When is it safe to mow new grass that has grown from seed?
If you have seeded a new lawn and seen it start to grow, you may be wondering when is the best time to mow it. Mow it too late and you may find it a difficult task, while if you mow it too soon you risk stunting its growth. There are however some helpful signs to check for that will indicate when to mow new grass so it remains healthy and easy to maintain in the future. Here is our guide on when to mow new grass for the health and safety of your lawn.
Mowing your grass for the first time
The best times of the year to begin growing and cutting your new grass are in the spring and summer months. Wait until your grass is between 5-8 cm in height as this is a healthy lawn height and allows it to generate shoots that thicken the grass area. Before cutting your grass, make sure your mower blades are sharp as blunt blades can damage your lawn and make it vulnerable to diseases. For your first mow, make sure to only cut 20% or less of the grass. This will leave most of the leaves intact, which is necessary for growth as it is the part that turns sunlight into nutrients for the plant. Once you have completed your first mow, clear away any clippings to keep your grass healthy. Once done, let it settle for a week or two before cutting again. After this period, try to mow your lawn at least once a week, keeping the length at a minimum height of around 3 cm.
What to consider when mowing new grass
Here are some points to consider whenever you mow new grass:
- Wait until the grass is between 5-8 cm before cutting.
- Make sure the blades of your mower are sharp before mowing.
- Do not mow in very hot weather, or when the grass is saturated or frozen.
- Only take off up to 20% of the grass’s total height to keep your grass healthy.
- Once complete, clean your mower to avoid any contamination from occurring.
- Remove all cuttings from the lawn and add them to your compost heap.
- Let the grass settle for at least a week after the initial cut before mowing again.
- Once the grass is settled, mow once a week, making sure to only cut to a minimum height of 3 cm each time.
- To avoid grass growing in only one direction, change the direction you mow with every new cut.
Grass Seed Online
Here at Grass Seed Online, we have a large variety of grass seed products for landscaping projects. Some of our products include Hardwearing Grass Seed for family lawns and open spaces, Traditional Greends Grass Seed for golf and bowling greens, and Fast Grow Grass Seed for rapid growth in all seasons. Take a look at our seed for lawns and landscaping projects to find the best product for your lawn.
When is it too late to plant grass seed?
Planting grass seed at the optimum time of year can produce amazing lawns. However, you may ask if there is a cut-off point for this time period. Is it possible to wait too long and end up wasting any grass seed you try to lay down?
There are several factors that influence when to plant grass seed other than the time of year. Soil temperature, the type of grass seed to be planted, and even where you are located within the UK can affect how well grass seeds can grow. Here are some factors that can affect optimum grass seed planting time and the issues that can arise as a result.
Problems with Late Seeding
- Seeding after October tends to be unreliable and will often result in delayed germination. You may see a small amount of grass begin to sprout, but you will not be able to fully establish your lawn during winter.
- Some grass seed types will struggle to develop in winter and are more likely to die off. Even strong grass seeds can be harmed by excessive frost, waterlogged soil, or diseases. As such, there is a greater risk of wastage when you try to plant grass seeds at this time of year.
- Grass seeds planted during the colder months will be forced to compete with weeds, fungi, and mould. As such, you will need to be more vigilant in removing such pests should they appear.
- Traditional fertilizer containing nitrogen can damage your grass seed in winter. This is because nitrogen promotes growth, making the grass more susceptible to disease. Instead, use a fertilizer that contains potassium and phosphorous to make the grass more durable.
Factors to Consider When Seeding
There are many factors that influence how well grass seed develops throughout the year: Some of these factors include:
- Weather Conditions: In order for grass to grow well, you should plant when the outside temperature is between 10 and 20 degrees Celsius. However, anything above 5 degrees Celsius is suitable for growing. In addition, you will need some moisture in the soil for germination, so plant before rainfall if possible.
