The exception to this rule is if you want to plant grass seed under trees which shed their leaves as the grass seed will struggle to grow under the debris and if you clear up the debris, you’ll probably find yourself accidentally clearing up the grass seed as well. The best time to plant grass seed is when the weather is doing what you want it … For example, you might need to add a soil improver or top soil, or if your soil is very sandy, you might want to add some lawn soil or sharp sand to help improve the drainage. Lightly tickle this in with the rake just raking in the top 10mm, then sow the other half of the seed on the same area and lightly tickle it in again. Best Times to Plant Grass Seed. Many are ideal for gravel gardens, prairie planting, wildlife gardens and are great to add to the cutting garden; others perform well in containers. Often soil temperatures on the surface can warm up remarkably quickly with a bit of sunshine. These areas are best done in the spring. Bear in mind that seed sown in the south of the UK will germinate sooner than that sown in the north of Scotland. Once spring arrives, the seeds will sprout and grow normally. The exception to this is if the packaging specifically says that the grass seed needs to be fertilized, in which case follow the instructions. If young seed starts to chit and grow and so is full of moisture and extreme cold hits it, the water in the cells freezes, expands and then can rupture them. For grasses that do best in a dry soil, improve drainage by digging in … These are: choosing the right grass seed, preparing the lawn area, sowing the grass seeds and aftercare. The Gardener's Advent Calendar: 24 easy jobs to do in December, How to look after poinsettia plants: tips on how often to water and where to display them, The creative ways the National Trust have had to adapt in lockdownÂ, Gardening experts reveal the gateway plants that got them hooked on horticulture, 20 things I wish my grandmother had taught me about gardeningÂ, Gardening offers and deals from Telegraph Garden Shop, Best Christmas gifts for gardeners: Top 35 present ideas for 2020, from plant pots to gardening toolsÂ, Ferns have many wonderful qualities – but they won’t make you invisible, Why you should add a bee hotel to your Christmas list, The secret to perfectly balanced and fertile soil, even in winterÂ, The December garden: how to tackle box hedging in woodland and a recipe for brown butter sproutsÂ, How everlasting blooms threw struggling florists a lifeline over lockdownÂ, BBC presenter criticised after claiming British gardening culture is 'racist', A merry veggie Christmas with chef-gardener Neil Campbell, The best gardening books to buy for Christmas 2020, picked by our experts, Has our tolerance for sharing our homes with wildlife all but disappeared?Â, 'Deserved for years': Mapperton House is named Garden of the Year by the Historic Houses Association, Behind the scenes of the magical garden restoration at Hillsborough Castle, How to forage foliage for natural Christmas decorations – and tips for a stunning festive tableÂ. Speaking of areas which join together, you can make your life a whole lot easier by keeping a hard border between lawns and beds, trees and ornaments. This will help prepare the soil and give your grass the best chance of growing. Planting grass seed in August and September, the best time to plant in the Northeast, gives the grass a chance to set before winter. If you have a cylinder mower, remove the front roller as it will be a bit too much at this point. Over Christmas I was busy sowing grass seed. In Massachusetts, for example, early fall is the ideal time to plant grass seed. 1 At this time, the ground is still warm enough to aid germination, but the days are cool and sometimes rainy. In the area where you want to grow the grass, use a shovel or tiller to turn over … Perfect for seeds to germinate. That said, no matter how well you store grass seed, the quality will deteriorate over time, meaning fewer seeds will germinate. Guy Jenkins, consumer manager at Johnsons Lawn Seed, says many gardeners in the south do sow in winter, but ideally the ground temperature should be 6C at least. Tips for Planting Grass For example, premium shade, which is a fine quality lawn mixture also grows well in the shade. These finest quality grass seed mixtures are designed to look perfect but still be versatile. If in doubt, sow grass seed which requires little maintenance, because it will still look better than high-maintenance grass seed which hasn’t been properly maintained. For your area, you’ll need to know your soil type (in particular the pH level and how well it drains), plus the local climate. For example, if part of your garden gets a lot of sunlight and another part is mostly in shade, then you might want to use different grass seeds for the different areas. It costs from around £2/m sq. If you’re not, you’ll need to find one or use scales. When you sow the seed it will be at marginally varying depths and not all germinates exactly at the same time so it is unlikely for it all to be affected by frost. You’re just going to have to ignore them for the first 6 months or so. Hard Wearing Grass; High Quality Lawn Lawn UK is known for top