearing Grass; High Quality Lawn Lawn UK is known for top quality premium lawn seed. While planting grass seed in November is too late to make the fall growing season, there is a method called dormant seeding. 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. Grass Seed. He also stresses that you should not to sow too deeply. Generally, we recommend sowing grass seed in mid-late spring and again in early autumn. Divide the area to be seeded into segments. 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. Hard Wearing Grass; High Quality Lawn Lawn UK is known for top quality premium lawn seed. Measure out the grass seeds properly. Another possibility would be if one part of your garden gets a lot of traffic but the other part is mainly ornamental. There’s a good chance most of them will die back in the autumn in any case. Often soil temperatures on the surface can warm up remarkably quickly with a bit of sunshine. 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). This is a heavy duty polyethylene grid, which is simply installed by laying it over mown grass and pinning into place. 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. Specific features: 10 kg bag; covers … Now would be a good time to make any adjustments. Basically allow up to 10 days for germination and then another 3 weeks or so for initial, slow, growth. 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. The alternative, ivy, with its much shinier leaf, looks a bit harsh by contrast and it catches on to things and climbs. BIG guy with a big heart, super warm and friendly guy. For grasses that do best in a dry soil, improve drainage by digging in … Resist any temptation to fertilize your lawn while it is becoming established (again, for the first six months or so). Grass Seed. If sowing in autumn, the seed will germinate quickly as the ground is warm and moist. Alternatively you could use string, preferably coloured string, and again you’ll need something to hold it down. There are basically four steps to sowing grass seed. If nothing else, this means that you can do away with the edging shears and just mow right to the edge of your lawn area. 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. 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. James Grundy of Pitchcare points out that the two main factors for germination are temperature and moisture. You can find us not only on this site but on the social media channels below. 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. If you’re not, you’ll need to find one or use scales. 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. 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. Again, you might want to use different kinds of grass seed. A couple of days later, mow off the top third (so down to 4-5cm), to encourage new growth. These finest quality grass seed mixtures are designed to look perfect but still be versatile. If you are going to use residual weed killer or moss killer, then it’s preferable to use one which also feeds your lawn as this will help to add the nutrients the grass seeds will need to grow. Planting during cool weather in fall and spring coincides with the most active growth periods for these grass types. It’s really important to keep your soil moist, so if you don’t get rain, then you will need to water manually for at least the 7-10 days after sowing. A blend of grass seeds guarantees durability throughout the seasonal changes. Best Times to Plant Grass Seed. 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. A weed is “a plant in the wrong place”, but weeds can have significant consequences for grass leys. There are various grades from those for occasional parking areas to those for pedestrian paths. Tips for Planting Grass The window for planting grass seed in the U.K is actually quite wide and spans from mid-march to the end of September. Thirty years ago I worked with an experienced 70-year-old head gardener, Les Jones, on the gardens at Stapleford Park. Many are ideal for gravel gardens, prairie planting, wildlife gardens and are great to add to the cutting garden; others perform well in containers. Here are some grass-seed related FAQs and the answers to them. Grass seed can survive the winter, and planting during the winter season is known as dormant seeding. Sow half the seed in one direction, turn 90 degrees and sow the other half of the seed. Repeat and then finish with a rake to get rid of any footsteps or any other hollows which have formed and leave a perfectly flat surface. 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. It is important to remember to lay them about 5mm below the level of the surrounding grass so you can mow over the top. Moisture of the soil Well, when you bring in the mower in spring, most will hopefully be out-competed by your thickly growing lawn - fingers crossed! Germination may be slightly slower in spring. I checked with experts to find out what risks I am taking by sowing at a time of year when we could have a sudden freeze. If you sow in autumn, weeds are far less likely to be an issue, but if they do pop up then either ignore them or remove them by hand. Whenever you repair lawns, the unpredictable nature of our weather means you are taking a chance. For example, premium shade, which is a fine quality lawn mixture also grows well in the shade. 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Early fall is the very best time to plant grass seed. If it builds, screws or fixes, Jeff knows all about it. If you have a cylinder mower, remove the front roller as it will be a bit too much at this point. Seed Head: This is the flower of the grass plant. 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. After all this wet weather, some of us are thinking we need more paths. 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. Leave your grass to grow until it hits about 6-8cm and then, if possible, go over it gently with a garden roller. 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. Creeping grasses spread by stolons or rhizomes. Dig or till the area. 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. Thankfully, with the mild temperatures, in two weeks it was greening up and now it looks almost lush. If you don’t want to increase the light by reducing the canopies, maybe you should forget grass in these areas altogether. Use weedkiller, or hand weed. When to plant grass seed in the UK. 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. 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. For the most part, however, what you see on the packaging is likely to be a shortened version of the following instructions. Depending on the nature of your garden, you may want to plant different types of grass seed for different areas. Bald areas in your lawns can creep in from too much shade as trees expand their canopies. For example, where a field contains a 20% dock infestation, this can equate to a loss in 20% of potential grass production. Get rid of any surface debris and deal with any weeds. For example, premium shade, which is a fine quality lawn mixture also grows well in the shade. Since then I have heeded his excellent advice. Bald patches created by leatherjackets and chafer bugs seem to be on the increase in lawns. 