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Massive lawn help

Hi everyone,

I'm a novice gardener but undertook the job of seeding a new lawn as so:

Rotivated 2 areas around 50 square metres each which has old grass on, applied pre-seed fertiliser, sprinkled seed as instructed, laid top soil over and gentle rolled over it. Since this was back early to mid March and was nice weather and hosepipe ban was not in force I did water it every morning and evening without drowing the seed.

The grass grew in patches but I'd say overal only 35% of the seed has grown through and since then obviously we've had nothing but cold weather and rain.

The topsoil I used was from a company in London that provides organic fertiliser as well, this top soil looked more like fertiliser but when I challenged them they said it was a special mix, should it stop the grass growing even if it were?

The only other explanation is birds???? but I put a lot down and can't see birds eathing that amount, maybe overseeding was an issue? Or maybe too much top soil (approc 2cm).

I have spent a lot of time and effort and would love to hear from someone who has some advice.



  • Alina WAlina W Posts: 1,445

    There may have been too much soil covering the grass - it is normally sown virtually on the surface, which is why birds eating it is such an issue.

  • Stevie 2Stevie 2 Posts: 6

    arrr ok that could just be the reason. I take it  the seed will be useless now ?

  • Gold1locksGold1locks Posts: 498

    I think it was probably a bit early this year for sowing grass seed. If I can remember correctly, the ideal soil temperature for germination is 7-10 C, and the seed needs between one and two weeks at this temperature to chit. 

    The stock advice is to sow in September for preference, but if you sow in spring then the end of March is the earliest sowing time, but this depends on which part of the country you are in and also on you having normal weather for that time of year. I don't think we have had normal weather. 

    As for the condition of the seed, if it's still there and then it should germinate once it has the right soil temperature over a period. It won't spoil,  so don't give up on it yet.  

  • Gold1locksGold1locks Posts: 498

    When you said the topsoil looked more like fertilizer, did you mean 'compost'? A lot of topsoil sold in bags in garden centres is actually a mix of yopsoil and compost. 

  • marshmellomarshmello Posts: 683

    A trick I've learn't over the years when seeding grass, covering the area with clear plastic after sowing helps to keep heat and moisture in, aiding better germination -granted, your area is large.

  • Stevie 2Stevie 2 Posts: 6
    Thanks for all the advice, I'm picking up a lot. Yes the topsoil looked like compost (sorry, organice but there's a little of bark and wood clippings in it. I investigated parts where grass seed hasn't come through and it seems to have disappeared , I find it hard to believe the birds have eaten it since there was so much and it was completely covered. Back to the drawing board.
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