Home builders often still face a challenge with the creation of the garden, as I can confirm as a landscape gardener. This includes, for example, the creation of a lawn, which usually takes up a large part of the garden. Although at first glance it should be feasible for any gardener to lay out the new greenery, he may ask himself the following question:
At what temperatures can you fertilize and sow lawn?
Nowadays, a lawn can be sown or reseeded at almost any temperature. However, the lawn should be fertilized only between spring and autumn, that is, when temperatures are preferably not below ten to eight degrees.
Basically, if the temperature is suitable, it is possible to sow and fertilize the lawn at the same time. In any case, this should be done in the spring, ideally in April or May.
If a new lawn is sown, it will be pleased to receive a starter fertilizer, which it will find two to three centimeters deep in the soil.
When should lawns be sown?
Theoretically, lawn can be sown all year round. Even sowing in winter does not bother the seeds, since by now all types of lawn are frost-resistant. However, the seeds need temperatures from about ten degrees before they germinate.
In long and frosty winters, there is a risk that the seeds will dry out and not germinate. Then the garden owner will have to sow again, which is why it is better to sow right away in the spring or fall.
Sowing in the spring
Sowing in the spring is convenient, if the lawn is to be nice and dense already in the summer. To prevent night frosts prevent the germination of seeds, the wise and impatient garden owner waits to sow the lawn. After all, the optimal temperature for germination is between 14 and 25 degrees.
Depending on the region in which the gardener lives, sowing can be the case as early as April. In higher regions, it is better to wait for the icemen.
The seed must be watered regularly. This requires feeling, because the seed must not dry out, nor drown, that is, rot, because of waterlogging.
If the seed is sown in spring, bare patches can always occur. These are simply resown immediately, regardless of the temperatures.
Sowing in autumn
Especially for new houses sowing in the fall makes more sense. The soil then still has enough time to possibly settle. Unevenness in the later lawn can be leveled out in advance.
Sowing or reseeding the lawn in autumn has the advantage that the temperatures are neither too low nor too high. Until the first frost, the seeds get the chance to form frost-hardy blades, as there is still a lot of heat stored in the soil.
In general, sowing in the fall, it is possible even in August, is crowned with greater success than in the spring. With both methods, the soil should be as dry as possible when sowing.
How to sow the lawn? In 7 simple steps
Before sowing the lawn, all other work in the garden should be completed. Then the gardener will quickly reach the goal in seven steps:
Step #1: Digging the soil
The future lawn is first dug up spade-deep with a spade or fork. For larger areas, a tiller makes this sweaty work easier. It is easier to dig in the fall, when the soil is dry and crumbly.
Digging by hand or with a tiller always takes a little longer than desired. This is because larger stones, weeds, roots and all foreign bodies are now removed from the soil, which can later work their way to the surface. For example, it is not uncommon to find shards of clay or metal objects in the topsoil left by previous generations.
Step #2: Prepare the soil
Depending on the type of soil, this is prepared for the coming years of its existence as a lawn. That is, the soil is given a special starter fertilizer that is worked in between two and three inches deep.
Normal garden soil: A normal garden soil gets an organic fertilizer. This loosens the soil structure and increases the humus content. If you have the possibility, use compost or manure. Ten to 15 liters per square meter are worked in up to 20 centimeters deep.
Light soil: Light soil is sandy and contains hardly any nutrients. Here, lawn seeds require green manuring with nitrogen-collecting plants such as field beans, peas or clover. The seeds will also appreciate an additional organic slow-release fertilizer.
Sandy soil: For sandy soils, use a special seed mix suitable for dry sites.
Loamy and heavy soil: Loamy and heavy soils are rich in clay. Clay forms fat clods when wet, and becomes rock-hard when dry. Clay soils are rich in nutrients on one side. On the other hand, not enough water and oxygen gets to the turf roots.
Clay soil: clay soils are loosened with up to 50 liters of sand per square meter. Instead of sand, lava or expanded clay can improve the soil. It also receives organic fertilizer.
Compacted soil: Compacted soil is not uncommon in new homes. Heavy machinery compresses the soil during construction so that hardly any water or air can get through. Green manuring in late summer with strong-rooted plants such as lupines is the solution here. The plants die in the winter, weather to the next spring, and are almost completely decomposed by the time the seed is sown. Alternatively, the soil is aerated, aerated with a machine. Both methods optimize the soil with sand plus organic fertilizer.
Step #3: Choose the right lawn seed
In most cases, a novice gardener who wants to buy lawn seed from a specialty store is left looking like an ox in front of a mountain. This is because lawns are not composed of a single type of grass. Lawn seeds are mixtures of mainly different sweet grasses.
