Gardener’s Gifts: 10 Great Gift Ideas for the Keen Gardeners in your Life

It’s that joyous time of year once again. It comes around quickly, doesn’t it? And while many of us cherish the run-up to the Christmas break, gift buying can be a real challenge. I mean, what do you buy for people who already have everything? Read on for our list of great gardener’s gifts.

Keen gardeners love tools and gadgets that make their gardening tasks a little easier to tackle. Sure, every gardener loves their time in the great outdoors, but if you can make things like weeding or sowing a little bit easier, there are very few of us who would opt for the traditional hard slog.

Luckily, most gardener’s gifts are particularly affordable, making Christmas a great time of year to replenish supplies for your green-fingered friends and family.

Stay right where you are: we’re going to suggest the Top 10 Gardener’s Gifts for a little Christmas inspiration.

10. A Bee Hotel

bee hotel
A bee hotel – Photo by Mika Baumeister on Unsplash

Bees are a gardener’s best friend, and there’s barely a single gardener who doesn’t want more of the buzzy insects visiting their plot. And while honeybees live in hives, many bees are solitary – making nests and laying their eggs in hard soil or pieces of dead wood.

Bee hotels offer a safe spot for your local solitary bees to nest, mimicking the conditions the bee would find in the wild. Hollow bamboo canes supply a perfect habitat for nesting bees in the springtime – they’ll repay the favour come summer when your crops are bursting into flower.

Bee hotels are particularly active in the spring when you’ll see adult female bees nesting, flying into the hollow canes carrying pollen or blobs of mud that help them create hospitable cell walls for their eggs.

Of course, you can buy a ready-made bee hotel, but homemade gifts often mean so much more. So, create your own “box of holes” from bamboo canes, hollow plant stems, reeds, and drilled logs for a great gift that shows true love.

The RSPB offers a step-by-step guide to building your own bee hotel. Gardener’s gifts don’t have to cost the earth.

9. Personalised gardening gear

Personalised tool belt
Personalised tool belt – Image courtesy of NotOnTheHighSt

We’ve probably all found ourselves in a last-minute supermarket sweep for Christmas presents at 9 pm on Christmas Eve. And the resulting gifts have likely demonstrated your total lack of preparation.

On the other hand, nothing says that you’ve giving a gift some real thought like personalised gardening gear.

Think personalised:

  • Gardening gloves and aprons
  • Tool belts
  • Tools, such as trowels

Personalised gifts are fun and creative, and show that you’ve spent a little time arranging the present. Think engraved and embossed items that act as a reminder of your thoughtfulness each time they use them.

8. Hand cream

Hand cream
Hand cream – Image courtesy of Amazon

Gardening tasks are tough on the hands, and it’s not uncommon for keen gardeners to develop blisters, calluses, and sensitivity after a full-on gardening session.

You might think hand cream is a gift that only women will enjoy, but – hey – we’re in the third decade of the 21st century! Men love pampering products as well, you know.

There’s a pretty vast array of hand creams aimed at men. You can always find them because they have “manly” products names, like:

Sure, your dad or brother might not necessarily buy a hand cream for themselves, but that’s what Christmas is all about, isn’t it: treating loved ones to something special.

Like most cosmetic products, hand creams can be pretty costly.

If you’re buying for a man, the following scents will be appealing:

  • Woody smells, like sandalwood or oud
  • Eucalyptus
  • Musk
  • Vetiver
  • Pine
  • Black pepper

If you’re buying for a woman, consider:

  • Vanilla
  • Peppermint
  • Lavender
  • Cinnamon

Of course, you could say that “gendered scents” are a thing of the past, which is probably true for younger generations.

If you’re buying for an older relative, it’s a good idea to stick with tradition.

7. A Scarifying Rake

Vertikutieren manuell mit einem Vertikutierrechen
For fit gardeners with small lawns: Hand-held scarifiers.

OK, the word “scarifying” might sound more at home at Hallowe’en than at Christmas, but this is one present that lawn lovers will simply love.

Scarifying is the process of dethatching – that’s removing the surface layer of moss and organic matter to help refresh the look and strength of your lawn.

And anyone who has ever scarified their lawn will know that it’s quite a daunting, hefty old task. It’s entirely possible to scarify with a telescopic leaf rake, but it’s a tall order for more extensive lawns.

If your friend or family member has a larger lawn, they’ll love the MOOWY adjustable scarifying rake, making lighter work of this time-consuming task. The gadget’s teeth-like blades are sharp enough to pierce the top layer of soil, providing air, light, and water for grass plants.

Scarifying might initially look like you’ve taken a tractor to your lawn and completely decimated it – but it only takes around two weeks for the grass to recover; bouncing back with hugely improved health and vitality.

6. Grow Your Own Mushrooms

morel mushroom
Morel mushroom – Photo by Beth Macdonald on Unsplash

Most gardeners focus on fruit and veg in their patch – most don’t consider fungi as a fun alternative. Mushrooms are easy to grow and – like most homegrown fare – are more delicious than supermarket-bought mushrooms that have sweated underneath clingfilm.

