Lawn Seeding in Home Garden - Methods & Techniques

Lawn Seeding in Home Garden - Few Weeks New Lawn from Seed
Few Weeks New Lawn from Seed

The lawn seeding in home garden, as well as in other suitable areas, is a pleasant, productive, and sporting activity.

It usually takes place at a time when the more favorable it stands for the turfgrass to be created, the more favorable it appears for its vile enemies – pests and diseases.

And if for the professional it usually coincides with a period of increased workload, for the amateur enthusiast and lawn lover it marks his entry into the practice of an ancient method with timeless uncertain results.

However, when, after struggle, effort and sacrifice, the new turfgrass is fully installed, the satisfaction that comes from watching it almost reaches metaphysical realms.

With the same satisfaction, the editorial team of "Kalliergeia" presents this article, which aims to unlock all the secrets for the proper lawn seeding in home garden.

Of course, just need to find those keys in time.

What's up Back ?

By the dragging of censor the awe-inspiring Apocalypse shall come

From "Asterix in Britain"

One of the pursuits when sowing lawn is the uniform distribution of seeds on the surface of the garden soil.

Satisfactory Uniform Distribution of Lawn Seeds
Satisfactory Uniform Distribution of Lawn Seeds
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New Lawn Creation Methods

The professional and amateur gardener can create a new lawn by choosing one of three production methods:

  • Seeding
  • Planting
  • Installation

The seeding method includes:

  • Direct Seeding
  • Pre-Seeded Turf Grass on Biodegradable Textile
  • Hydroseeding

The method of planting includes:

  • Plugs from Sod
  • Turf Grass Plugs from Trays
  • Stolons
  • Rhizomes

The Installation method includes:

  • Installation of Sod
  • Installation of Sod Pieces

Lawn Seeding in Home Garden – Methods & Techniques

Direct Seeding

Direct seeding represents the traditional method of creating new lawn in the home garden or possibly in the business spaces and commercial premises.

To be successful, the seed of the species and variety or the seeds of the mixtures selected for the site must be of high quality.

Also, seeding should be done in the most appropriate way, so that the seeds are deposited in properly prepared and shaped seedbeds.

In addition, the uniform distribution of the seeds in the given area is sought, so that the future lawn does not look sparse and show thinned areas, which will lead to reseeding, but also areas of over-dense planting, which will put the seedlings in a great test against serious diseases.

All this will be discussed immediately below, with the exception of the selection of seeds, an issue for which the well-known and being of sound mind and legal age editorial team of "Kalliergeia" will have a special tribute in the future – near or far, but certainly before the conclusion of the system of things.

Lawn Seeding in Home Garden – Methods & Techniques

Advantages and Disadvantages of Direct Seeding

The choice of direct seeding method to create a new lawn has – like any other choice – advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages include:

  • The fact that direct seeding is the most economical option
  • In terms of workload, this is reduced compared to other options
  • The exact sowing date is determined by the sower himself and is quite flexible
  • It is possible to supply seed or seed blends and mixtures that are suitable for the specific area
  • The species and varieties used are known

Disadvantages include:

  • Exposure of seed and seedlings to pests, diseases and weather conditions
  • The extremely long time for the complete establishment of the new lawn
  • Appearance and competition with a multitude of weeds

Lawn Seeding in Home Garden – Methods & Techniques

Lawn Seeding in Home Garden - Broadcast Spreader for Seeding Lawn
Broadcast Spreader for Seeding Lawn

Proper Season for Lawn Seeding in Home Garden

The proper seeding season to create a lawn depends on the species and variety of turf grass seeds, as well as the climate.

In temperate and subtropical climates, the cool-season turfgrasses are sown from the beginning of Spring to the end (from the warmest to the coldest regions), and from the end of Summer until Autumn.

The warm-season turf­grasses, and Dichondra (Dichondra repens), are sown with rising temperatures, from Spring to Summer.

In the Tropics, where warm-season turf­grasses are sown, seeding is generally done throughout the year. However, in humid tropics, sowing is avoided during the peak period of heavy rainfall. On the other hand, in arid tropics, by analogy, sowing is avoided during the dry season.

In the first case, there is a serious risk of either the seed being lost due to surface water runoff or being buried too deep due to the intensity of the rainfall.

In the latter case, the complete lack of rainwater makes sowing prohibitive – unless of course there is the possibility of using a reliable irrigation system.

Note

In temperate and subtropical climates there is also the so-called dormant seeding of – what else? – dormant seeds. It takes place from November to February (Northern Hemisphere), however it is not recommended for creating a new lawn. It mainly concerns reseeding to thickening existing lawns or covering their empty areas.

Temperatures

One of the key factors for successful seeding, and consequently for the creation of new turfgrass, is the prevailing temperatures.

If they are favorable, then the germination of the seeds will be normal. Otherwise, partial or total failure is expected.

Thus, for the normal germination of the seeds of most cool season grasses, the favorable average daily temperatures at the soil surface are those between 15 and 30 °C (59-86 °F).

Accordingly, for the normal germination of the seeds of most warm season grasses, the favorable average daily temperatures at the soil surface are those between 20 and 35 °C (68-95 °F).