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. However, we all know how our weather likes to throw us surprises so you still need to keep an eye on the weather forecast when you’re thinking of planting grass seed. These are: choosing the right grass seed, preparing the lawn area, sowing the grass seeds and aftercare. If you sow your grass seeds in spring, you’ll probably find that you get a lot of weeds in your lawn. Go slowly for the first few times you mow to ensure the grass is cut as cleanly as possible. Don’t go crazy and scalp your lawn, it won’t be nearly strong enough to take this sort of treatment yet. 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. That said, no matter how well you store grass seed, the quality will deteriorate over time, meaning fewer seeds will germinate. 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). These finest quality grass seed mixtures are designed to look perfect but still be versatile. Seed warm weather grass seeds in early spring and into the summer. This year in early December we sowed quite a stretch of parkland for a client. Prepare the soil well by digging over, removing weeds and raking level. 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. If you put down grass seed in November or December, the seed will just lay dormant until the soil starts to warm in spring. This will help prepare the soil and give your grass the best chance of growing. Our in house heavy lifter, you certainly know when he’s around. This may seem like a long time, but you need every trace of the chemicals to be out of the soil before you sow your grass seeds, otherwise it will very probably kill them. This was being converted into a grand hotel and we needed to get the lawns presentable for the opening. And mind you, this was the suggested method on the seed packet. 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. Wait until temperatures get above 65°F during the day and then seed. They’re simple to collect, and will germinate quickly, producing young plants that will be mature enough to flower by late next summer. This means the grass should begin to grow between five and 30 days after laying down the grass seed. 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. In these locations you might want to go for either wood chips or some sort of decorative edging. For your lifestyle, think about now and in the future. This guide will tell you everything you need to know. 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. Planting 1 or 2 seeds into a seed pod is a slower method, but works in the long run. I like laying a square slab at 45 degrees to the path and then alternating this with a long thin slab. Planting grass seed in August and September, the best time to plant in the Northeast, gives the grass a chance to set before winter. It costs from around £2/m sq. 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. When you should sow grass seed - Lawn UK When you should sow grass seed You can sow Lawn UK lawn seed mixtures at any time from late March to mid-October providing that in periods of unusually dry weather the seedbed is kept constantly moist until the grass is about 6cm (2.5 inches) high. If you can’t, then, as a minimum put a fork through it to aerate the soil. The best time to plant grass seed is when the weather is doing what you want it … Speaking of areas which join together, you can make your life a whole lot easier by keeping a hard border between lawns and beds, trees and ornaments. Make sure the grass is dry and the mower freshly sharpened. There are 10,000 grass species offering a very wide range of types of plant. Grass reinforcing meshes (terram.com) can offer a soft solution. In either case, you want to get down to about 15cm. The mesh is invisible once the grass has grown through and maintenance is as for normal grass. 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. Ideally, cover it with something which blocks out light completely to prevent weeds from taking hold. If that is not possible, then walk over it gently, basically you’re trying to compact the soil. You should never roll it immediately after sowing. Once spring arrives, the seeds will sprout and grow normally. 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. A common cause of failure arises from sowing in spring. If you are using hard-wearing grass seed and doing everything properly and still finding that you regularly get bare patches in the same places on your lawn, then you should probably take this as a sign that the traffic is too much for any form of grass and that you either want to look at an alternative such as paving or at the very least give your lawn some help, for example, by putting down stepping stones. This not only protects the grass but also provides a safety surface. The short answer to this question is that the best time to sow grass seed is between late summer and mid-autumn and the second-best time to sow grass seed is mid-spring. When planning to sow grass, make sure to consult a two week forecast to mitigate any risk of adverse weather or sudden drop in temperatures. If you’re overseeding an existing lawn (basically dealing with bare patches), it’s preferable to scarify the lawn thoroughly first. 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. Bunch grasses spread by producing new tillers. Choose warm-season grass such as bermudagrass or bahiagrass, if you live in a hot Southern region. Because it can’t tolerate extreme heat or cold, the best time to plant cool-season grass is in the spring or fall. For best results, lawn seed should be sown in spring (from March to May) or early autumn (September to mid October), when the soil is moist and warm. Dig or rotovate the site to a depth of 20-25cm (8-10in). Turfing is an option, but is far more expensive and often doesn’t give you the right seed mix. Give it a few weeks and all the weeds will be dead and ready for removal. Ornamental grasses can be planted all year round but ideally plant them in spring or autumn. 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. Basically, you want to plant grass seed when there is warmth (but not excessive heat), plenty of sunshine and a decent amount of moisture. 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. Many ornamental grasses can be grown easily from seed.Increase or refresh your stock by collecting seeds in autumn, for sowing in spring. Join us, join in, save and live in luxury, for less, Enable registration in settings - general, When and How to Sow Grass Seed – Planting & Preparing Expert Guide, Best Drain Unblockers UK – [DIY Guide & Product Guide], How Much Does It Cost To Run A Hot Tub – [Complete Expert Guide], How to get rid of foxes in your garden – [UK Expert Guide], How to Sharpen Garden Shears – [Step By Step Guide], Best Cat Scarer – Complete Buying Guide and Review, When to Scarify the Lawn – Lawn Care an Expert Guide. 