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When to cut my new lawn?

dontrundontrun Posts: 7
edited June 2018 in Problem solving
I have just sown a new lawn from scratch from grass seed. I spread the seed 17 days ago on 20th May and it started to germinate after just 6 days on 26th May. Now just 11 days after it started to grow, the grass is already 4 to 5 inches, some areas are even as long as 5.5 inches!





I’ve read conflicting advice online saying you should wait 8 weeks before mowing, where another site says you should wait at least 4 weeks after germination before mowing, but also says you should cut it when it reaches 3 to 4 inches. It’s already longer than this but it’s only been germinated for 11 days!

I’m concerned that I don’t want to walk on the grass or place a mower on it too soon before the new roots are properly established... But at the same time I don’t want to let it grow so long that it will become difficult to cut, or be too long to cut even on the highest mower setting without cutting more than the maximum recommended 1/3 of its length.

Can anyone offer any advice on when would be the best time to give it it’s first cut?

Many thanks

Chris
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Posts

  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 32,450
    It looks stunning.
    IMHO you should be walking on it now. In doing so you "induce tillering" which means the grass grows less like a tree on a stem and send out new shoots right from the base and gives a much denser sward. 
    A garden roller is perfect for this , or a mower with a roller on it.

    Devon.
  • Dave HumbyDave Humby HampshirePosts: 1,131
    Looks great Chris. I think you've answered your own question in that it needs to be cut before it becomes too long for your mower to cope with it. As you say, just nip the top growth off and with the dry weather most of the country has been experiencing (I'm assuming you are in the U.K.) I would keep it fairly long through this first summer. 
  • Wow Chris, it looks stunning! What sort of seed did you use? 
  • stewyfizzstewyfizz West BromwichPosts: 161
    Holy moly! Can you come and do mine? Looks stunning for 2.5 weeks since sowing. What did you grow it on and what seed? Have you considered a career as a greenkeeper?!
    Gardening. The cause of, and solution to, all of my problems.
  • JellyfireJellyfire SuffolkPosts: 1,139
    I'll have a pint of what your lawn is having please!
  • dontrundontrun Posts: 7
    Thanks everyone for your responses!

    I think I will give it a mow this weekend and go over it with a roller. I've got a really heavy concrete one that was left with the house when I bought it but it's much too heavy to use, so I'm going to get a more suitable one you can fill with water.

    The grass seed is called Superstar Back Lawn from the Grass People (https://thegrasspeople.com/superstar-back-lawn-grass-seed). It says on the bag to sow it at 50g per square metre but I sowed it at around 60g-70g per square metre in case any was eaten by birds etc. but we didn't get too many (just the occasional pigeon). It's a mix of 80% Perennial Ryegrass and 20% Strong Creeping Red Fescue, as I wanted something hardwearing (I have 16 month old twins who I think are itching to get on the lawn and play!)

    We spent a long time preparing the soil area first, we rotavated it all, levelled it off using planks and a large wooden garden rake, then added 30 tons of top soil with 20% organic material in to give an extra 10cm depth, levelling it again after each 10 ton load. We then applied some Gromore at 70g per square metre and watered this in the day before sowing the seed. After sowing the seed we seived a fine layer of topsoil/compost mix on top and then watered it 2-3 times per day until it germinated (especially during the really warm sunny days). I've now reduced to just one good watering per day to help it to establish deeper roots.

    I'm really impressed with how quick it's grown - I thought it would have taken over a month at least to reach the length it has, but I think the weather has helped, just can't wait to be able to start using it properly! :)






  • Dave HumbyDave Humby HampshirePosts: 1,131
    Personally I would go very easy with the roller on such young grass. You may also encourage compaction.

    If your mower has a rear roller I would just go with that for now.
  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 32,450
    IMHO the preparation work seems pretty  spot on so I'd not expect compaction.
    If it's going to happen, it'll happen once it gets folk walking on it .
    Don't overfill the water roller. You just need to "bruise" the stems to make them produce side shoots.
    Devon.
  • dontrundontrun Posts: 7
    Personally I would go very easy with the roller on such young grass. You may also encourage compaction.

    If your mower has a rear roller I would just go with that for now.
    Unfortunately my mower doesn’t have a roller on it (it’s a petrol rotary mower). I’m only going to fill the roller with water (not sand which can also be used and makes it much heavier). Depending on how heavy it feels I might not even fill it completely full with water to start of with, then gradually increase it over time to make it heavier as the grass matures.
  • FireFire North LondonPosts: 15,680
    In other words, shed loads of hard work, patience and attention. Congratulations.
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