How to make a lawn from seed
We discussed the benefits and ‘when to’ aspects of
creating a lawn from seed in sowing
a lawn from seed. This article will give a step by step guide
on how to make a lawn from seed.
Firstly we need to prepare
the ground for a lawn. This includes removing any existing objects
such as stones, bricks, weeds / other vegetation, digging the soil
over and breaking up large clods, raking the soil to achieve a finer
If you like you can apply some lawn fertiliser (no weed or moss
killer are required - these are found in some ‘all in one’
lawn feeds). Special pre-sowing lawn fertiliser is available. Adding
an initial dose of this fertiliser will help accelerate the lawns
establishment. Incorporate the fertilizer into the soil using a
After you have performed the levelling of the soil and raked you
then want the soil to consolidate so the underlying structure of
the lawn is firm. This will ensure that we don’t end up with
lumps and hollows in our lawns surface. If you like you can let
the soil consolidate naturally over a period of weeks, otherwise
you can ‘tread’ the lawn site to firm the soil. Rake
You are now ready to sow your seed. The key to sowing grass seed
is to obtain a uniform, even distribution. This is easier said than
done but there are methods that can help you achieve this goal.
One of the simplest and most effective is to create a device that
will help you measure how much soil you are covering. Create a 1m2
area by taping / tying 4 1m long garden canes together in a square.
Sow the lawn systematically starting at one end and flipping the
cane square over until you reach the other end. Now flip the square
over sideways and work you way back up the lawn. Continue this pattern
until you have covered the whole lawn.
How much grass seed?
There may be instructions on your grass seed packet for how much
seed to use per square metre but if not then around 30-60g per square
metre is a good guide. To ensure even application measure out the
amount required for a metre square and place it in a mug. Note how
full the mug is and then you will then be able to fill the mug to
the same level each time you move to the next metre square.
When applying grass seed make sure that you cover the soil in directions
that are at right angles to each other. To do this take half the
amount of seed out of the mug and apply it using a top to bottom
direction and then use the other half of the seed in the mug spreading
it in a left to right direction.
You should be able to track your progress visually and see if you
have left any bare patches.
After you have finished sowing the lawn you can gently rake the
soil to help incorporate some of the seed into the soil.
Lawn care after sowing
After you have sown your lawn you with patience you will have the
enjoyment of watching the lawn develop and firmly establish itself.
Water if the soil seems to be drying out. If birds seem to be going
for the grass seed then you can lay some twigs across the lawn to
help deter them. Apart from this then try to keep everyone off the
lawn site until the lawn is fully established.
When the grass has reached a height of around 3 inches you can
make the first cut with the lawn mower.
Before the first cut ensure your lawn mower blades are sharp so
they can cut cleanly through the grass blades instead of pulling
the grass out by the roots. If your lawn mower has a grass box /
bag then make sure it is fitted so that you do not need to rake
the grass clippings which can snag and pull out some of the remaining
grass with its roots.
If you can adjust the height of the blades on your lawn mower then
raise the blades to a high height that just trims the top off the
blades. You DO NOT want to cut the grass short at this stage as
it will find it hard to recover and lose its vigour. Taking just
the tips of the grass blades off will also encourage bushy growth
and root development. This will soon result in the ‘thickening
up’ of your lawn.
After a few cuts at the highest setting you can start to progressively
gradually lower the height of the blades with each cut until they
are at a height that is suitable to the grass types that make up