Gardening

John Shannon. INLT 13-802-CON
John Shannon. INLT 13-802-CON

Lawns can be created in two ways: buying turf in a roll, which is instant, but can be expensive; or by sowing grass seed.

To create a good lawn takes time and preparation. This can apply to both methods.

To sow a lawn, the best month is now, because the ground is still warm and seed will germinate easily, before the winter sets in.

Lawns can be sown anytime from mid-April to mid-October.

Ideally, preparation should start in July by killing off all weeds using Round Up. Once the weeds are dead, the ground needs digging over, or rotovated. A common mistake is to rotovate the ground thinking this will kill the weeds: it won’t, you just spread the weeds and seeds all over the garden and they will multiply.

When the ground is clear, remove any stones that are near the surface, as these will damage the lawn mower when you start to cut the lawn.

Roll the area to flatten down any humps and fill in any holes, and rake the ground over to get it as level as possible.

Ideally, the ground should be watered to encourage any weed seeds left in the ground to germinate. When you see a little green shoot, use a quick-acting weed killer again to kill these few weeds off.

Apply a general fertilizer prior to sowing, such as Westland Growmore.

Sow the grass seed at roughly 35 grams per square metre, lightly rake over and water. It is very important that the top few centimetres are kept constantly moist and the seed should start to grow within one week.

If the ground dries out at this stage, some of the grass seed will not germinate.

Start cutting the grass once it is more that 10cms long. This will encourage the grass to thicken out. If weeds come up in your new lawn, which is always the case, particularly if the preparation has been quick, you cannot use a lawn weedkiller at this stage. The only way to control weeds is to keep cutting the lawn to help the grass to get stronger.

When the lawn has been down over a winter you can use a selective lawn weedkiller and feed.

Lawn seed is available in the garden centre in a variety of sizes. For more information contact us on 028 2827 6351.