Sowing a lawn from seed

Sowing a new lawn from seed is the main alternative to laying a lawn with turf and when done correctly can provide excellent results.

Advantages of creating a lawn from sowing seed

Laying a lawn with turf gives instant results so why would you want to make a lawn from seed rather than from turf?

Sowing from seed enables you to have full control over which grass types your lawn is made up of. There are various ready mixed grass seeds that are suited to specific types of lawns. You can get lawn seed mixes for shady lawns, heavy wear lawns, ornamental lawns and wildflower meadow lawns.

Making a lawn from seed is also considerably cheaper than making a lawn from turf as there is no ‘turf grower’ middle man to pay.

There is less physical effort involved when using seed rather than lugging heavy turves around the garden.

How long before the lawn can be used?

Sowing a lawn from seed requires patience so that the grass can become fully established and strong enough to stand up to the normal wear and tear expected of it. The length of time will vary depending on what season the lawn is sown in but will be around 4 to 6 months.

When the best time for sowing a lawn?

Lawns are normally sown in either mid spring or mid autumn. The preferred time is mid-autumn for a number of reasons. If sowing in autumn then the lawn has the whole of winter to develop at a time when this outside space is not normally used whereas if the lawn is sown in spring then the area will be unusable over summer when we want to make the most of our outside spaces.

If sowing in autumn it also means that there should be sufficient natural rainfall to keep the soil moist and provide adequate conditions for seed germination and initial growth. If you sow your lawn in spring then you will most likely need to use a lawn sprinkler in dry spells over spring and summer so that the soil is kept moist whilst the lawn establishes itself.

Weeds will find it easier to colonise a lawn before it is fully established. Weed seedlings tend to be more rampant in spring and summer and will therefore have an increased number and impact on spring sown lawns when compared to autumn sown lawns where weeds will be less able to establish themselves. It is inevitable that you may get some weeds on your new lawn but don’t worry, the first few cuts with the lawn mower will help assist in their disappearance.

Before you sow the lawn you should prepare the soil for a lawn. This ensures that the lawn will have an even surface and that it will be able to develop a strong root system.

Now that we have the general idea about why and when to sow a lawn from seed we can look at how to sow a lawn from seed.