A stale seed bed is an effective technique for weed control and elimination when sowing turf and lawns. The stale seed bed encourages weed germination before sowing. Once germinated, the weeds can be removed, significantly reducing the competition for the lawn or turf when sowing occurs.
Most topsoil contains a high number of weed seeds.
Disturbing the soil with cultivation and raking in preparation for sowing can also bring weed seeds to the surface, encouraging germination.
Recommended practice for a stale seed bed
Follow these steps to prepare and manage a stale seedbed for effective weed control.
- Prepare the soil for sowing, by cultivating, raking and levelling. Apply fertiliser and soil amendments as required.
- Leave the prepared seed bed for 10-14 days. This should be enough time for weed seeds in the topsoil to germinate.
- Apply a non-selective herbicide to eliminate the young weeds.
- Sow lawn or turf seed 24-48 hours after the herbicide has been applied. This allows your sown seed to take full advantage of the reduced competition from weeds.