Lawn Seeding: How to Sow Grass Seed
5 steps for sowing grass seed
Seeding a lawn is not difficult and can be done successfully by anyone. If you are sowing seed, follow these five simple steps for best results.
Step 1 – Buy the best grass seed
A great lawn can only be grown from great grass seeds. Buy the best that you can afford – taking into account what the lawn is going to be used for.
A back lawn grass seed mixture should be hard wearing so as to withstand children playing or pets.
A quick to establish, economical, hard wearing lawn mixture suitable for back lawns, children’s play areas and general purpose landscaping where cost savings are important
A front lawn grass seed mixture can be ornamental and less hard wearing.
This mixture offers good value for fine lawns, providing an excellent appearance that tolerates limited wear, but offers year round colour, low maintenance costs, and provides a moderate tolerance to drought. This is an ideal mix on lawns and golf fairways which do not require high wear tolerance and also on general landscaping projects where a fine finish may be required.
The price of grass seed is small compared to the time that will be invested in building a great lawn. To get the best lawn results you need the best grass seed.
Step 2 – Prepare the soil
For planting new lawns:
- •Loosen the top 2 to 3 inches of soil.
- •Remove debris (sticks, stones, etc), from the area.
- •Break up larger soil clumps.
- •Avoid too fine soil, small clumps are acceptable.
- •Level the areas where excess water might collect.
- •Fertilize after seeding with a starter fertilizer like:
A pre-seeding fertiliser for use on soils that already have reasonable nitrogen, phosphate and potassium levels encouraging good root development. N:P:K: 6:9:6
A quality pre-seeding fertiliser containing both readily available and slow release (8 – 10 Weeks) N, to give seedlings the best possible start. N:P:K – 6:10:8 +2% Mg
NOTE: Do not use weed killers before or after planting seed.
For overseeding an existing lawn:
•Mow grass as short as possible.
•Loosen the top ¼-inch of soil in bare spots.
•Remove debris and dead grass.
•Level the areas where excess water collects. Use existing topsoil; added soil may have weed seeds.
•Fertilize the bare spots after overseeding with a pre-seeding fertilizer.
Step 3 –Sow grass seed
•Spread the seed evenly by hand in small areas.
•Use a hand or lawn spreader or a mechanical seeder in large areas.
•Apply approximately 16 seeds per square inch. Too many seeds too close together causes seedlings to fight for room and nutrients. Grass may be weak or thin in these areas.
Step 4 – Cover Seeds
•Lightly drag the grass seed bed so no more than ¼-inch of soil covers the grass seed.
Step 5 – Water often
•Keep grass seed bed moist to enhance germination.
•Water lightly (don’t saturate), and frequently (at least once daily), until new grass is two inches high.
•Water new grass regularly to keep roots moist.
When to sow grass seed
Grass seed can be sown in the Spring and Autumn with good results. If you are planning a spring sowing of grass seed, do not apply weed control products to the grass. Delay the weed control application until the grass seed has germinated and you have mowed the grass at least 3 times.
For an Autumn sowing of grass seed, follow the same weed control precautions and time the seed sowing to allow the grass seed to fully germinate before freezing temperatures arrive.
Once established follow our guide on maintaining your lawn/grassed area.