When should you plant grass seed? Key date to start sowing – it’s sooner than you think

Homebase offers advice for preparing your lawn in March

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Grass seed is a cheaper alternative to laying new turf and can begin growing in as little as 10 days. Fixing up your grass by sowing fresh seed is easily done in a few simple steps, but timing is crucial to reap the full benefits. Achieving a luscious green lawn can be done as early as spring or as late as autumn, but what’s the exact date to start planting?

When should you plant grass seed?

Spring is the perfect time to correct the seasonal effects of winter on your lawn, and grass seed is just one way to do it.

While the time is right to give your lawn some TLC, exactly when is the best time to begin sowing grass seed?

According to Lawn UK, you can sow seed mixtures at any time from late March to mid-October.

With late March considered to be the final two weeks of the month, March 21 is the earliest date you can start sowing.

How to plant grass seed in spring

While the seven-month sowing period is ideal for gardeners seeking a vibrant lawn all year round, there are a few maintenance tasks which should be done to encourage seed sown before September.

Watering and weeding your lawn is crucial to help grass seed germinate in the earlier months, and this is how to do it.

Prepare your lawn

Lawn seed can easily be layered on top of existing grass during spring, but the best results will come from a well-prepared seedbed.

Before sowing your grass seed, you should allow at least five weeks for the soil to settle.

If you’re looking to sow your grass seed in early spring, you should start cultivating now.

The Royal Horticultural Society has shared exactly how to prepare your seedbed in just eight simple steps, but where should you begin?

According to the RHS, you should:

  • Clear the seedbed of weeds
  • Break up the soil by digging to a depth of 10 inches and turning the soil over
  • Feed the soil with well-rotted organic matter
  • Leave the law to settle for between one and six weeks
  • Do a second round of weeding
  • Rake the soil in different directions
  • Fertilise the soil

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To plant your seed, you should start by dividing your seedbed into smaller sections, which are easier to work with.

Choose your seed mixture and divide the quantity in half before sowing half of the seed in parallel rows along the length of the lawn.

Repeat with the other half of the seed mixture and work in parallel rows along the width.

Lightly rake over the area to cover your seed with the soil.

How to grow grass from seed

Seed germinates most readily in early autumn and mid-spring, so you should only expect to wait around 10 days before seedlings begin to appear.

At this point, the soil should be warm with plenty of moisture, so you shouldn’t need to add extra water to the site.

In unusual spells of extremely hot or cold weather, you should adjust your lawn-care accordingly.

To help your lawn successfully grow from seed, you will need to:

  • Use the lawns little as possible – if sown in spring you should stay off the grass as much as you can until late summer/early autumn.
  • Continue to remove weeds throughout spring and summer if your seed was sown before September.
  • Water your lawn regularly during extra dry spells.

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