A lot of homeowners are interested in learning as much as they can about how to choose grass seeds because seeding is less expensive than turfing. What is more, a smaller range of seed mixtures for certain conditions is available from turf than seed. You can store seed until conditions are ideal, whereas turf has to be laid no later than within 24 hours of being delivered.
Seed germinates quickest in the middle of spring and early autumn, when the soil is warm, temperatures are average, and there is plenty of moisture. Germination takes about 8 days on average.
Choosing a seed mixture
Gardeners find many different seed mixtures available to them so sometimes, they don’t know what to choose. Consider what your lawn needs in terms of maintenance and durability when looking at seed mixtures. Normally, there are mixtures available for general purposes, luxury lawns, and shady lawns. We’ll go into each of these below.
Mixtures for general-purpose lawns are suitable for areas with high wear and tear from pets or children or high traffic areas. They are usually blends of brown top, perennial ryegrass, red fescue, and tall fescue. These seeds will sprout at light speed – and require regular mowing.
If you have a fine or luxury lawn, you need a mix of fine-leaved turf grass varieties. Obviously, lawns like these will not tolerate high traffic. The resulting lawn will grow slowly, be fine in appearance, and enable low height mowing.
Finally, shady lawns are those that tolerate trees, hedges, or fences. Most of these mixes contain brown top, hard fescue, and slender and strong red fescue. They do not tolerate much wear and tear.
What should I know about seed quality?
As with everything else, you get what you pay for. Cheap blends often contain coarse agricultural, not turf ryegrass, or weeds. As a result, your lawn might not even work for grazing sheep, much less get-togethers by the grill. Always choose reputable brands and service providers. Read the ingredients carefully. The ryegrass included should be fine or ‘turf’ ryegrass.
How to plant grass seeds?
The key to a nice lawn is good seed bed preparation. Pay particular attention to cultivating a fine tilth surface and clearing weeds. Get rid of perennial weeds such as bindweed or couch grass before beginning to prepare the seed bed. Use hand weed or weed killer. Residual weed killer will stay in the soil and stop the grass from growing.
- Start by digging the site to a depth of 20-25 cm.
- Then, add some well-rotted manure or other organic matter to hold moisture, especially on sandy soil. It should be rotted. If it is not, it will make the soil surface sink in an uneven way in the process of decaying.
- After you plant the seeds, wait for the soil to settle – two weeks at least. Experts recommend up to six weeks for this.
At this stage, get rid of any weeds that have germinated. Tread and rake the area in different directions a few times. Rake in 70 g of general fertilizer per sq m.
The amount of seeds you need to sow is:
- General purpose ornamental turf: 20-25g per sq m
- High-quality ornamental turf: 30g per sq m
- General purpose or utility turf (with rye grass): 15-20g per sq m
How long do grass seeds take to grow?
Depending on variety, the germination time for grass seed is from 5 days to a month. In colder weather, it can be over a month. The seed must stay moist until the grass emerges.
If you want to know more about planting seeds, you’ll find PI Gardening’s service post on the topic very informative. Our company operates in London and the surrounding areas offers very competitive prices, and has a team with collective experience of many decades. Give us a call today!