Guide On How To Establish Lawn By Seed

A lawn can be easy to care for but remember it’s made up of living plants and, as with all living things, their needs must be considered. Choose a grass that is suitable for your climate and conditions. Most grasses are sun-loving plants. In very shaded areas it may be better to select a non-grass ground cover.


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How to sow a lawn by seed

  • The best time to sow a new lawn is during the mild conditions of early to mid spring and early to mid autumn. However with care a new lawn can be sown throughout the year as long as the soil temperature is warm enough.
  • Spray the entire area with a non-selective herbicide such as Yates Zero Weedkiller. This will kill the existing grass as well as any weeds.
  • Leave the sprayed area for 2 weeks, to allow all the weeds and grass to die.
  • Measure the area so you can work out the amount of lawn seed and starter fertiliser you will need.
  • Before sowing lawn seed, it’s important to prepare the soil first, to give the new lawn the best possible start. If the soil is uneven it’s a great opportunity to apply some additional soil to level out the surface. If the soil is hard and compacted, loosen the surface with a rake to create a softer surface for the lawn seed to germinate in.
  • Once the area has loose soil and is even, lightly rake the area one way to create shallow furrows. Mix the required amount of lawn seed with a Starter Fertiliser. Yates Dynamic Lifter Organic Lawn Food is ideal for this. This makes it much easier to spread out the lawn seed, adds valuable organic matter to the soil and provides the new grass seedlings with gentle slow release nutrients as they establish.
  • Spread the mix evenly over the area, either by hand or with a spreader, and then ‘cross rake’ (rake in the opposite direction to the first raking). Water the area gently and thoroughly, so that the top soil is moist.
  • It’s very important to keep the top 1cm of soil moist for the first 2 – 3 weeks while the grass establishes. This may require watering several times a day. The most common reason for a newly sown lawn not being successful is lack of moisture during the germination and establishment phase. 
  • Minimise foot and pet traffic on the new lawn area until it is well established.

 

Caring for your lawn

Fertilising Lawn

Regular light fertilising during the growing season is better than infrequent, heavy fertilising.Once established, Use a correctly balanced fertiliser (such as Yates Lawn Fertiliser) Yates Lawn Fertiliser Granular is a premium granular lawn food designed to give you a strong, green & healthy lawn.The concentrated formula feeds more,for longer (12 weeks) using less! The fine granule formula quickly filters down to the roots and disolves when watered Yates Dynamic Lifter Organic Lawn Food is an organic fertiliser that gently feeds all lawn types and improves the structure and moisture retention of the soil.

Mowing Lawn

With established lawns, cut warm season grasses to 2.5 cm and cool season grasses to 3 to 5 cm. Cut as frequently as possible and remove as little growth as possible.

Never mow grass too low or ‘scalp’ the grass. Grasses need their leaves to make food for the plant and to shade the root system. Remove grass clippings or use a mulching mower.

Watering Lawn

Some lawns require a large amount of watering so, depending on the situation and soil type.

Kikuyu is the most drought tolerant grass. However it is most often used where nothing else will grow, coastal areas, predominately sand or where consistent heat and moisture make it difficult to grow other types.

Yates Tuffgrass is also reasonably drought tolerant. As a rule, cool season grasses (most popular) need consistent moisture, although turf type tall fescue is reasonably drought tolerant once established. Water in the morning rather than the evening and give thorough less frequent soakings rather than short, frequent waterings. Don’t allow surface runoff.

Note. It is likely in establishing your new lawn you will get some weed seed germination but don't be too alarmed. Some annual weeds will most likely germinate alongside your new grass but these can die out on their own or can be selectively treated with an application of Yates Turfix using the directions for new lawns (less than 6 months old) from around 8 weeks.


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Early autumn is a great time of the year to make improvements to the lawn. It’s the perfect season for seeding, laying new turf, feeding and controlling weeds.

Lawn Watering Tips

Ever wondered how often you should be watering your lawn? Check out our lawn watering tips below