- Seed Type: As mentioned before, some grass seed types will fare better in colder temperatures than others. For example, ryegrass tends to cope well in the colder months. Therefore, it is best to check your grass seed mix to see how durable it will be and add an autumn fertilizer mix if necessary.
- Regional Climate: Depending on where you live, you may have a shorter amount of time in which you can sow grass seed effectively. Generally, the further north you are, the less time you will have to plant grass seeds. Therefore, it is a good idea to be aware of the average temperatures for your region for optimum grass seed sowing.
The Royal Horticultural Societ recomends soing no later than November*. Consideration should always be given to the prevailing conditions at the time of sowing. For later sowings, always use a mixture containing perennial ryegrass as this will germinate at temperatures down to 7 degrees Celcius, or alternativly use a mixture like our Fast Growing Grass Seed that contains annual ryegrass that has been shown to germinate in lab trials at temperatures as low as 3.5 degrees Celcius.
*Starting a Lawn From Seed, The Royal Horticultural Society. https://www.rhs.org.uk/lawns/lawns-from-seed
What is the Softest Lawn Grass?
When the sun is out and the weather is warm, there’s nothing quite like the feel of soft grass beneath your feet. No one wants to walk or relax on grass that is rough and prickly. Fortunately, there are several ways to ensure that your clients have the softest grass all year long. There are many factors that can affect the softness of your grass, including health, density, and variety. Therefore, here is our guide on achieving the most luscious grass for your client’s lawn.
What To Consider for Soft Grass
When choosing the right type of grass for your client’s lawn, you should consider the following factors:
- Grass Density – The denser your lawn is, the softer it will feel. Dense grass types are also better at preventing weeds from taking hold, which will make your lawn feel rough. To keep your dense grass healthy, you must mow it regularly to make sure it doesn’t overgrow.
- Grass Variety – Some varieties of grass are naturally softer than others, while others will remain rough even with the best lawn care. Generally, it is best to choose a grass variety with a fine texture, narrow leaves, and resistance to high amounts of traffic.
- Grass Health – Even the softest grass variety will become rough and uncomfortable to walk on if not kept in peak condition. To achieve a healthier lawn, you need to mow your lawn regularly, apply enough fertiliser, and ensure proper hydration.
How To Keep Your Grass Healthy
To ensure that your grass maintains its softness, follow these tips:
- Make sure your grass is well-fertilised. Choose a fertiliser that is designed for the variety of grass you have and apply it regularly. Be careful to follow the instructions on the package to ensure you don’t damage your client’s lawn.
- Mow the lawn regularly. If you hold off on mowing for too long, your grass will become tough and unruly. Make sure to sharpen your mower’s blades at the start and middle of the season, so your lawn is cut evenly. In addition, the grass needs to be cut to an adequate length, not too short, as this can adversely impact its health.
- Keep your grass well hydrated. This will likely not be a problem in the wetter months but may be an issue in summer or if there is a drought. In such cases, you will need to manually water your grass every few days to avoid it becoming dry and prickly.
Grass Seed Online
We invite you to take a look at our range of grass seed products to find the right one for your needs. We also have a grass seed calculator to work out how much you will require for your project. Please get in touch with us today to find out more about our range of products and services.
Grass Seed Online New Website Launch
As a nation, we enjoy the benefits of well-tended grass on a daily basis. In our villages, towns, and cities we have parks and playing fields along with gardens and verges. The sight of grass gives us pleasure and provides a welcoming environment to relax in (when the weather permits).
- But every patch of grass within the UK begins with seeds.
- Here at Grass Seed Online, it’s our mission to provide the ideal grass seed for every situation.
- Because if you’re creating an area of grass, the right results can only be achieved by using the right seed.
- Whether it’s landscaping, horse grazing or simply a small lawn, we can supply the perfect seed.
- We’re also here to help and advise you on the right type of grass seed for your project.
- What we offer is the best service possible at the best possible price.
