Gardening tips: Alan Titchmarsh shares how to seed lawns

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It is very common to have to repair lawns after winter, as they tend to form brown patches and thin out. This usually happens over winter when the total amount of sunlight reduces considerably. Throw in a building, tree or fence and the sun may never get above it for five or six months leaving areas of lawn in permanent shade and dampness. To revive lawns after winter, Lawn Love has shared how gardeners can achieve the best quality lawn through the technique of overseeding.

A spokesperson for the lawn company said: “An essential element in ensuring the creation of a healthy, plush and luxurious lawn of thick, verdant grass is overseeding.

“Even an older, thin and dull looking yard of dry and fading green grass that has been worn-out by constant use as a play area for children or pets can be revitalised to display lush, opulent natural beauty with use of top grade overseeding techniques today.”

The technique of overseeding involves planting new grass seeds into lawn turf while taking care to avoid tearing or damaging the turf. 

The expert said: “This is an excellent method of closing up bare spots and enhancing turf density. By adding better quality types of grass, you can achieve a full lawn of stunningly rich deep green.

“Any lawn that has a worn-down, aging, dull or sparse appearance is in need of overseeding. 

“Even the worst lawns that are insect or disease prone and need regular fertilising and watering to show any signs of improvement will soon attain new, greener and thicker grass growth after overseeding.”

The specialist claimed that the “major benefit” that top quality overseeding lawns can provide for older or worn looking sections or patches of lawn grass is a “fast and efficient technique” for restoring your lawn to its former attractive, healthy state. 

Adequate and timely overseeding in spring will revitalise and replenish the earlier growth of rich green grass without damaging or disturbing the surrounding healthy turf.

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Whether you are a homeowner, a novice lawn care enthusiast or an experienced lawn care professional, the following steps for lawn overseeding set a clear standard that will bring good grass growth for a fresh, revitalised lawn.

How to overseed your lawn

1. Mow the grass

Before overseeding, a lawn using the grass needs to be cut low so that it is shorter than usual. After mowing, bag up the clippings and rake the lawn. This will remove any dried or dead grass, twigs, leaves, and debris. 

The expert added: “It will also loosen the top strata of soil, making it easier for the grass seed to enter the soil, germinate and root.

2. Select grass seeds 

It is recommended to choose a seed type that is compatible with the existing grass growth on the property. For example, if the lawn contains cool-season varieties of grass, select new seeds that will add fresh, denser grass coverage to lawns with sparse growth.  

If gardeners have a warm-season grass, they can ask their local garden centre staff for advice concerning the grass type best suited to their lawn.

3. Amend lawn soil 

When using grass seed alone, without other products included, to overseed a lawn, the expert said that it is best to rake a very thin layer of soil across the existing grass. 

They said: “For best results, use enriched soil to help ensure good new grass growth after the seed enters the soil layers. Be careful to add no more than a quarter-inch layer of the enriched soil to avoid killing or damaging the existing grass.”

4. Spread the seed 

After cutting your grass to a short length and raking it free of debris, gardeners will be ready to spread the new grass seed with use of overseeding grass spring techniques. 

The specialist said: “This part is simple. All you need to do is fill the spreader with fresh seeds, adjust the settings to comply with directions on the label of the seed bag and start overseeding.”

5. Feed, water and nurture

To supply the newly spread grass seedlings with vital nutrients to promote “fast growth”, gardeners should apply nutritional plant growth products, which contain both nutritious ingredients and fertiliser. 

For those that prefer, they can also use a nutritional supplement for plants and a separate fertilising agent. 

After completing this process, it is important to take care to water the soil once or twice each day until the seedlings grow to the current height of the existing grass blades.

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