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. Nemasys Chafer bug killer and Nemasys leather jacket killer (pitchcare.com). Stolon: This is a horizontal above-ground stem or runner. “She’s lost the plot”, you might be thinking. We rely on advertising to help fund our award-winning journalism. The Grass People Superstar: best grass seed for large areas. This means that, in practice, you should really aim to use up grass seed within one year. 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. 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. Whatever you do, you want to end up with soil which is free of lumps. Les surprised me by saying that he would sow grass seed at pretty much any time of year and it pretty much  always germinated and grew. Do not use residual weedkiller, as it can remain in the soil and will prevent the grass from germinating. No weeds can compete and the mower restricts its spread. While this comes with risks, it can also be beneficial and save you time on … 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. You’re just going to have to ignore them for the first 6 months or so. You can sow grass seed in spring or autumn. The exception to this is if the packaging specifically says that the grass seed needs to be fertilized, in which case follow the instructions. When to plant grass seed in the UK – the long answer Basically, you want to plant grass seed when there is warmth (but not excessive heat), plenty of sunshine and a decent amount of moisture. We urge you to turn off your ad blocker for The Telegraph website so that you can continue to access our quality content in the future. 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. 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. Very hard-wearing grass seeds may germinate in as little as 3-4 days but 7-10 days is more common. 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. Once you’ve scarified your lawn, or if you’re creating a new lawn dig over the earth with a fork if you can. This will get rid of any thatch and remaining weeds (especially moss) which could suffocate your grass seeds. Depending on the seed used and the temperature you should start to see some green shoots within 10 to 14 days. In one such area, my orchard, I have planted low sheets of Symphytum 'Hidcote Blue’. Former Joiner and handyman with over 25 years in the business, Jeff is our 'hands-on' tools, garden and hardware expert. When the grass hits 5cm (2 1 / 2 ”) you can start mowing your new lawn. 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. 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. They grow from the crown of the plant. These grasses are best planted in the early summer because they will only germinate in warm soil. 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. Usually the packaging will tell you exactly how much grass seed to use, but if, for some reason, it doesn’t, here are the standard guidelines: Grass seed for top-quality ornamental lawns : 30g per sq m  (1oz per sq yd), Grass seed for standard ornamental lawns: 20-25g per sq m  (¾oz per sq yd), Grass seed for standard utility lawns (with rye grass): 15-20g per sq m (½oz per sq yd). Your grasses will enjoy a full fall season, plus a second cool, growing season come spring. Lightly tickle this in with the rake just raking in the top 10mm, then sow the other half of the seed on the same area and lightly tickle it in again. There will also be fewer weeds for the grass to compete with at this time of the year. Meadow Grass Seed Mixes. The flowers come early, often in March, great for hungry, early flying bees. In vulnerable areas such as under swings and play areas, there is a similar product, Safety Rubber Mat. 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. So how can he explain my previous successes with winter grass sowing? 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. 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. We were lucky. From this point on, you stay off the area until you are actually read to sow your grass seeds. The rain will help consolidate it. 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). Perfect for seeds to germinate. So that just leaves the moss invasion. 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. If we get a sudden dry snap after the grass has started to germinate (which is often not really visible) the vulnerable tiny plants shrivel up and die. Assuming good growing conditions, you should expect it to take about a month for you to have something which looks recognizably like a lawn. Before laying a new lawn, take some time to think about the part it will play in your overall garden layout. Large tracts had to be sown with grass. When you’ve finished rake over the area so that the grass seeds are in the soil rather than just on the soil. In the area where you want to grow the grass, use a shovel or tiller to turn over … This covers meadow grass, bamboos, cereals etc, all of which fall under the same family Gramineae. In Massachusetts, for example, early fall is the ideal time to plant grass seed. 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. 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. Test Your Soil (Optional) Fortunately, you can get beautiful results without a soil test as long as … Over Christmas I was busy sowing grass seed. Two of the chemicals that treat these (chlorpyrifos and imidacloprid) have been withdrawn, but there is a highly effective biological solution. Tiller: This is made up of leaf blades and sheaths, the stem and sometimes a seed head. Starting ornamental grass seed by planting 1 or 2 seeds per growing cell will work, just not as fast as method #2. If you want to plant grass seed, then your first step is to choose the right grass seed for your area and your lifestyle. There are grasses for damp or dry soil, shady as well as sunny situations. You can find out when to sow grass seed by checking the weather forecast, as heavy rain and strong winds can drown the seeds or wash or blow them away. 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. Start by reading the instructions on the packaging and give them priority. Overfeeding anything can damage it and in the case of new grass it can lead to areas looking burned. 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. 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! They are turned around from sowing to play in 5-6 weeks. 4-5Cm ), to encourage new growth mesh is invisible once the grass Superstar. Days for germination are temperature and moisture UK will germinate quickly as the ground still! To end up with soil which is free of lumps well you store grass.... 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