In desperate need of grass seed to fix your patchy lawn? Your ordinary suburban lawn might never look like the pristine green expanses of Wimbledon, but with a little loving care (and some grass seed!) it could still be the admiration of the neighbourhood.
One of the easiest ways to make your lawn look better is by fixing the bare patches.
Grass Seed; The Ultimate Guide To Rescuing Your Lawn
These areas of uncovered earth have various different causes:
- Lawn diseases
- The removal of moss or weeds
- Cats and dogs peeing on the same patch of grass repeatedly
- Sunlight burning through the grass in a hard summer
- Moles and other friendly underground critters poking their head up!
Whatever the reason for the baldness, the expert process outlined in this post can be applied over the course of a few weeks to restore a uniform look to your lawn. This technique can be used for holes of any size—from small saucer-sized worn areas on paths, to brand new lawns.
Before you get started fixing the hole, figure out why it got there in the first place and make sure it won’t simply reappear again once you have covered it with fresh grass!
The best time to sow the new seeds is in September, as they will germinate quickly and establish before the cold weather sets in. This is the quickest way to get new grass, but you can also sow grass seeds anytime from late summer to mid-autumn. The reason being that during this time weeds are less likely to suffocate the new seedlings, but the soil will still be warm and damp with rain.
If you are tempted to use turf instead of grass seeds, this can be a wise choice for large areas, but grass seeds have a couple of advantages for smaller areas.
Firstly, grass seed comes in several different varieties, typically at low cost. You can choose a shady mix for grass under trees, a blend for dry areas, a fine ornamental mix for purely decorative lawns, and a hard-wearing mix for family lawns.
Secondly, grass seed can easily be put on slopes, corners, and hard-to-reach areas, unlike turf.
Just follow these simple steps to successfully patch a hole with grass seed:
Related: How To Start Gardening On A Budget
Preparing the soil for the grass seed
- Prepare the area by removing any remaining old grass and clearing away stones or weeds
- Loosen the soil with a fork so seeds can take root
- Rake over the soil to leave it level
Optional: rake in a fertiliser a few days before sowing for super results!
- The secret to healthy grass is effective drainage, so depending on the soil quality, you may also want to add some sharp sand to improve the water flow.
Sowing the grass seed
- Take a handful of seeds and scatter them thinly at approximately 50g per square metre.
- Gently rake the seeds in to the soil
- Use a watering can to softly add some moisture (without drowning the seeds or washing them away!).
Looking after the seedlings
- You may wish to cordon off the area with string to prevent people from trampling the seeds.
- If you have a lot of local bird life, then cover the seeds with netting to prevent them from enjoying your grass seed for breakfast.
- Keep the seedlings moist at all times.
- If any weeds spring up, pull them out to prevent unwanted competition for the grass.
When can I cut the new grass?
- Wait patiently until the seedlings have become a tangle of green grass blades around 5cm (2inches) high. This should take around two months. If you cut too early, you can damage the seedlings and ruin your new grass, so depending on your local climate and mowing season, you may wish to wait until the spring to ensure the grass is fully established.
- On the first mow, tread carefully and mow slowly to avoid damaging the grass. Ensure the grass is dry as wet blades of grass can slip off the blade and get tangled.
- Be extra careful if you have a hover mower, as the blowing of the air may disturb loose seedlings. The ideal mower to use for the job is a cylinder push mower. These are lightweight and easy to manoeuvre, and the blades cut with a scissoring action for a cleaner cut.
Author bio: Landscape architect and lawnmower enthusiast Laurence Bennet believes that sustainable gardening could play a key role in tackling environmental challenges.