In relation to the optimum temperature range and the appearance of the seedlings, the estimated days for the germination of the seeds are given immediately below.

For Cold Season Grasses:

  • From 3 days (Lolium perenne – Perennial Ryegrass) to 28 (Poa pratensis – Kentucky Bluegrass).

For Warm Season Grasses:

  • From 4 days (Pennisetum clandestinum– Kikuyu Grass) to 16 (Zoysia – Zoysiagrass).

Among the Proper the Properest Seeding Season

Given the time range of seeding for both categories of turf grasses, one might reasonably wonder, especially for lawns that will be of medium or low level of maintenance, if there is a period within this range that is more favorable.

The answer to this existential question is one-word: Yes, exists.

Cool Season Grass Properest Seeding Season

For cool-season turf grass species, the best time to plant seed is in early Autumn. Soil and air temperatures are close to or indeed within the optimum range for seed germination as well as for seedling growth.

The growth of the seedlings is also favored by the duration of their exposure to the optimum temperature range. This contributes to the timely and normal maturation of the plants, making them ready to successfully pass the upcoming winter test.

Warm Season Grasses Properest Seeding Season

In general it could be said that for the warm season turf grass species, the most favorable planting season is from the end of Spring to the beginning of Summer, as well as that of the end of Summer.

It goes without saying that this time window shifts and shrinks slightly as we move from warmer to colder regions.

But why are these planting periods considered more favorable?

One reason is of course that the ground temperature is appropriate and so is the air temperature.

Another reason is that the seedlings of the lawn are given the opportunity to compete on more favorable terms with the weeds that may appear.

Therefore in these conditions the losses of seedlings will be minimal, and the prospect of creating a green carpet will be extremely tangible.

Seeding Rates

The recommended rates of grass plant seed depend mainly on the species and are determined by:

  • The way of their growth
  • The size of the seeds

In terms of growth, lawn plants grown with rhizomes or stolons are sown in smaller quantities than grasses that only tillering. And this is because the former cover the surface much faster and more extensively.

As for the size of the seeds, which has nothing to do with the size of the plant, it could be said that the small seeds are sown in smaller quantities. And this is because the unit of weight contains much more than those with large seeds.

According to the above, it is indicative that in the case of sowing a pure species with small size seeds, such as one of Agrostis sp., it is recommended that the amount is around 20 g/m², while for large sizes, such as Lolium perenne, the required amount is recommended to reach 50 g/m².

In practice, however, it is common to sow more seed to ensure uniform, normal germination of lawn plants. For this purpose, the supply and sowing of an additional percentage of seeds, of the order of 10 to 20%, is calculated.

The Temptation of the Amateur

A professional will not fall for that, but the amateur who aspires to create a new lawn from seed is in danger: disobeying the recommendations, she/he may throw out more or less than the recommended amount of seed.

Both possibilities are equally undesirable.

More seed – in addition to cost increases – means high or extremely high seed density. The high sowing density leads to:

  • Reduced growth of lawn plants
  • Undermining the creation of a strong root system
  • Delayed maturation
  • Increase the likelihood of disease

On the other hand, less seed means low or extremely low seed density. The low sowing density leads to:

  • Appearance of large spots and empty spaces
  • Strong competition from weeds

Lawn Seeding in Home Garden – Methods & Techniques

Wheat Straw Coverage of a New Seeding Lawn
Wheat Straw Coverage of a New Seeding Lawn

Seeding Technique

Depending on the area, the mood, and the equipment, the lawn seeding in home garden takes place:

  • By hand
  • With seed spreader (broadcast or drop)
  • With grass seeder machine (self-propelled, push type, or pull type)

Regardless of the means, the main goal is to uniformly cover the area to be sown with turf grass seeds.

And while using a seeding machine, the even distribution of the seeds is done with a simple adjustment, the use of a seed spreader requires testing before the final sowing.

Sowing by hand, however, does not require testing but primarily experience.

It must be said here that all the sowing work concerning the planting of lawn seeds in the soil, and described immediately below, presupposes that the soil has sufficient moisture.

Lawn Seeding in Home Garden – Methods & Techniques

Seed Treatments

Before seeding or even during seeding, some work is needed for the optimal management of the seeds. Immediately below is a reference to these works.

Shaking

The seeds can be the same size, if they are pure species, or of different sizes, if they are a mixture of different species of grasses, or a blend of one species varieties.

In the second case, and if they are sown by hand or with a seed spreader that does not have a stirrer, care is taken so that through shaking they are uniform distributed in the mixture itself. Otherwise there is a risk of separating the large seeds from the small ones, and therefore of their disorderly distribution in the soil, during sowing.

Mixing

If the seeds are only small, it is recommended to add sand and mix them very well. The seed-sand ratio, although not crucial, is proposed to be formed in 1 part of seeds to 5 to 10 parts of sand.

Apart from sand, other ingredients that can replace it are corn flour or even some organic fertilizer. In the US, the use of Milorganite, which is an extremely interesting material, is proposed: it is a biostable fertilizer produced by the treatment of sewage sludge, which comes from the urban wastewater of the metropolitan area of the city of Milwaukee.

