Grass Maintenance After Autumn Sowing.
After the seed has germinated and your grass has grown to 5 cm long,the first thing one should do is to first,walk over the new lawn area and stone pick,any large stones over 25mm that have been washed to the surface.
Secondly, choose a dry day and roll the new lawn with a light garden roller if possible in two directions.This will start to firm up the seed bed and damage the grass seedling which is known as tillering.It will also cause the grass plant seedlings to create some more shoots from the base of each plant.
Finally,cut the grass with a sharp rotary mower.As a guide the grass should only be cut back by one third at a time,any more will weaken the grass plants,so if your grass plants are 5 cm high then only cut them back by 1.5 cms.Ideally,you should box off and compost the grass clippings.
It is important to stay on top of the grass cutting in the first winter,so cut the grass once or twice a month in dry periods if possible, but do not cut it below 2 cms.You might find yourself cutting the grass during this period and not removing any grass clippings.However,mowing has the effect of keeping the weeds in check until you can deal with them and helping stop fungal diseases by keeping the grass dry for short periods.
In early spring again roll the lawn in two directions with a light garden roller, followed by a roll with a heaver roll in later spring at a time when it has not rained for at least 7 days.
During the first season of the new lawn it is not advisable to feed,or if possible,water the autumn sown lawn until the following autumn.This will encourage the root to grow as deeply as possible on the uncomplicated soil. If a deep rooting can be achieved this will help with summer colour and recovery from drought for many years to come.
With regard to weeds,because in the preparation of the seed bed you often bring new weed seedlings to the surface that germinate,the new lawn can often become swamped with weed seedlings.Most of these weed seedlings will not be able to withstand the moving,however,a few weeds such as daisies and dandelions will survive and these will need to be treated with a weed killer, or can be removed by hand.Please note that a weed killer cannot be used on a new lawn sown from seed until 8 weeks after germination.So in practical terms,for the Autumn sown lawn this means the following spring.
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