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Build a lawn from seed…..

Grass seed is the most affordable way to create a new lawn and gives you more options of how to tailor it to suit your needs! Under good growing conditions, a lawn grown from seed can be fully established in around 6-8 weeks. We've put together a guide to help you choose when to start it and how to build it.

For repairing patches, click here

Timing is everything....

You can sow grass seed in spring or autumn. If sowing in autumn, the seed will germinate quickly as the ground is warm and moist. Germination may be slightly slower in spring.

The time of year is a huge factor in the germination rate of grass seed. Cold air and soil temperatures prevent germination, so avoid sowing grass seed in winter as it simply won't germinate. A cold spring can delay the germination of grass seed by up to a few weeks, leaving the seed vulnerable to being blown away or eaten by birds, while a hot summer can also inhibit growth, particularly as warm conditions dry out the soil. Soil temperature should be at least 6-8 degrees Cº or for successful germination. Bear in mind that seed sown in the south of the UK will germinate sooner than that sown in the north of Scotland. Generally, we recommend sowing grass seed in mid-late spring and again in early autumn.

Ready to build your new lawn? Then read on…..

  1. Choosing a Grass seed

Different seed mixtures germinate at different rates. As a general rule, hardwearing seed mixtures, usually containing rye grass and red fescue, germinate after just 4/5 days. Other seeds, particularly bent and meadow grasses, can take up to two weeks to grow.

Sowing grass seed to make a new lawn allows you to choose a grass seed mixture most appropriate for your needs. Whether you want a general-purpose lawn, a bowling green lawn or a hard-wearing football pitch, there’s the perfect grass seed mix for you. There are also lawn seed mixes to buy for shady gardens and dry gardens.

Hardwearing lawns are usually composed of a mix of perennial ryegrass and strong red fescue. Ornamental lawns tend to contain a mix of low-growing, fine-leaved slender red fescue and bentgrass.

Different mixes also have different minimum cutting heights. It’s important not to cut below the recommended height or you could risk putting your lawn under stress!

For example, our Suburban variety is a hard wearing mix(with ryegrass)and has a minimum cutting height of 25mm. We could call this a back garden mix as it is able to with stand a good amount of footfall.

Formal is our finer mix and contains no ryegrass whatsoever. It has a minimum cutting height of 15mm and would be recommended for a front lawn.

Low Maintenance is a slow growing fine mix that can also be cut down to around 15mm. This mix is both shade and drought tolerant so is perfect for under trees or in shaded areas and against fences etc too.

  1. Soil Prep

Prepare the soil well by digging over, removing weeds and raking level.

Bring in some fresh top soil if necessary and a pre-seed fertiliser is recommended to give your new seedlings a boost to their root systems!

Once you’ve got your soil bed nice and fine….and level, you can then move on to broadcasting your chosen grass seed.

  1. Broadcasting

Sow grass seed at the rate of around 35grams per square metre. Weigh out the first amount, put it in a plastic cup and mark the side to use as a measure.

To help, you can use canes by marking out your site into 1m squares and scatter one cup of seed evenly into each.

Rake the seed in after sowing. Use a standard garden rake or hand rake if you're working on patches.

It’s a good idea to sow grass seed just after rain or before light rain is due, so the seed will germinate quickly. Avoid sowing during a prolonged dry spell or ahead of heavy rains, which can wash grass seeds away.

  1. Moisture

Grass seed germinates well in moist soil that's not too wet or dry. Keep the soil moist to aid germination, but ensure you use a fine rose or hosepipe spray to stop puddles forming on the soil that may inhibit germination or wash the seeds away.

Once germinated, the grass will continue to grow at a rate of about 2/3cm per week and watering can continue using a sprinkler.


  1. Check the recommended minimum cutting height of your grass seed mix.
  2. Grass should be at least 5 - 7cm before cutting.
  3. Remove any stones and obstacles.
  4. Check that your blades are sharp on your mower.
  5. Set your mower blade to a high setting until your lawn is fully established. Then slowly work your way down the mower settings with each cut until you reach the desired height.

Remember never to remove more than a third of the blade height and avoid mowing wet grass!

Fertilising(once your new lawn is established)

Feeding your lawn is a crucial part of its maintenance. Choosing the right fertiliser for the time of year that you feed, can improve the hardiness and appearance of your new lawn. Remember not to fertilise straight after a cut. Wait until 3 days after or feed 3 days before a cut.

  1.  March - Using an autumn/winter feed will help give your lawn much needed root fertiliser as it prepares for the upcoming growing season.
  2. May - Approximately 8 weeks after applying the first feed of the year, apply a spring/summer feed. This contains more nitrogen than the autumn/winter feed and helps to green up your lawn.
  3. July - Approximately 8 weeks after applying your 2nd feed, give your lawn a repeat application of a spring/summer feed. This will help maintain the lush green look of your lawn from feed number 2.
  4. September/October - Apply the autumn/winter feed to help replenish the roots after all the work they have done throughout the Summer, pushing all that lush green grass through. Ideally do this 3 days after your estimated last cut of the year. Also overseed with your preferred grass seed at the same time. This will germinate before the winter slowdown but will come through in the spring, helping to thicken your lawn up! We’d recommend applying 10m2 worth of grass seed per 20m2 of lawn.

***Please note, all granular lawn fertilisers require watering in to reduce the risk of burning your lawn***

Repairing patches

Before attempting to fix damaged or bare areas of your lawn, its worthwhile looking in to the cause and how you can best treat the areas in question.

  • If the bare area was caused by shade, choose a lawn seed mix specifically for shady sites, or if the lawn gets heavy wear, choose a hard wearing seed mix.
  • If the lawn has been damaged by pet urine, the contamination from the excess nitrogen compounds means you will likely need to rake out the dead grass as well as dig out and replace the top inch or so of  top soil before proceeding with seed.
  • If moss has taken hold, you will need to treat affected areas with sulphate of iron at the required application rate of 50gms to 5 litres of water in a watering can. This will treat approx 10m2. After 2-3 days, the affected area will turn black. At this stage you can now rake/scarify out to expose your soil bed and prepare for repairing!

Ready to go?....see below...

  1. Cut out the damaged area of turf in a square, using a half-moon edging iron or flat-bladed spade, then slice underneath it to lift it, to a depth of about 5cm (2in) or rake any dead grass out to expose the soil bed.
  2. Lightly fork or dig over the soil in the square and if needed, work in some fresh top soil, then firm gently with your feet to make a level surface. If adding fresh top soil, be mindful of raising your soil level to0 high compared to the rest of your lawn. Removing some of the older/contaminated soil first before adding fresh, will help you keep the soil bed level true.
  3. Scatter the grass seed evenly over the prepared soil, at the rate advised – usually about 30-40g per sq metre. Lightly rake in.
  4. Cover the seeds with a light sprinkling of top soil and firm down.
  5. Water gently with a watering can fitted with a fine rose, to avoid dislodging the seeds. Alternatively, use the misting setting on your hose pipe spray. Surface moisture will be needed throughout hot or dry spells but be careful not to waterlog as this will displace the seed.

Germination can take 4-5 days during mid to late spring and autumn.

Grass seed mixes...

  • Suburban is our fast growing hard wearing lawn mix, ideal for heavy footfall....
  • Formal is our fine front lawn mix, perfect for striping and showing off!.....
  • Shady mix is a fine but tough mix that grows in the shade or in drought conditions!...

All available for Call and Collect, Click and Collect or home delivery(charges apply).

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