Chemical Warfare

For the fearless and brave, at this stage, the opportunity is given to add insecticide, fungicide and / or bird repellent powder to the seeds.

Such an action is primarily intended to protect the seed from fungi and insects, such as ants – which tend to partake of the unwanted food supply. And of course from the birds, which when they find the seeds, call relatives and friends to offer them a unique meal.

So after the addition of the protective formulations by the brave ones, follows their uniform distribution in the medium where the seeds remain, by shaking.

For the safety and protection of the brave, it is necessary to use a face-respiratory protective mask as well as gloves.

Dividing

If the sowing area is not large, and therefore no grass seeder machine will be used, then it is recommended to divide the amount of seeds in two.

This practice is especially useful for sowing by hand or by seed spreader. This is because it offers more guarantees for the uniform distribution of the seed in the soil, due to the double passage.

Lawn Seeding in Home Garden – Methods & Techniques

Sowing Depth

The placement of the seeds at the indicated depth largely determines the appearance and successful installation of the new turf grass.

If the seeds are planted shallower they are exposed to the risk of losses from strong winds, heavy rains, high temperatures, as well as from the action of birds.

Conversely, if planted deeper, they are at risk of loss from the seedling’s inability to broken through the surface of the soil.

The recommended depth for planting the seeds in general, is equal to about 2 times their largest dimension. This practically means that the small lawn seeds are planted to a depth of 0.5 to 0.6 cm (0.2-0.23 in), while the large ones to a depth of 1.3 to 2.5 cm (0.5-1 in).

Indicatively, it is reported that the seeds of Creeping Bentgrass (Agrostis stolonifera) and Kentucky Bluegrass (Poa pratensis) have small size, while the species Tall Fescue (Festuca arundinacea) and Perennial Ryegrass (Lolium perenne) have large size.

Lawn Seeding in Home Garden – Methods & Techniques

Sowing

By the use of a grass seeder machine and the appropriate settings, sowing is done more or less linear. The direction of the sowing machine follows the perpendicular to the slope.

Sowing by hand or by seed spreaders is carried out successively in two directions, crosswise to each other.

When sowing is done by hand, then for greater control and to ensure a uniform distribution of seeds, the sowing area can be divided into smaller equal parts.

Lawn Seeding in Home Garden – Methods & Techniques

Raking & Rolling

At the end of the sowing by hand or by seed spreaders, the raking of the seeding surface follows. By the use of a garden rake, the raking is light and aims to cover the seeds of the lawn with soil, in order to achieve the accurate sowing depth. The same work can be done by dragging a flexible steel door mat over the area, but with less control for the right seeds depth.

After the raking is completed, it is rolling time. The rolling is done by passing a weighted lawn roller over the raking surface, and aims at the optimal contact of the seed with the soil.

The contact of the seed with the soil is crucial for the success of sowing. This is because this ensures the uptake of moisture from the seed and therefore its normal germination.

In general, the lawn roller should not be too heavy (less than 100 kg per meter of width), because otherwise the soil is compacted – a fact that is destructive to the germination of seeds.

However, depending on the soil composition, its weight can vary, so that in sandy and clay soils, it is proportionally heavier, while in clayey so extremely light.

The works of rake and roll are taking place in the case of sowing with a seeder machine which is not used specifically for lawns and does not have the necessary components.

Lawn Seeding in Home Garden – Methods & Techniques

Post-Sowing Works

Irrigation

Immediately after sowing, watering follows. Watering should be enough to completely wet the soil to a depth of 10 to 15 cm (4-6 in).

From there, the next watering is intended to keep the soil surface moist until the seeds germinate and the seedlings appear to the soil surface.

Otherwise, if the soil surface dries, the germination of the seeds is endangered, and consequently the success of the sowing.

Wheat Straw Mulch

A proven technique of retaining moisture on the soil surface, but also saving irrigation water, is the straw mulch.

Straw mulch also helps to ensure favorable temperature conditions, while helping to stabilize the soil, especially when it is loose, as well as holding the seeds when exposed to extreme weather conditions – heavy rains and strong winds.

The amount of straw required reaches about 40 to 50 kg per 100 m². Placing a string over the straw every 1 meter or net, will help in case of strong winds, the straw remains on the sown ground.

Straw can be removed or allowed to decompose as long as it is not densely spread. If its removal is chosen, then it takes place when the majority of the seeds have germinated and the seedlings have reached a height of 2 to 5 cm (0.8-2 in).

Indicatively, its removal is mentioned when, for example, the seedlings of Bermuda Grass (Cynodon dactylon) have a height of 2 cm (0.8 in) and of the Tall Fescue (Festuca arundinacea) have a height of about 5 cm (2 in).

In conclusion, it can be noted here that covering the sown soil with aged sawdust or peat, and in fact coarse-textured, should be avoided. And this is recommended because these two materials, compete for water the seeds of the lawn, and in addition are slow to decompose.

References

The References of the short article with the green title Lawn Seeding in Home Garden – Methods & Techniques, are presented by Green Day with their song When I Come Around.

With Pomp and Circumstance

From Japan and 2010, Green Day in their song When I Come Around.

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