The grass makes the garden more cheerful, provides animals and children with a soft and comfortable surface to play on, as well as giving the house a more tidy and well-kept appearance. There are many methods for growing a new lawn, but planting seeds is among the most cost-effective. The main phase is that of sowing, which involves choosing the correct variety, preparing and plowing the soil, spreading the seeds and covering the area with mulch.
How to Plant Grass Seed
Prepare the lawn
Choose the right season. The best times to sow grass are spring and autumn. The latter is perfect because there is enough sunlight and the soil is still warm to encourage germination, but not so much that the seeds dry out. Usually in autumn it rains more, an important factor for the development of the newly sprouted grass.
- Spring is another suitable phase for this type of cultivation, but it is important to sow at the beginning of the season, before the weather becomes hot.
Choose a suitable variety. There are thousands of types of grass you can grow in the garden; to decide which is the best you have to consider the season in which you sow, the climate, the sun exposure of the soil and the abundance of rain in the area where you live.
- If you are planting seeds in the spring, choose a drought tolerant variety, such as Eremochloa ophiuroides, red weed, or Axonopus fissifolius
- If you prefer to sow in the fall, opt for a type of grass that can withstand the cold, such as Agrostis, Poa pratensis, and ryegrass.
- You can go to a garden center and ask a specialist to find out which grass is best for the region you are in. you can also read the descriptions on the packaging of the seeds.
Till or plow the land. Use a plow or shovel to move or overturn the soil in the area you want to sow to a depth of 7-8 cm; remove stones, roots, branches and any other debris you come across.
- The purpose of this work is to move the soil, aerate it and break up the lumps; make sure there are no blocks of land larger than a 2 euro coin.
Rake and enrich the soil. Go over the freshly plowed area to level it, smooth it and distribute the soil evenly. As you work, sprinkle a 2-inch layer of seasoned compost to make the soil more nutritious. let it penetrate with the rake treating the whole area evenly.
- Enriching the earth with organic material also gives it the right consistency; it does not matter if the soil is originally too clayey or too sandy, because the compost lightens the former and helps the latter to retain moisture better.
- The ideal pH is between 6.0 and 7.5; you can purchase an acid control kit at most gardening and home improvement centers.
- To lower the pH, add some sulfur as you rake; granular is widely available and is used regularly for this purpose. According to the original acidity level of the soil, a variable dose between 0.5 and 3.5 kg of product may be required for every 10 m 2 ; check the directions on the package for more details.
- To increase the pH you can add lime. The granulated product is very common and easy to use; in this case you need to sprinkle between 10 and 50 kg of lime every 90 m 2 , depending on the level of acidity of the soil; always read the instructions on the package.
Compact the ground. Before sowing you need to press the surface a little to prevent the soil and seeds from being blown away by the wind. Go over the entire area with a heavy roller to make it firmer, break up the last few lumps, and get an even base on which to plant the grass.
- You can buy or rent a roller at garden and home improvement centers.
- You can also use your own body and simply walk on the ground you have decided to sow; move with one foot in front of the other to make sure you compact every inch
Sprinkle some fertilizer. It is important to “feed” the seeds on the same day that you plant them, so correct the chemical composition of the soil by adding other substances before starting. On the market you can find many specific germination products for grass and lawn, they are rich in phosphorus and help young blades of grass to grow.
- You can sprinkle the fertilizer by hand on small areas or use a special cart for large areas.
- Always read the manufacturer’s instructions regarding the proper dosage for the soil extension you need to treat.
Spread the seeds. If you want to cultivate a small patch of lawn, you can proceed by hand, but if the area is large it is perhaps better to use a specific trolley. The necessary quantity of seeds depends on the size of the garden, the type of grass and the climate in which you live, but on average 12-16 seeds are scattered per 6 cm 2
- To proceed by hand, throw half the seeds in one direction, then repeat with the other half following the perpendicular direction; by doing so, you completely cover the surface.
- If you have decided to use a planting cart, set the diffuser so that it drops the seeds with the right frequency.
Rake the seeds. Once spread, use the rake to even out their distribution and then gently cover them with a thin layer of soil.
- Do not bury them deeper than 6-7 cm, otherwise they will not germinate
Compact the surface with the roller. Once the seeds are buried, run the roller once more over the entire area to make the soil firmer; in this way the seeds remain well adherent to the ground and are not scattered away by the wind.
- Just fill the roller a quarter of its capacity to make it heavy enough to compact the seeds into the earth
Add a layer of mulch. It protects the grass seeds preventing them from being blown away by the wind, blocks the formation of weeds and keeps the soil moist; sprinkle a layer about 5-6 mm thick all over the area.
- You can consider sphagnum, straw, compost, or beef manure; just make sure it’s not contaminated with weeds
Grow and Keep Grass
Water often early on, then reduce the frequency. When you first plant your lawn and the sprouts begin to sprout, provide them with enough water to keep the soil moist but not soggy; once the blades of grass have stabilized, reduce watering.
- During the first period, water them 3 times a day with a gentle drizzle, without letting the soil get wet enough to form puddles.
- As soon as you notice the sprouts, reduce the frequency to 2 times a day.
- When the stems reach a height of 2-3 cm, you can water once a day.
- When the lawn is well established and you have started mowing it regularly, you can limit yourself to providing 2-3 cm of water per week.
Feed the grass. After 6 weeks of planting, add more fertilizer to help her develop strong roots. Look for a specific product that helps the lawn to form root clods; you can spread it by hand or by cart.
- Do not apply it after November as it could interfere with the dormant phase of the herb during the winter; if you have sown the lawn rather late, wait for spring to fertilize it.
- After the first year, spread the fertilizer once in the spring and once again in the fall.
Cut it off when it has stabilized. When the blades of grass reach a height of 7-8 cm, you can mow them by setting the blades so that they do not cut more than 2-3 cm. If you reduce the height of the lawn excessively, you favor the development of weeds.
- Depending on when you sowed, it may be impossible to mow your lawn until the next growing season.
- During the first few mowings, do not cut the grass more than a third of its height.
- Proceed with mowing when the grass and soil are dry to avoid tearing up the sod
Remove the weeds. Lawn does not like to compete with other types of grass, especially the new one that has just taken root. You can control most pests by tearing it by hand; if you have opted for herbicides, wait until you have mowed the grass at least 4 times before treating it.
- If your lawn is young and you sprinkle herbicides to get rid of weeds, you run the risk of killing it.
Avoid stepping on the lawn often. Although it has stabilized after about 10 weeks, it takes a full season before it is sturdy enough to withstand frequent trampling.
- Do not let children, animals or adults play in the newly sown area until next spring and summer.