New Website Launch
Here at Grass Seed Online, it’s our aim to make finding the right product as easy as we can. That includes keeping up to speed with technology to ensure we’re providing the finest possible online service.
- Having updated our website, we’re confident that this will provide an even better user experience for our customers.
- But alongside the online technology, you’ll still find the same friendly and reliable service.
- That’s one thing that will never change here at Grass Seed Online.
What we offer
1. Lawn Seed
Whatever the position of your garden, we can provide a seed mixture to suit it perfectly.
2. Specialist Landscaping Seed
Our specialist landscaping mixtures include seeds for a range of environments, from airports to motorway embankments.
3. Grass Seed for Sport
From football and rugby to golf and bowls, you’ll find the right mixture at Grass Seed Online.
4. Horse Paddock Grass Seed
Our general-purpose mixture contains ryegrass, but there’s also a ryegrass-free option to reduce the risk of laminitis.
As well as a good quality value grass seed, we provide:
- Multipurpose seed and traditional lawn seed.
- We also supply seeds for traditional golf greens, hardwearing grass seeds and wildflower seeds.
Or for more information or some friendly and helpful advice, contact us today.
When is the Best Time to Plant Grass Seed in the UK?
Knowing the right time to sow grass seed can be the difference between growing an amazing lawn and one that fails to thrive. Generally, the worst time of year to plant grass seed is in the middle of summer, as the heat and lack of water will likely kill your seed off early. The best time to plant grass seeds is either between the end of summer and mid-autumn or in mid-spring. Here is our guide to choosing the right time to plant your grass seed for a fantastic lawn.
Choosing the Right Time to Plant Grass Seed
Here are some of the best reasons to choose late summer to mid-autumn, or spring, to plant your grass seed:
- The soil will be warm and damp from the rain. This provides the perfect conditions for your seed to germinate.
- Even if there is little rain to dampen the ground, you can easily compensate by regularly watering the ground with a fine spray until the grass appears.
- There will be less competition from weeds, particularly in the mid-autumn period. If any weeds do develop, you can easily remove them by hand or with mowing.
- Planting grass seed during this time allows it to develop a good root system. This will allow it to withstand the dry heat of summer in the future.
Choosing the Right Seed
There are many different types of seed mixes available depending on the type of lawn you want. If you are creating a lawn for the first time, try a hard-wearing or multipurpose grass seed mix, preferably one containing ryegrass. If your lawn has a lot of cover, try using a mix that is specialised for shady areas. Consider also using soil enricher and time-released fertiliser in combination with your grass seed to create a healthy lawn.
Preparing the Soil
Before planting your grass seed, clear the area of anything that might interfere with its growth. Remove any debris such as old stones, roots, and weeds. Make sure to get rid of any remnants of old lawns as well, as these can hide weed roots. Once clear, rake the soil flat so that it is completely level. Walk over the soil to firm it, then rake it again. A few days before you plan to plant your grass seed, add some fertiliser to the soil and rake it in.
Sowing the Grass Seed
Make sure to read the instructions for your grass seed mix, as each will have different requirements. Mark out each square metre area so you can evenly distribute the seed. Sow the seeds evenly in rows across each marked area, first going horizontally, then vertically. Alternatively, you can use a lawn spreader to achieve this if set at a half seed rate. Once you have finished sowing, rake the area to evenly distribute the seed throughout the soil and keep it moist with regular watering. Once done, cordon off the area with posts, string and netting to keep both animals and people from disturbing the new lawn. If any weeds crop up, make sure to remove them immediately to ensure healthy grass growth.
Guide to Setting Up a Horse Paddock
Having an easy-to-maintain, horse-friendly paddock is a huge plus when it comes to raising and keeping happy horses. Having a perfect paddock will be great for your horse’s health, more time-efficient for you, a pleasure to look at, and much better for the environment.
In this piece, we’ll cover everything you need to know in order to set up a paddock and keep it healthy and vigorous.
