Preparing the site
Before sowing seed or laying turf, clear the site of perennial weeds and grasses by digging them out or killing them off. Next, dig or rotovate the ground and then level it. To do this, rake it approximately level then simply tread the surface in a systematic way, moving up and down the site, placing all your weight on your heels in (Lawn is important For The Yard). Do not roll the ground. Once the ground is level, clear the site of any large stones then rake and tread it once more, removing any stones you turn up in the process. Continue doing this have a flat, smooth surface.
Sowing grass seed is best done during the spring when the warmer weather has begun to heat soil and the chances of rain are good. Evenly scatter the seed at a rate of about 20g (a small fistful) per square metre (%oz per yd) onto the prepared surface, then lightly rake it in. If the soil is dusty, gently roll the seed into the surface. the dn Once the lawn is established, keep feeding and weeding as separate operations rather than using a combined product which may damage the grass (see Seasonal Maintenance chart, opposite).
Edging a seeded lawn
Prepare a seed bed a little larger than planned and sow seed about 30cm (12in) beyond the required limits. Once the lawn has begun to establish itself, cut it to shape and either kill off or dig in the unwanted grass, or move it to another part of the garden (where it is within easy reach of the mower) and grow it as a small nursery area for future patching. Alternatively, edge the site with turves, which is a good method to use in conjunction with timber edg- ing. Before sowing any seed, set one row of turves all around the edge of the site so that they are flush with the surface of the seed bed. This will eventually pro- duce a turfed edge about 30cm (12in) wide around the seeded lawn. The disadvantage of this technique, however, is that the turfed edge will always appear slightly different to the seeded areas. (Lawn is important For The Yard)
The problem of weeds
Weeds are more of a problem in newly sown rather than turfed lawns because the young grass is less able to cope with such competition. To reduce the problem of weeds growing through a newly sown lawn, leave the prepared seedbed for a few weeks before sowing. During this time, a new flush of weeds will start to a. which you can either grow, with a herbicide, such as uproot with a hoe or kill glyphosate, that will not poi- son or taint the soil. After sowing the seed, a handful of weeds may well germinate with the grass, but most E these should die out once regular mowing starts If weeds are a persistent problem once the lawn has started to grow, wait at least eight months before con- templating the use of a selective herbicide. You i may then only need to spot-treat relatively few weeds rather than spray the whole area.
The problem of stones
If you are trying to establish a seeded lawn on very stony ground, you may well find that, despite having thoroughly cleared the site in the first place, small stones keep appearing on the surface of the ground. To deal with this, wait until the new grass has established itself and neks its first cut before carefully raking the stones off with a wire or rigid plastic leaf rake. This will not damage the new grass and the established grass roots should stop more stones from surfacing.
For a seeded lawn, wait until the grass has reached a height of about 2.5cm (1in) before mowing. For a turf lawn, you may need to cut it soon after laying if it is vigorous, but, ideally, wait until it is difficult to pull up the individual turves. In all cases, use a rotary mower for the first few cuts as it is less likely to dislodge or rip up the new grass than a cylinder mower. In general, rotary mowers are better for slightly uneven lawns as they will not scalp higher areas to the same extent as cylinder mowers ( Lawn is important For The Yard ).