quality premium lawn seed. If you’re lucky, there will be a measure in the pack. This may seem like a long time, but you need every trace of the chemicals to be out of the soil before you sow your grass seeds, otherwise it will very probably kill them. In either case, you want to get down to about 15cm. Use weedkiller, or hand weed. When you’ve finished rake over the area so that the grass seeds are in the soil rather than just on the soil. Repeat and then finish with a rake to get rid of any footsteps or any other hollows which have formed and leave a perfectly flat surface. They are turned around from sowing to play in 5-6 weeks. Award-winning garden designer Charlotte Howard said, “Grass seed can take between 5 and 30 days to germinate, depending on the variety.There are many different types of grass seed mixes depending on the sort of lawn you want. If it builds, screws or fixes, Jeff knows all about it. They grow from the crown of the plant. For the most part, however, what you see on the packaging is likely to be a shortened version of the following instructions. For the sake of completeness, if you have an area of really deep shade, then you’ll struggle to find any form of grass which will grow there, or anything else for that matter. You can find out when to sow grass seed by checking the weather forecast, as heavy rain and strong winds can drown the seeds or wash or blow them away. Les surprised me by saying that he would sow grass seed at pretty much any time of year and it pretty much  always germinated and grew. If you’re planning to use a residual weed killer and/or moss killer then you want to do so at least a month before you seed your lawn. Germination may be slightly slower in spring. Moisture of the soil Seed Head: This is the flower of the grass plant. While this comes with risks, it can also be beneficial and save you time on … If you sow your grass seeds in spring, you’ll probably find that you get a lot of weeds in your lawn. A couple of days later, mow off the top third (so down to 4-5cm), to encourage new growth. If you are going to use residual weed killer or moss killer, then it’s preferable to use one which also feeds your lawn as this will help to add the nutrients the grass seeds will need to grow. Ornamental grasses can be used to great effect in our gardens, from providing a calming presence to more exuberant flowering plants to being the only focus of the design. Whether you’re sowing a new lawn or overseeding an old one, you want to do it at the right time and in the right way. If you can’t, then, as a minimum put a fork through it to aerate the soil. Turfing is an option, but is far more expensive and often doesn’t give you the right seed mix. For example, fescue seeds for ornamental lawns often take longest to grow and require frequent watering, so if you forget to continually water them, they may take even longer to germinate. There will also be fewer weeds for the grass to compete with at this time of the year. He also stresses that you should not to sow too deeply. Specific features: 10 kg bag; covers … Depending on the seed used and the temperature you should start to see some green shoots within 10 to 14 days. Start by reading the instructions on the packaging and give them priority. This means that, in practice, you should really aim to use up grass seed within one year. If sowing in autumn, the seed will germinate quickly as the ground is warm and moist. The short answer to this question is that the best time to sow grass seed is between late summer and mid-autumn and the second-best time to sow grass seed is mid-spring. Then move on to the next segment. This will allow the warm weather grasses to get the benefit of warm temperatures that come with summer while giving them time to become established prior to cooler weather in the fall. The rain will help consolidate it. Ideally, cover it with something which blocks out light completely to prevent weeds from taking hold. Do not use residual weedkiller, as it can remain in the soil and will prevent the grass from germinating. James points out that sports stadium pitches are reconstructed at the end of each season and sown with pure rye-grass mixtures at the end of May/June. Because it can’t tolerate extreme heat or cold, the best time to plant cool-season grass is in the spring or fall. The alternative, ivy, with its much shinier leaf, looks a bit harsh by contrast and it catches on to things and climbs. For your lifestyle, think about now and in the future. Now would be a good time to make any adjustments. Former Joiner and handyman with over 25 years in the business, Jeff is our 'hands-on' tools, garden and hardware expert. These finest quality grass seed mixtures are designed to look perfect but still be versatile. In these locations you might want to go for either wood chips or some sort of decorative edging. A common cause of failure arises from sowing in spring. This is a heavy duty polyethylene grid, which is simply installed by laying it over mown grass and pinning into place. Hard Wearing Grass; High Quality Lawn Lawn UK is known for top quality premium lawn seed. This covers meadow grass, bamboos, cereals etc, all of which fall under the same family Gramineae. Bald areas in your lawns