HOW TO PLANT A LAWN — 4 practical tips for seed selection and soil preparation
Even if you have never had to sow grass for a lawn, after reading this article, you will cope with this task no worse than an experienced gardener. We tell you how to properly prepare the soil for sowing, and about other nuances that will make it possible to grow an emerald lawn on the site.
The best place for a lawn: how to choose?
A plot in a lowland is not the best place. Due to an excess of moisture, grass roots will constantly rot. Therefore, choose sites in favorable areas, not shaded. Otherwise, if there is not enough light, the lawn grows sparse, with bald spots.
And if you want a well-kept lawn under the shade of trees, then choose grasses that grow well in low sunlight: white clover, fescue and others.
When you have chosen a landing area, clear it of stones, branches and debris. Remove weeds. You can do this by hand, with a weed remover, or by using chemicals. If you choose the latter option, you should wait 1-5 weeks before sowing the lawn (depending on the vigorousness of the product). During this time, the «chemistry» will leave the soil.
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What grass to plant: choosing seeds
It is good when there is an opportunity to smell the seed when choosing. The smell of fresh hay says that the seeds are not stagnant, not rotten, not infected with a fungus. Seeds should be crumbly.
Check out the most popular lawn grasses:
Stores often sell ready-made seed mixes. But you can also collect your own. The best combination is obtained from bluegrass and fescue — from such seeds a low lawn will grow.
But this is not the only reason why these herbs are combined:
- Bluegrass does not like shade, but fescue tolerates it well.
- Both species are cold hardy.
- Bluegrass forms a dense turf, but grows for a very long time — 3-4 seasons. For almost a year, he spends more energy not on growth, but on rooting. But its branched roots in the future will not allow weeds to germinate.
- Fescue is not as long-lived, but sprouts quickly. While bluegrass takes root and develops a root system, fescue grows actively, leaving the lawn empty.
It is important to monitor the lawn from such a mixture of grasses and sow the seeds in time: if one type of grass begins to disappear, the area will gradually drag on to another.
Often found in store mixes is ryegrass. It is added to reduce the cost of the product. This type of grass grows tall and needs to be mowed every week. A big disadvantage of ryegrass is its low frost resistance. Because of this, bald spots may appear on the lawn in the spring. But if there were other herbs in the seed, their seedlings will fill the empty spaces.
If you want a curly lawn with a deep, dark green color, plant a clover. It is often planted on its own, as the clover grows rapidly and captures the entire area. It blooms from May to early autumn, while it does not need a lot of light.
To stop clover from spreading to other areas, fertilize them with nitrogen. Clover produces this gas on its own and grows where it is lacking in the soil.
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How to plant a lawn
Properly prepared soil is half the success for laying a lawn. Read below how to do it and what else is needed for the seeds to germinate quickly and evenly.
How to level a lawn
In order for the grass to grow uniformly, without bald spots, you need to level the surface. In addition, it is more convenient to mow the lawn if the landscape is even. Therefore, fill in shallow pits and level the tubercles.
Council: high smooth slides and recesses do not need to be removed. They will make the landscape more interesting.
Use a shovel, rake, weeding fork, or hoe to level and clear the ground of weeds, leaves, and branches. After removing the bumps, pull out the pebbles and hardened clods of earth with a rake. Then smooth the surface with the other side of the rake.
How to prepare the soil for a lawn
In order for the lawn to easily take root and grow on the site for many years, it is important to form a fertile layer for the grass with a thickness of 7 to 15 cm. The more, the better: after all, even undersized grass has deep roots that require nutrient soil.
There are two ways to form a fertile layer:
- If the land on your site consists of not only clay or sand, it will be enough to dig it up. Large areas can be treated with agricultural machinery.
- If the area is clayey or there is too much sand on it, cover the future lawn with black soil or sandy loam soil.
The brought land must be checked for the presence of unwanted seeds. To do this, leave it for 1-2 weeks and wait for the weeds to germinate. Get rid of them — only after that you can sow the lawn. After loosening the soil, walk over it with a roller. So small lumps will collapse and the soil will be compacted.
Preparing the soil allows you to create a healthy layer for the grass, but you do not need to immediately apply fertilizer: they will dissolve into the ground and will not do any good. Add minerals after the first mowing — so the grass will grow better. You should not fertilize the soil with organic matter: over time, it will rot, and the lawn will sag.
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How to sow a lawn
To manually sow grass seeds, you need:
- On the packed earth, create shallow furrows for the seeds with a rake.
- Mix the grains and sift them over the area. For 1 sq. m will need 30 g of seeds. But buy with the calculation of 40 g for 1 sq.m — there will be a reserve if something does not rise.
- Rake, as for the first time, only perpendicular to the furrows. So the seeds are mixed with the ground. Even if birds or ants live on the site, they will not steal the grain.
- Tamp down so that the seeds are not washed away with water or blown away by the wind.
Important: the seeds do not need to be buried, just press them into the soil. So they will receive the necessary amount of water and light to germinate quickly.
Water the soil at the end. Water should be evenly sprayed over the entire area. After planting, water every evening, even if sprouts have already appeared.
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How to sow a lawn without a roller
The roller levels the surface and fixes the seeds in the ground. We have found how to replace such inventory without spending money on an expensive device. Many hosts are already using this life hack.
Get a big barrel ready. Fill it with water, sand or something else to make it convenient to roll the container and tamp the ground. If the barrel is too heavy for you, use a smaller container. But you will have to spend more time to roll the entire site. It is advisable to tamp the crops up and down.
There is another old English method of ramming the earth. If you left a “tractor trail” in the snow as a child, you already know it.
You need to walk this step on loosened earth — this is how you compress the soil under your feet. Small lumps will remain in the corners of the tracks: to align them, use a board or any other tool at hand. Just run it over the surface, smoothing out the bumps.
When to sow the lawn
The main rule is to sow after and before frost. Plant the lawn in early spring, when the air warms up to +15℃ and does not cool below +2℃. You can sow grass all summer.
If you don’t know how to plant your lawn before the start of winter, here are two tips:
- So that the seeds lie quietly until spring in the soil and are not damaged, protect the site from people and animals.
- Choose a site without a slope. Otherwise, unattached seeds can be washed off by frequent rainfall.
If the lawn is planned under a tree, it is best to sow the grass when the leaves have fallen and can be removed.
Take 3 conventions for the rules to grow a beautiful lawn without any problems:
- When planting your lawn, choose your seeds carefully. Buy those that are easy to find on the market so that you can bribe and seed at any time.
- Don’t skip the rammer. In dense soil, moisture is retained longer than in loose soil, and this is important for seeds.
- Do not forget to water the lawn regularly — this way it will grow faster.
Now you know how to grow a beautiful lawn on your site. Good luck!
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