Resting Your Pasture
One of the most critical aspects of managing a pasture is the knowing when it’s time to take the horses off the land; by doing this, you improve the health and nutrition of your grazing areas.
Pastures need time to rest to allow them the space to grow and reinvigorate. It’s crucial never to let your animals graze below three inches – if this happens, the grass plants will begin to lose strength and vigour. Once the grass starts to die, you will begin to see patches of bare soil – which will be dusty in the summer – and weeds taking control of the pasture.
When this happens, the pasture can get waterlogged in the winter, and mud, as we all know, is inconvenient and unpleasant, and during summer, the ground will become cracked and dry.
Horses grazing on the muddy or dusty ground have a high chance of ingesting dirt or sand particles, which leads to a severe digestive disorder called colic.
Creating a paddock means you keep your horses in good health until the pasture is fully recovered in the warmer months.
If you haven’t already chosen an area for your paddock, you’ll need to select an appropriate place for your new site. Choose an area situated away from rivers, streams or marshlands, on higher ground. If at all possible, it’s a good idea to choose an area that has a slight slope, since this will help with run-off.
Some horse owners prefer to keep one horse in each paddock, as it’s easier to monitor each horse’s health and to regulate diet. Individual paddocks also prevent more dominant horses bullying subordinates and backing them into a corner, where a serious injury can occur.
That said, if horses can’t see one another it can lead to boredom, stress and depression, so you’ll have to decide what’s best based on how your animals behave.
Suitable Paddock Sizes
The size of your horse’s paddock can vary, but if you want your horse to be able to run around and play, you’ll need an area of about 20-30 feet wide x 100 feet long.
The amount of land you have, the number of horses, how old they are, how they react to each other and the amount of exercise they need, will all be crucial when determining the size of each paddock.
Using a paddock also means you’ll have better control of horse waste, which makes it easier to muck out. Mucking out every one to three days helps reduce the number of flies and insects, while also reducing the likelihood of mud development. You can compost whatever you collect and spread it across the pasture throughout the growing season too.
By installing rain gutters and roof run-off systems on your barns, you can divert rainwater away from your horse’s paddock, to reduce mud formation and prevent horse manure and urine from washing out of the paddock.
When you think about how much rain we have over the winter in the UK (and in summer for that matter), you can begin to see how important it is to divert water to prevent mud build-up, which is a haven for bacteria.
Diverting rainwater to another part of your property means you can recycle it for other purposes.
Safe Fence Installation
Whatever fencing you do ultimately decide on, you will need to reinforce it with electric tape or wire, just to create that psychological barrier.
Be extra sure that is it secure, and there are no protruding objects such as bolts, nails, wood splinters or anything that the horse could harm themselves on. There should also be no exposed electric fence wiring or cords, and no machinery should ever be stored in the paddock.
When to Use Your New Paddock
Your animals should be kept in their paddocks over winter and early spring to prevent them from crushing the grass while it’s still dormant, and mushing up the soggy soil. In the summer, bring your horses back into the paddock when grazing goes below the 3 inches, as we talked about earlier.
Paddocks are also ideal for confining animals. This could be necessary for numerous reasons, such as controlling diet, caring for sick or injured horses, or just keeping individual horses away from others.
Limit grazing time in spring, initially starting at an hour at a time. After that you can begin to increase the time spent on the pasture over the next few weeks.
It’s also important to remember that even though your horses can move around freely in the paddock, they still need a regular exercise programme over winter for their overall health and to prevent boredom.
By using the tips in this blog, you’ll be able to create a friendly environment for your horses, with less mud, fewer pests and far healthier pastures.
This also means, of course, that you’ll have a healthier horse that’s pleasant to be around and socialise with.
If you have any questions about paddocks or pastures, or you’d like to learn about any of our other products, then why not contact us today and we’d be happy to help.
Winter fields maintenance checklist
The colder months can be a hazardous time for your fields if you’re unable to implement maintenance work.