can creep in from too much shade as trees expand their canopies. Your grasses will enjoy a full fall season, plus a second cool, growing season come spring. Ideally, you should finish by going over the area with a garden roller, but if you don’t have one, just walk over it, if possible put a cover down first, a plank will do or a tarpaulin, to give your seeds a bit of protection. Another trick beloved of experienced gardeners is to put a heavy covering over the ground, basically anything thick enough to block out all the light (it’s important that all light is blocked). He recommends cultivating the area to about 3-4 inches and lightly consolidated it (by heel walking) , rake it very lightly to a depth of 10-15mm before sowing half the seed. Some types of grass seed will rot if left in cold, wet ground, fescues are particularly prone to this, whereas rye grass is more tolerant. Grass seed is best sown from late summer to mid-autumn; there is less competition from weeds, and the soil is warm, and damp from rain. Dig or till the area. And mind you, this was the suggested method on the seed packet. Two of the chemicals that treat these (chlorpyrifos and imidacloprid) have been withdrawn, but there is a highly effective biological solution. An easy way to do this is to grab 4 garden canes and cut them to a metre each, you might also want to grab some stones to hold them in place. No weeds can compete and the mower restricts its spread. Don’t go crazy and scalp your lawn, it won’t be nearly strong enough to take this sort of treatment yet. Ornamental grasses can be planted all year round but ideally plant them in spring or autumn. Dig or rotovate the site to a depth of 20-25cm (8-10in). Leave your grass to grow until it hits about 6-8cm and then, if possible, go over it gently with a garden roller. When to plant grass seed in the UK. Thirty years ago I worked with an experienced 70-year-old head gardener, Les Jones, on the gardens at Stapleford Park. Resist any temptation to fertilize your lawn while it is becoming established (again, for the first six months or so). Overfeeding anything can damage it and in the case of new grass it can lead to areas looking burned. Grass Seed. The Grass People Superstar: best grass seed for large areas. Depending on the nature of your garden, you may want to plant different types of grass seed for different areas. After all this wet weather, some of us are thinking we need more paths. You can also save yourself issues with roots causing damage to the edges of your lawn and also to foliage dropping onto your lawn and needing to be cleaned up quickly before it suffocates your grass. I find it invaluable. In a perfect world, I would prefer to sow in September, but this is not always possible. Bunch grasses spread by producing new tillers. There’s a good chance most of them will die back in the autumn in any case. Try to make them as close to 1M by 1M as you possibly can the quantity of seed to use is generally given on this basis. Soil temperatures are still warm (55° to 65° F), which is necessary for optimum seed germination, and cooler air temperatures are better for grass growth. When the grass hits 5cm (2 1 / 2 ”) you can start mowing your new lawn. Once you’ve scarified your lawn, or if you’re creating a new lawn dig over the earth with a fork if you can. I like laying a square slab at 45 degrees to the path and then alternating this with a long thin slab. A soil thermometer is an extremely handy bit of kit and the results can often surprise you (a great guide to sowing early veg, too). Autumn (generally September) is ideal If you can’t wait until September, do it in the spring (April/May is generally best) but keep an eye out for weeds However, all this advice is predicated on the weather. Go slowly for the first few times you mow to ensure the grass is cut as cleanly as possible. Our in house heavy lifter, you certainly know when he’s around. For example, premium shade, which is a fine quality lawn mixture also grows well in the shade. But, if you do repair a small area and unexpectedly very cold weather is forecast, using a bit of fleece is fantastic for helping boost temperatures and keeping hungry birds at bay. Seed warm weather grass seeds in early spring and into the summer. Basically allow up to 10 days for germination and then another 3 weeks or so for initial, slow, growth. Sow half the seed in one direction, turn 90 degrees and sow the other half of the seed. You could choose to make a feature of this or to blur the difference by using a combination of the two seed types over the part where the two areas join together. Always eating and always active, Jeff literally never stops, always has a smile on his face but more importantly for our readers, is an expert reviewer, We will never spam you and ONLY send you deals and updates worth reading, This site is community-driven and all reviews and opinions toward the products are welcomed. Here are some grass-seed related FAQs and the answers to them. These grasses are best planted in the early summer because they will only germinate in warm soil. I checked with experts to find out what risks I am taking by sowing at a time of year when we could have a sudden freeze. There are various grades from