Clear area of any debris, builders’ rubble and stones, then apply a weedkiller to the foliage of any weeds (it may take two to four weeks to kill them off). If you only have a few perennial weeds, dig them up, with roots.
Dig or rotovate the soil to about 6″, and level the ground. Large humps you may need to dig off the topsoil, take out some subsoil, then put the topsoil back.
Rake the surface to remove left-over debris and stones. Check the surface is flat using a long, wooden straight edge. Apply a general-purpose fertiliser tread the surface to firm the soil, or use a heavy roller for large areas. One final raking will mix the fertiliser in and remove the footprints.
Different types of lawns require different seed mixes. Fescue and bent grass produces a fine-quality lawn, while dwarf rye grasses are hard-wearing and better suited to a play area. There are special mixes for dry sites and light shade under trees.
Sow the seed after some rain when the surface has dried out. A late spring sowing will be well established by late summer.
Scatter the seed evenly at a rate of 1oz (about a handful) per square yard and into the wind, not against it.
Lightly rake the grass seed into the soil surface. After two days, if it hasn’t rained, water using a sprinkler spray. Warm, moist weather speeds things up and shoots can appear within two weeks.
Avoid walking on the grass until it is 2in long. You can then give it its first cut using a rotary mower set high to remove the tips of the grass. Don’t use a cylinder mower at this stage, blades tend to tug at the new grass, disturbing the roots.
Water as necessary in hot, dry spells and cut the grass on a regular basis, gradually lowering the mower blades during the season. The recommended height will depend on the type of grass (some varieties can tolerate closer cutting than others) but as a rough guide half an inch to an inch is fine. Close-cut lawns are more prone to being colonised by moss.
Don’t apply weedkillers or use high-nitrogen fertilisers for at least six months – allow the grass time to become established. It is important for the grass plants to build up strong root system.
Lawn sand or products containing the chemicals MCPA, mecoprop or dichlorprop will kill most lawn weeds, including creeping buttercup, plantains, silverweed, clover, dandelion, thistle, daisy, moss and speedwell.
Leatherjackets eat the roots of grass in spring. To get rid of them, water the lawn in the evening, then cover it with a black plastic sheet. Remove the cover in the morning and you’ll find that all the leatherjackets will have come to the surface in time to make a good breakfast for the birds.
Damage caused by the urine of a female dog, dead, brown, circular patches may be prevented by immediately hosing down the damaged area.
Red thread disease causes irregular patches of bleached grass that takes on a pink tinge. It is not a killer disease but looks unsightly until the grass recovers. Feeding the grass with a lawn fertiliser in spring, summer and autumn is the best prevention, along with annual spiking in spring.
Fungi appearing on a newly sown lawn is usually the result of decaying organic matter close to the surface of the soil and it will not be a long term problem. Brush the fungi off before cutting the grass.
For all your lawn needs Call: 056-7723199 or call in to
EUROFARM & GARDEN SUPPLIES Ltd.
1a Loughboy Industrial Estate
Call for for information, advise and prices tel: 056-7723199
We can arrange your own mix.
Grass seed barrow available free of charge locally.