The perfect time for a new lawn

An area of ground will cover with freshly laid grass near granite cobblestone pavement

If you’re thinking of having a new lawn, then early autumn is a good time to do it.

There are two options for creating a new lawn - from seeds or from turf. Both methods have their advantages. A new lawn from seeds is cheaper and can produce excellent results. A new lawn from turf is quicker and can be used again within a day or two.

Why now?

Early autumn usually offers the best conditions for sowing a new lawn. It’s not too hot or too cold, there’s plenty of moisture but the soil is still warm - all ideal for the seeds to germinate. The conditions are also good for laying turf. With little mowing needed during the winter, the new turf can be left to establish itself with minimum disturbance and without the need for frequent watering.

Whichever option you choose, there are three steps to follow - preparation, creation, and aftercare.

Preparation:

If using seeds, choose a seed mix that’s right for your purpose. Do you want a general-purpose lawn, a fine lawn, or is the lawn in shade?

Whether sowing or turfing, good seed bed prep is needed, so remove weeds (but not with residual weedkiller as it will stop the grass from growing) and cultivate the soil. Get the surface as level as you can.  Ideally, you should then leave it to settle for five to six weeks - or even longer if possible.

Creation:

The more care you take, the better the results. The RHS has a precise, step-by-step guide on how to make a new lawn from turf or seeds, with links to both methods at: www.rhs.org.uk/advice/in-month/september/lawns .

Aftercare

If you’ve sown a new lawn, you will need to lightly re-firm the soil when the grass reaches about 7.5cm (3 ins). You can do this by carefully treading any raised areas. Wait for another two or three days and cut the grass down to about a third of its height - make sure your mower blades are very sharp for this important job. It shouldn’t need mowing again until the following spring. Try not to use the lawn until early summer.

Aftercare for a turfed lawn is simpler. You can mow the lawn, with the blades high, once the grass has grown to around 5cm (2 ins). Keep the turf moist by watering it once a fortnight during dry spells.

And finally, enjoy!