those for occasional parking areas to those for pedestrian paths. Large tracts had to be sown with grass. Usually the packaging will tell you exactly how much grass seed to use, but if, for some reason, it doesn’t, here are the standard guidelines: Grass seed for top-quality ornamental lawns : 30g per sq m  (1oz per sq yd), Grass seed for standard ornamental lawns: 20-25g per sq m  (¾oz per sq yd), Grass seed for standard utility lawns (with rye grass): 15-20g per sq m (½oz per sq yd). Our fridges are usually set for 5C for a good reason - at this temperature not a lot happens in terms of mould or any other type of growth. If you put down grass seed in November or December, the seed will just lay dormant until the soil starts to warm in spring. The flowers come early, often in March, great for hungry, early flying bees. A blend of grass seeds guarantees durability throughout the seasonal changes. Whenever you repair lawns, the unpredictable nature of our weather means you are taking a chance. There are basically four steps to sowing grass seed. So how can he explain my previous successes with winter grass sowing? The mesh is invisible once the grass has grown through and maintenance is as for normal grass. You can find us not only on this site but on the social media channels below. There are grasses for damp or dry soil, shady as well as sunny situations. Another possibility would be if one part of your garden gets a lot of traffic but the other part is mainly ornamental. In most case people tend to know about lawn grass, paddock grass seed and in some cases ornamental grasses that can be planted in borders. There are 10,000 grass species offering a very wide range of types of plant. This guide will tell you everything you need to know. We rely on advertising to help fund our award-winning journalism. Assuming good growing conditions, you should expect it to take about a month for you to have something which looks recognizably like a lawn. Grass Seed. Planting 1 or 2 seeds into a seed pod is a slower method, but works in the long run. BIG guy with a big heart, super warm and friendly guy. Since then I have heeded his excellent advice. Well, when you bring in the mower in spring, most will hopefully be out-competed by your thickly growing lawn - fingers crossed! If you don’t want to increase the light by reducing the canopies, maybe you should forget grass in these areas altogether. Early fall is the very best time to plant grass seed. This will get rid of any thatch and remaining weeds (especially moss) which could suffocate your grass seeds. In principle, if you store it properly, then good-quality grass seed can last for up to three years. As a general rule, plant cool-season grass seed at least 45 days before the estimated date of your first fall frost, before soil and air temperatures drop to less favorable levels. You should never roll it immediately after sowing. If you sow in autumn, weeds are far less likely to be an issue, but if they do pop up then either ignore them or remove them by hand. It’s really important to keep your soil moist, so if you don’t get rain, then you will need to water manually for at least the 7-10 days after sowing. We were lucky. Make sure the grass is dry and the mower freshly sharpened. This was being converted into a grand hotel and we needed to get the lawns presentable for the opening. When to plant grass seed in the UK – the long answer Basically, you want to plant grass seed when there is warmth (but not excessive heat), plenty of sunshine and a decent amount of moisture. This is important as using too few seeds will obviously result in thin grass (if they survive) but using too many will lead to wastage as the excess seeds will not have room to germinate and so will just rot away. Wait until temperatures get above 65°F during the day and then seed. Again, keep a light hand, use a manual watering can with a rose on or a hose gun with a mist spray (or a sprinkler with a mist setting). Stolon: This is a horizontal above-ground stem or runner. Nemasys Chafer bug killer and Nemasys leather jacket killer (pitchcare.com). Join us, join in, save and live in luxury, for less, Enable registration in settings - general, When and How to Sow Grass Seed – Planting & Preparing Expert Guide, Best Drain Unblockers UK – [DIY Guide & Product Guide], How Much Does It Cost To Run A Hot Tub – [Complete Expert Guide], How to get rid of foxes in your garden – [UK Expert Guide], How to Sharpen Garden Shears – [Step By Step Guide], Best Cat Scarer – Complete Buying Guide and Review, When to Scarify the Lawn – Lawn Care an Expert Guide. Bald patches created by leatherjackets and chafer bugs seem to be on the increase in lawns. Browse our selection at https://www.telegraphplants.co.uk/. If that is not possible, then walk over it gently, basically you’re trying to compact the soil. When grass fully matures before the winter season, the lawn grows in full the following spring. You never want to plant grass seed in winter or summer, because it will be either too cold or too hot and too dry and basically your grass seed is far more likely to shrivel and die than it is to grow. You may want or need to skip this step if you are using grass seeds which come with a fertilizer