1. Ensure that the weather conditions are right. Most professional groundsmen and green keepers will tell you that early spring and autumn are the best times to sow new seed. There are two main reasons for this. Firstly because the soil temperature should be above the 7 degrees threshold that most grass seed needs to germinate and secondly, because there is plenty of moisture (rainfall) about in these periods. That doesn’t mean you can’t sow seed in the warmer months but it will mean that there might be a requirement for you to do considerably more watering if it’s particularly dry or warm.
2. With this in mind, you must firstly try to sow when there is little to no chance of frost. Although a frost doesn’t mean that you will lose all the seed it could certainly reduce the percentage of germination and undermine all your hard work! The main thing to remember when over-seeding is that you must try to incorporate the seed into the existing seed bed as much as possible. Scarifying the area, or at least removing any thatch/moss, is vital in order for the seed to get in contact with the soil. The biggest mistake you can make is by just throwing the seed on the area and expecting lots of lovely new grass to grow as it invariably won’t.
3. Incorporating the seed into the existing area isn’t the easiest thing to do in many cases as most private gardeners don’t have access to either root zone (a sterilised mix of sand and soil) or to spiking/coring machinery. If this is the case then you can substitute the root zone for some good quality dry(ish) sand and, if you can spike the areas that are barest and in the greatest need of attention, then all the better. As a guide to the seed/sand ratio – the seed is extremely light so any weight guide is not easy to judge but visually 1 part seed to 5 parts sand is a sensible mix. Whatever situation you are looking to address, there is one aspect that is of vital importance. You must keep the area moist as much as possible so, if there has been no rainfall for a couple of days, water the area using a fine spray (evenings are always best as this means you will lose the least amount of moisture to direct sunshine).
4. If you have purchased pre-seeder fertiliser then unlike with a brand new lawn this is applied AFTER the seed has been sown and when the new grass is up and growing (normally around 4 - 6 weeks after germination). What this will do is boost the root system and help the old and new grass incorporate better giving you a stronger lawn.
5. A good tip to note, as to how much fertiliser/seed to put down, is to mark out a smaller area first and apply the relevant quantities to that area. This will give you a good visual guide as to what the desired distribution should look like. When over-seeding, this is obviously variable as some areas might need a bit more product than others.
NB: The seed can take anywhere between 14 – 21 days to germinate depending on soil temperatures and moisture levels. It can be frustrating waiting for this to happen but as long as you have followed the previous steps then it will germinate. Remember A1Lawn only provides the very highest quality certified grass seed that has been fully tested to ensure both purity and high germination levels and we select our mixes and cultivars very Now it’s just a case of leaving the area undisturbed for as long as possible (whilst keeping it moist). Give the new seed time to grow and establish as, the better chance you give it in its early development, the better results will be achieved in the long term.
6. When the new grass has reached a length of around 2-3 inches, it’s time to give it its first cut. The main thing to note at this point is not to cut it too short. Only take the top inch or so off the tips of the grass and leave plenty of growth as over cutting could seriously damage the new blades and lead to considerable die-back. It is also worth noting that there may still be some seed that is waiting to germinate. Over the coming weeks this will lead to the lawn becoming thicker and more lush, so it’s worth giving the area a bit of time before you consider going over any remaining bare patches.
7. If you have any pre-seed fertiliser left over then it will not go to waste. Giving the area added nutrients several weeks after its first germination will help promote the root system and lead to a healthier lawn in the long term.
8. If you have scarified the area prior to over-seeding, there is still a chance you won’t have got all the weeds and moss out of the lawn. At this point, don’t panic, as these can be treated with a selective weed killer or granular weed, feed and moss killer at a later date.
Remember we are always here to help.
If you need further advice at any point then please feel free to contact us on our free-phone number 0800 411 8141