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.