When you are confronted with a large area that's to become a lawn, the scale of the project and the potential cost can both be rather daunting. Raising your new lawn from seed is a simple and budget-friendly way to create your dream lawn.
This project is not difficult but you need to think about a few important details:
- Understanding your site
- Deciding what you want from your lawn - bowling green perfection or tough grass for family play
- Choosing the right type of grass seed
The real secret to a quality lawn is making sure you know exactly what you want before you start.
Planning your new lawn
Make sure you pick the right grass variety for your needs and location. There are also a few other things to consider as you plan and prepare for your new lawn.
- Evaluate your lawn area: Is it shady, sunny or somewhere in-between?
This will determine the type of grass seed you can use.
- Lawn use is an important consideration: If your lawn will receive lots of wear and tear, choose a seed variety that will recover well.
- Access to your garden and home are essential: If you seed the entire front lawn in one go, you may have effectively painted yourself into a corner! Break large areas up into two or more projects.
- Renovating or building? If your new lawn is part of new landscaping during or after construction, leave an area clear for trades to access the property, then plant this last when the rest of the work is complete.will sink in with the extra weight giving the grass an uneven cut.
Preparing to sow a new lawn
You will need:
- Mattock or heavy hoe
- Landscape rake
- Petrol driven cultivator or rotary hoe (optional)
- Soil spreader (optional)
- Fertiliser/seed spreader
- Scotts Lawn Builder Topdress Mix (approx 1 bag for every 4m2)
- Scotts Lawn Builder Seed & Feed lawn seed blend to suit your needs
Remove all existing grass and weeds. For smaller areas you can achieve this with a spade, a mattock or heavy hoe and a landscape rake. For larger areas you may want to hire a petrol driven cultivator/rotary hoe. Break the soil up as you go.
For a smaller area blend through Scotts Lawn Builder +Organic Topdress Mix to improve soil and fill dips. For a larger area talk to your local landscape supplier about suitable bulk soil mixes. Once spread and blended use landscape rake or soil spreader to bring to level.
Gently rake the levelled soil to create small furrows. This will help prevent seed blowing or washing away. On a sloping site run these furrows across the slope. Use the seed spreader to spread the seed evenly over the area.
Gently and evenly water the entire area just to the point of run-off. Seeds lawns will need daily gentle watering or twice daily watering in warm or windy weather.
- If your soil is a heavy clay, add gypsum and washed river sand to open up the soil structure so roots and moisture can penetrate better.
- On a sandy soil, add Scotts Everydrop Premium Granular Soil Wetter and blend through Scotts Lawn Builder Topdress Mix to improve soil structure and moisture retention.
- Scotts Lawn Builder Seed & Feed includes a lawn starter fertiliser, so you don't need to add any other fertiliser when using this product.
- If you decide to use a lawn seed without any fertiliser added, apply Scotts Lawn Builder Seed & Turf Starter granular lawn food at the recommended rate during the soil preparation stage.
- When improving soil: Don’t just spread a new layer of soil on top of the old. This will lead to distinct soil layers and may create zones where water pools or does not soak in.
It’s bit more work, but blend the new soil with the existing soil. This simple but important task can be as easy as vigorous raking with a landscape rake before levelling.
Your new lawn needs lots of attention until it is thick and lush. Learn more about how to care for it during this early stage here.
For more about ongoing care, read our informative articles on feeding and improving your lawn.