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Sowing and oversowing lawns in autumn

Sowing times for lawns vary with climate. As a rule of thumb spring and autumn are most successful. In this article, we provide tips for getting the most out of a new lawn, or oversowing an existing lawn.

In cooler climates autumn sowing allows most grasses to properly establish their root system through the wet winter period. This ensures they are well established prior to the drought stress of summer. In subtropical climates sowing can take place from autumn to spring.

Choose a time in your area when your newly sown lawn runs the least risk of being washed away by seasonal rains or new growth burnt off by hot dry winds.

How to sow a new lawn

For new areas that need levelling:

  1. Cultivate, rake and level the area to be sown
  2. Leave the area for 10-14 days or at least a sufficient time to achieve a germination of weed seeds present in the top soil. 
  3. Spray a non-selective herbicide such as glyphosate to kill off the initial germination which has occurred during the seed bed preparation.
  4. Sow seed 24-48 hours after the application of the herbicide. If the soil has a hard crust, loosen the surface with a steel rake or light harrows.
  5. Spread a lawn starter fertiliser such as MAP at the recommended rate.
  6. Spread seed after the fertiliser.*
  7. Keep the area continuously moist until complete germination has occurred. In warm conditions, you may need to water gently several times a day.

In our next issue read about the best lawn maintenance and our secret recipe for the perfect long-lasting lawn.

Oversowing existing lawn

  1. Mow the area to a low height and rake off any surplus grass.
  2. Rake over the area using a strong steel or plastic rake to loosen the surface soil.
  3. Spread starter fertiliser.Spread seed after the fertiliser.*
  4. Rake over again to incorporate seed and fertilise with some loose soil.
  5. Keep the area continuously moist until complete germination has occurred.

Spreading seed

Spread half of the lawn seed in a north-south direction and half in an east-west direction. Rake again lightly. Avoid any further traffic and do not roll or tread the seed into the soil.

Valley Seeds lawn & turf specialist

George Coles
T 0419 709 701
E gcoles@valleyseeds.com

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