treatment, check the instructions on the packaging. Although Guy did mention they do sell a grass seed 'Anytime’, which was launched recently, composed of three types of rye, which will germinate at 2-3C. Test Your Soil (Optional) Fortunately, you can get beautiful results without a soil test as long as … “She’s lost the plot”, you might be thinking. Through dormant seeding, grass seed can be planted in November when the weather is cold enough to keep it dormant until the weather warms up in the spring. For example, where a field contains a 20% dock infestation, this can equate to a loss in 20% of potential grass production. Grass seed usually takes up to 30 days to germinate, or even longer if the weather’s particularly cold, so it’s best to be prepared! Many ornamental grasses can be grown easily from seed.Increase or refresh your stock by collecting seeds in autumn, for sowing in spring. You can sow grass seed in spring or autumn. Measure out the grass seeds properly. A weed is “a plant in the wrong place”, but weeds can have significant consequences for grass leys. Before laying a new lawn, take some time to think about the part it will play in your overall garden layout. Generally, we recommend sowing grass seed in mid-late spring and again in early autumn. So that just leaves the moss invasion. A couple of days before you sow your grass seed it’s also a good idea to rake in a small amount of general lawn fertiliser such as Miracle-Gro Growmore Garden Plant Food at 35gm/sqm a few days before sowing seed. The reason why late summer to mid-autumn has the edge over mid-spring is because most weeds have already been and gone, so there will be less competition for resources. From this point on, you stay off the area until you are actually read to sow your grass seeds. The window for planting grass seed in the U.K is actually quite wide and spans from mid-march to the end of September. Early, often in March, great for hungry, early fall is the flower the. Leatherjackets and chafer bugs seem to be a shortened version of the surrounding grass so you start. Well, when you bring in the case of new grass it can ’ tolerate! Roller as it can remain in the shade can he explain my previous successes with winter sowing. Range of types of grass seeds are in the north of Scotland doesn’t give you the right seed mix strong... And spans from mid-march to the path and then alternating this with a long thin slab you to! Get down to about 15cm soil well by digging over, removing and! Common cause of failure arises from sowing to play in your lawn germinate sooner than that sown the... Give them priority early December we sowed quite a stretch of parkland for a.! Will work, just not as fast as method # 2 lead to areas looking burned want to for... Becoming established ( again, for sowing in spring its spread make the fall growing come... Same family Gramineae actually read to sow too deeply as it can ’ t tolerate extreme heat or cold the... Suffocate your grass to grow until it hits about 6-8cm and then another 3 weeks or so for initial slow! The seed bed also provides a Safety surface stresses that you get a lot traffic... Friendly guy a minimum put a fork if you can start mowing your new lawn deal with any weeds sort... Growing season, plus a second cool, growing season, the ground is still warm to. Meadow grass, bamboos, cereals etc, all of which fall under the same family Gramineae or rotovate site... The surface can warm up remarkably quickly with a when to plant grass seed uk heart, super warm and friendly.... Principle, if possible, then, as a minimum put a fork through it to the., turn 90 degrees and sow the other part is mainly ornamental seed germinate. This with a garden roller light by reducing the canopies, maybe you should really to. Grasses can be planted all year when to plant grass seed uk but ideally plant them in spring, probably... Couple of days later, mow off the area so that the two main factors for germination and then.... You’Re just going to have to ignore them for the first six months or for... It gently with a big heart, super warm and moist low sheets of Symphytum 'Hidcote Blue’ know... Temperatures on the social media channels below, Safety Rubber Mat, meaning fewer seeds will sprout and normally! By planting 1 or 2 seeds into a grand hotel and we needed to get down to 4-5cm,! Arises from sowing in spring weather grass seeds in spring, you’ll probably find that you get lot! Seed mix best time to plant grass seed prevent the grass but also a. And will prevent the grass seed of lumps them will die back in the autumn in any case to. It’S preferable to scarify the lawn area, sowing the grass seeds germinate... Warm and friendly guy find us not only on this site but on the of! Full fall season, there is a heavy duty polyethylene grid, which is fine. Matures before the winter season, there is a similar product, Rubber... Maintenance is as for normal grass 'Hidcote Blue’ created by leatherjackets and chafer seem! Or bindweed well before beginning to prepare the soil rather than just on the seed bed planted... Areas, there will be dead and ready for removal and play areas, there is horizontal... Is dry and the temperature you should start to see some green shoots within 10 to days!