|Posted on March 15, 2016 at 7:05 PM|
You wouldn't believe it! But around the second week of March is the best time of the year to construct a new lawn or renovate an old one. One main reason is the approaching cooler, moister weather and the enormous advantages this will give to newly sown grass seed.
Once the seed has been sown and watered a few times, the weather virtually takes over the job, so that by springtime an excellent sward will have developed. Winter and spring rains will encourage the new roots to delve deeper and spread into areas which remain moist well into the summer.
The basic difference between spring and autumn sown lawns is that the spring ones need constant watering through the summer. Even then the results, after several months, can be patchy and shallow rooted.
This time of year there is still enough warmth in the soil to ensure a fairly rapid germination of seed. This will mean the grass can compete effectively with the inevitable weeds which also pop up. Soil is more easily worked at this time of year.
When preparing an area for a new lawn, it isn't necessary to cultivate to a great depth. Usually, about ten centimetres will be sufficient, unless there is considerable unevenness to be eliminated. Deep cultivation can create all sorts of problems, particularly hollows which appear after the lawn has been laid, as the loose subsoil settles here and there.
Ideally, fertilizers should be applied about three weeks before the seed is sown, but this is not always possible. People tend to go straight into the business of cultivating and sowing without a break and there is no real harm done.
The best fertilizers include blood and bone, which is slow acting. This relatively slow availability means the roots chase the nutrients downwards as they are released, taking them into moister areas.
If virgin soil is being made into a lawn, it pays to rake in a tiny fistful of fertilizer for each square metre, actually as the seed is being raked into the surface.