The drop in temperatures, along with increased wind, rain and even snow, can damage the ground to the point that it requires comprehensive repair work.
However, there are a few things you can do to ensure your fields are in the best possible condition come spring.
Drainage and Preventing Compaction
Fields with indigenous soils will always struggle through the wetter months, which means the wear and tear will be far more noticeable – particularly on sports pitches. Therefore, the surface must be given a fighting chance with an efficient draining system.
By aerating the soil, you can begin to break up the compacted surface layer by allowing oxygen to enter, which encourages the removal of undesirable gasses such as hydrogen sulphide and carbon dioxide.
By physically breaking up the compacted areas, you allow more pore space, which essentially cracks the compacted layers and allows water to pass through.
Water drainage solutions vary, which means you have a few good options to choose from, such as pipework installation and slit drainage
Pipe drained surfaces rely heavily on soil structure for water to pass through the top layer. This is fine for the most part, but if the surface were to become waterlogged and compacted, water is not able to move around as quickly, and even the closest water pipes to the area will not be able to drain it fast enough.
The other solution, if budgets allow, is to install ‘slit drainage’, a series of drainable slits which connect the top layer to the back-fill which is filled with sand and gravel. This solution is widely used on golf courses, and can only work in conjunction with an effective aeration schedule.
Slit or solid tines during opportune conditions are ideal for encouraging natural water movement through the ground.
During autumn and early winter as the trees shed their leaves, there’s a good chance they may drift onto the surface you’re maintaining. This must be removed as soon as possible, as they may begin to decompose and cause the following problems:
- Leaves smother the grass and can kill it in a matter of weeks
- Leaves can encourage moss
- Leaves can leave the grass vulnerable to disease
- Leaves attract worms, which in turn attract moles
It would be best if you spent some time, at least once a week, removing any leaves, and to save yourself the hassle, you could use any of the following tools:
- A rotary lawnmower (assuming the surface isn’t too wet)
Fertilising over winter will ensure robust and healthy growth in the springtime while encouraging a thicker sward over winter.
It is particularly important to select the right fertiliser to ensure you’re providing the right nutrients for the grass and soil.
Around a month or so after spreading, depending on how much rain has helped the fertiliser spread to the root system, you’ll notice a difference in the colour and quality of the grass.
Overseeding is the means of distributing seeds across the ground to aid recovery in damaged and patchy areas. We recommend using a broadcast spreader, as this will ensure an even and thorough spread, meaning you won’t need to go back and sow more seeds in areas you’ve missed.
Although overseeding is typically carried out during late summer to prep the ground for winter, you can do it in autumn, by either using one of our hardy winter seed mixes or waiting until the soil is up around seven degrees centigrade.
Topdressing is a crucial element in maintaining your fields over winter, offering several essential benefits. Not only does adding a top layer of sandy soil onto the surface make it smoother, but it also makes it easier for the soil to absorb air and water so that the field can grow more efficiently.
Undertaking a maintenance strategy during winter will give your pasture or field the best chance of remaining healthy and strong all the way through till springtime.
If you have any questions about the subjects we’ve covered in this blog, or you’d like to get in touch to find out more about our product range, don’t hesitate to contact us today.
How to grow grass in problem areas: Shady Gardens
1. Shade Reduction
- Pruning back any shrubs and trees, opting for trellis rather than a solid fence where possible and moving any objects that cast deep shade, will all help with lawn growth. Of course, there’s very little you can do if a building is casting shade, and if the trees belong to a neighbour, you’ll need their permission before you can cut them back. If they don’t allow you to do that, you’ll need to change your lawn management approach, which we’ve covered in more depth below.
- Depending on the species of the shrubs and trees, you can prune them more than once a year, to give the lawn more access to sunlight. You can prune some species over winter while they’re dormant, and then again in spring after they flower.
Whatever species you have, it’s important to take advice if you’re unsure, as you might run the risk of killing the plant entirely.
