Starting a lawn from grass seed can be a rewarding and cost-effective way to have a lush, green outdoor space.
Whether you’re starting a new lawn or reviving an existing one, growing a lawn from grass seed requires some patience and effort, but with the right steps and techniques, you can achieve a beautiful lawn that will be the envy of your neighborhood.
How much grass seed do I need?
The First step is to work out how much grass seed you need to order
For rectangular gardens you can work out the area in square meters by multiplying the width by the length
For more complex shapes, try breaking them up into smaller rectangles to make it easier
This is important because a lot of lawn care products that you apply will all reference their application rates in grams per square meters
So we need to know how many square meters your lawn is to work out how much product to buy
Typically grass seed will be applied
- 25 to 50 grams per square meter when overseeding
- 50-70 when sowing a new lawn from scratch
Pre Seed Fetiliser
When using seed I always use a pre seed fertiliser at same time to give the seed all the nutrients it needs to grow
It’s important to pick a specialist pre seed fertiliser and not to use products with high iron or weedkiller in them as they can damage new seeds
When to Sow Grass Seed?
We should avoid sowing seed if there’s a likelihood of frost or drought
If you are applying grass seed when periods of hot sunny weather is expected, make sure to keep up with regular watering
The soil needs to be constantly moist during the germination period
This is why you see alot of people recommend sowing seed during spring and the autumn because the weather generally is more favorable for seeding during those points
It is possible to seed outside of those areas providing you can maintain the watering during the summer
When the conditions are right it’s then time to prepare the ground
The soil should not be too compact at this stage and the top one to two inches needs to be worked into a fine tilth, the area also needs to free from weeds or large stones.
This is a perfect time to try and level any bumps out before the grass seed goes down
If you are overseeding, cut the lawn short at this stage and rake out any moss and thatch so the seed can contact bare soil.
Applying Grass Seed
Measure the area of lawn you have in square meters. A 7m x 10m lawn would be 70m²
Calculate how much product you need
Overseeding Example: A 70m² lawn at 35g/m² would need around 2450g or approximately 2.5kg of seed
New Lawn Example: A 70m² at 70g/m² would need around 5000g or 5kg of seed
Spreading Grass by Hand
5a.1) To help you apply the seed by hand evenly, divide the lawn up into smaller sections e.g into quarters.
You can do this by eye or by using string
As you become more familiar with the process you may choose not to divide the area up or divide the area into larger sections e.g. in half not quarters
5a.2) Weight out the amount of product you need and split it evenly between the sections you divided your lawn into
Example : If you split your 70m² lawn into quarters split the 2.5kg of product into 4 even amounts, one for each section
Evenly spread the product across each lawn section.
TIP: If you are unsure, spread the product lightly across each section doing two passes one in each direction for even application.
Using a Lawn Spreader
5b.1) Check your spreader manual for the correct setting
Overseeding Example: Scotts rotary setting 30
Overseeding Example: Scotts drop spreader 14
New Lawn Example: Scotts rotary setting two passes at setting 30 – one in each direction
New Lawn Example: Scotts drop spreader two passes at setting 14 – one in each direction
Weigh out the product required into your spreader
Walk at an even pace to apply the product onto the lawn
Watch the step by step video to overseed your lawn
Top Soil, Compost or Dressing
One way to reduce the birds eating your seeds and help keep it moist is to lightly cover with topsoil
This will also help keep the seed in contact with the soil for germination
For new lawns – One way of doing this is by using the back of a rake and riddling into the soil until most of the seed has disappeared
For overseeding – you can skip this step but it can also be a good time to level out the lawn and results can be better if the seed is covered
Tread or roll in the seeds
Having good seed to soil contact is key if you want your new seed to grow
Lightly Tread down or roll in the new seed to ensure it is in contact with the soil
Water the grass seed
The seed can take anywhere between 7 to 21 days to germinate depending on what type of seed mix that you use in it also depends on soil temperatures and moisture levels
The really key thing about sowing seed is you need to keep it moist
Lightly water 1-3 times per day for roughly 5 mins or enough maintain moisture in the ground
When to cut new grass seed
When the new grass height has reached a length of around one to two inches it’s time to give it a first cut
This point you don’t want to be cutting it too short only take a small section off the top of the grass tips to leave plenty of growth
If you cut the grass down to the ground it could seriously damage anything that you’ve sowed