These mixtures may be known as play turf, utility turf, or sports turf. Lawn seeds are also available for dry or shaded areas.
When buying, it pays to invest in high-quality control seed mixes (RSMs) that are quality-tested. These mixtures also contain information around application and care.
Step #4: Seeding by hand or spreader truck.
For smaller areas or when reseeding, seed is good to spread by hand. Depending on the seed mixture, a certain amount of seed is spread per square meter of soil. For this purpose, the area is determined, the seed is weighed and then evenly distributed.
With a spreader wagon, the spreading strength can be adjusted. For testing, the wagon is filled with the mixture and driven over a one-square-meter piece of film. The dispensed seed is then weighed and the process repeated until the desired amount is reached.
The lawn seeds are now raked into the dry soil to a maximum depth of one centimeter. This protects them from hungry birds and drying out. Finally, compact the soil with a roller or footboards to allow the seed to absorb water for germination.
Step #5: Water the lawn
Immediately after seeding, the soil is carefully watered so that the seeds are not washed away. The garden owner must now be patient, as he has to water his treasure for about a month, unless it rains.
It is best to water in the morning. On hot and dry days, again at noon and in the evening, as needed. Watering requires some feeling, as it should not be too much and not too little.
Step #6: Maintain and fertilize the lawn
Regularly mowed and fertilized, the lawn is a low maintenance area in the garden. Newly seeded lawns are first mowed when they are six to ten inches tall. The optimum cutting height is four centimeters. The lawn mower must have sharp blades so that the young blades are cut and not pulled out of the ground.
After the second or third cut, after about ten to twelve weeks, the young green gets a boosting organic fertilizer. But be careful: Do not fertilize after October.
Optimal care ideally means daily mowing. This is best done by a robotic mower that keeps the greenery at a constant height of four centimeters. The clippings remain lying, mulching the lawn and preserving the nutrients.
Step #7: Re-seed the lawn
With a freshly seeded lawn, it’s easy to see early on where there are gaps. Lawn seed may not have emerged or may have been washed away by heavy rains. The lawn can always be reseeded in these areas until fall, when temperatures are still comfortable.
At what temperature should the lawn be fertilized?
Turf needs a soil temperature of at least eight degrees to germinate. The ideal temperatures are between 14 and 25 degrees, between April and May. This is also the best time to fertilize the lawn.
The optimal time for the first organic fertilization is after the second or third cut of the lawn to a height of four centimeters.
It is best to fertilize the lawn two or three times a year, with the last fertilization in October. In this case, a special autumn lawn fertilizer is recommended. It has a high content of potassium and makes the grasses frost-hardy.
What is the right lawn seed?
The right lawn seed depends on the subsequent use and the prevailing conditions. Special seed mixtures for shady or dry areas, for example, are available from specialist dealers.
Among other things, lawn seeds are available especially for playgrounds and sports fields or as utility lawns if children are to play in the garden. It is important to resort to their quality tested products, so called rule seed mixtures (RSM).
Which lawn fertilizer is the right one?
Lawns are so-called strong eaters, which require a high supply of nutrients. This is the only way the lawn can hold its own against competing weeds. An organic fertilizer with long-term effect strengthens the lawn and perfectly prevents weeds, moss or lawn thatch.
Regular fertilizing, maximum three times a year, saves tedious dethatching or sanding.
How often should the lawn be mowed?
According to the European Lawn Society – this society really exists – the lawn should ideally be mowed every day. Daily cutting creates branching on the blades. At the same time, blades that form flowers are also mown.
Both of these things cause the lawn to be in a constant state of growth due to daily mowing.
How short should the lawn be cut?
The optimum cutting height from the second cut after a new seed is four centimeters. Depending on the type of lawn, weather conditions and time of year, the height may vary. For example, the best cutting height in autumn is five centimeters. Since the sun’s rays hit the lawn at a shallower angle, the blades of grass need more surface area to get enough sun.
Should lawn clippings be removed?
A smart gardener will let a robotic mower do the daily grazing. The cut blades are simply left lying around to weather because the robot has no collection bin. If the clippings are left lying around, they slowly weather and the nutrients remain in the soil.
Mulching only works if the lawn stays short. Longer blades decompose more slowly, which can cause the lawn to mat. Therefore, mow daily or at least every two days.
I have 30 years of experience and i started this website to see if i could try and share my knowledge to help you.
With a degree a Horticulture BSc (Hons)
I have worked as a horticulture specialist lead gardener, garden landscaper, and of course i am a hobby gardener at home in my own garden.
Please if you have any questions leave them on the article and i will get back to you personally.