2. Shaded Lawn Care Regime
Of course, if there is no way to increase natural sunlight, as we’ve already covered, you’ll need to adapt your approach. Below we’ve outlined the strategy for creating that gorgeous lawn you’ve always wanted.
3. Raise the Mower Height
Many of us in the UK like to keep the height of the grass quite short. If you’re trying to grow a shaded lawn, you need to remember that:
- Grass pulls energy from the sun for food, which encourages development.
- It does this through its leaves, which means the bigger the surface area, the more sunlight the plant can harvest.
When sunlight is at a premium, your grass will certainly welcome the chance to grow that bit longer.
4. Let the Lawn Relax
By allowing the lawn to grow long and then suddenly scalping it right back to the soil, you’re inadvertently placing too much stress on the plants. This will generally be okay in a garden with access to plenty of sunlight, as it has the means to recover. In shaded areas though, all you’re doing is weakening the plant.
- Rather than aggressively scalping the lawn, do it once a week and trim only 20-25% of its length. So, for example, if your grass has grown to 5cm, only cut it back to 4cm.
- The conventional wisdom for lawn mowing is to reduce the length by a third, but because you’re working with a shaded lawn, you need to be more careful.
- The most important thing you need to remember is to keep your mower blades sharp. If they begin to blunt, it’s like cutting hair with blunt clippers: it will pull and damage the grass rather than neatly slicing it.
5. Feed Regularly
It’s important to give the lawn every opportunity to thrive by ensuring it has the right nutrients it needs to grow. Be particularly aware if your lawn is sitting below trees and shrubs, as it will be competing for nutrients.
- Feeding the lawn over winter is particularly crucial for shaded lawns, as it will help build up a robust root system.
- During spring and summer, select a high-quality feed and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
6. Remove Moss
Moss is a massive problem for shaded lawns, so it’s essential to keep it under control. By cultivating a thick, healthy sward, you will be able to keep moss at bay to an extent, but you will need to be more deliberate in your approach to stop it entirely.
Moss killers and other products can be quite expensive, and besides many prefer not to use chemicals, unless absolutely necessary. The best course of action is scarifying during spring and autumn to stop moss development and to remove thatch.
7. Dry Shade vs Damp Shade
There are two types of shade – dry and damp.
- Managing the water content in the soil of either kind of shade is crucial to your success.
- You don’t want your lawn to die of thirst.
- Neither do you want it to contract a disease from being too damp?
Managing water content is all about how you handle the soil
- You should be aerating your lawn regularly using a hollow-tine aerator, or even a garden fork for smaller areas.
- What this does is allow rainwater to access dry soil and drain off excess moisture from areas that are prone to compaction.
8. Remove Debris
Removing leaves and other debris is another vital part of managing your shaded lawn. Dead leaves can spread disease to the grass, and similarly, if there is no air movement around the shaded areas, disease can begin to develop.
If you don’t feel like undertaking the work to improve this part of the lawn, there are a couple of other things you might consider.
Planting a shade-tolerant ‘mini-meadow’, in which you could plant crocuses or bluebell bulbs for a beautiful dash of colour throughout late spring and early summer is a nice way to use the space.
This is not only a great option to help small mammals and insects, but it’s also a great activity to do with the kids to get them involved in the garden.
Consider a Shade Tolerant Grass Seed
You can always consider using a shade-tolerant grass seed when working with shady conditions, such as our very own Shady Cover grass seed.
- This grass seed blend is designed to produce a healthy sward in areas that aren’t able to access natural sunlight, by harnessing a mixture of perennial ryegrass, which naturally works well in the shade due to increased levels of chlorophyll in the blades of grass.
- Grass seed of this type is best sown from late summer to mid-autumn since there is less opposition from developing weeds and there is still plenty of warmth in the soil.
If you have any questions about shaded lawns, or you’d like to learn about any of our other products, then why not contact us today we’d be happy to help.