There’s a wide variety of edible mushrooms available, from standard closed cap to exotic oysters and shiitake. If you’re thinking about a gift, maybe consider a species that’s difficult to buy from typical UK supermarkets, like:

  • Morels – we always see these used on Masterchef, but they’re hardly ever available in standard supermarkets. You’d be lucky to see them at Waitrose!
  • Chicken of the Woods – commonly found in forests, this meaty mushroom tastes surprisingly chickeny – hence the name.
  • Lion’s Mane – a bizarre, edible fungus that’s delicious to eat or make into a medicinal tea (not the hallucinogenic type!).
  • Turkey tail – a beautiful, woody-looking medicinal mushroom containing powerful antioxidants and a range of compounds to boost immunity while improving gut bacteria

5. Garden sprinkler

A sprinkler on a lawn for watering during the summer

The ideal gift for lawn lovers: a garden sprinkler. Anyone who cultivates and maintains a perfect lawn will spend a lot of their spare time watering the grass during the spring and summer when there’s less rainfall (usually).

Give them the gift of time – a garden sprinkler helps keep the lawn irrigated when nature isn’t abundantly supplying rain. MOOWY’s static sprinkler is a wonderful gift, with a range of 25m.

Fully adjustable, our sprinkler can deliver a fine mist for new lawns or heavy droplets for established grass plants.

And used in combination with a timer, irrigating the lawn becomes the easiest lawn care task of them all.

4. Gardener’s Tool Seat

gardeners tool seat
A gardener’s tool seat – Image courtesy of Uncommon Goods

Gardening is great fun and excellent exercise, but you need plenty of tools. A gardener’s tool seat is ideal – a place to store your trowels and seeds and a seat to rest on while taking a break.

And if your giftee has an allotment, the tool seat becomes an excellent place to store your sandwiches and flask of tea.

Sure, it’s hardly the most comfortable seat in the world, but for a quick break, it’s all you need to rest your bones.

3. A portable digital radio

portable radio
A portable DAB radio – Image of courtesy of Amazon

Gardening has to be one of the most calming of pastimes – there’s nothing like getting dirt underneath your fingernails for destressing.

But sometimes, you need some entertainment while you dig or weed your patch – a portable digital radio is the ideal gift.

Whether they soak in all the latest tunes on 6Music or get lost in a radio play or comedy show on 4Extra, a digital radio has an excellent, crisp signal. And this i-Star portable DAB radio includes a built-in rechargeable battery, providing hours of entertainment on a single charge.

2. The Ultimate Lawn Repair Kit

Lawn fanatics spend hours and hours of their time on their lawns, so why not help them out with the ultimate lawn repair kit from MOOWY.

Our Quick Repair Lawn Seed is ideal for overseeding, mending those patches that appear on the lawn over the winter. New, drought-tolerant grass grows in as little as two weeks, bringing a lush, thick appearance to any lawn.

And our premium All-Round Fertiliser brings a swift colour rush to any lawn while strengthening the roots and increasing resistance to disease and moss.

1. The MOOWY Scented Candle

MOOWY Grass scented candle on a sidetable

Winter can feel eternal, and sometimes we just need a little escape from the greyness of a cold, frosty January. The MOOWY scented candle is our newest product, so it takes pride of place in the Number 1 slot of our ten great gift ideas.

With 50 burning hours, the two-wicked scented candle fills your room with the springtime aromas of cut grass, combined with a fresh and zingy citrus undertone that brings the sunshine into grey days.

Packaged in a beautiful frosted white glass pot, the gold detailing feels festive, complementing any room regardless of the decor. And once the candle has burned down, you can reuse the pot as a plant holder for kitchen herbs.

Gardener’s gifts don’t have to be FOR the garden, remember!

That’s Christmas wrapped up

So, there you have it – ten excellent gardner’s gifts that your green fingered friends and relatives will love.

If you have any questions about any of the products we’ve recommended or have queries about anything lawn-related, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Have a great Christmas, everyone!

Aerating your lawn – everything you need to know (including tips & tricks!)

Most of us know about the primary lawn care tasks: mowing, watering, weeding, feeding, and overseeding. Maybe some of us even regularly scarify our lawns. But what about aerating? Aerating your lawn is one of those lawn care tasks that most of us overlook.

Over time, your soil becomes compacted from exposure to heavy use and weather. You’ll know if your soil is compacted because you’ll find little puddles when it rains.

You’re also likely to notice a heavy moss infestation – because moss LOVES poorly drained soil.
Heavily compacted earth stunts the growth of your lawn because it prevents water from reaching the roots.

So, if you’re experiencing any of the above, you need to aerate your lawn. And that’s what this article is all about: explaining how and when to aerate (with a handful of expert tips to ensure you get the best out of your beautiful lawn).

Ready? Let’s go.

Aerating your lawn: what is it?

holes in the lawn due to proper lawn aeration

Aerating literally means “bringing air into the ground”. We do this by removing tiny tubes of soil to create air pockets that allow air, light, water, and food to penetrate into the earth. This promotes root growth, strengthening the plant and improving the look of your turf.

What causes compacted soil?

Compacted soil occurs naturally through regular, everyday use of your lawn. The biggest culprits can be:

  • Garden furniture
  • Play equipment, such as goalposts and basketball nets
  • The weight of your lawnmower (if you mow regularly (you should!))
  • Walkways through the lawn

Walkways?

Yes. Have you ever noticed that you take exactly the same path from one end of your lawn to the other? If you’re walking from your back door to your garden shed, for example, we’d bet you 10p that you make precisely the same journey every time (we haven’t shaken on it, though!).

Wait until the next snow. Then walk to the shed. Do it without thinking, and you’ll always follow the same route – made more evident from the path you create in the snow.

Or look at the route your pet takes to reach the back of the garden – they’ll likely use the same “path” every time.

Well-trodden paths help compact the soil, which means that there’s probably areas of your lawn that are heavily compacted and parts that are less affected.

Either way, it’s wise to aerate the entire lawn.

The benefits of aerating your soil

Aeration of the lawn illustration

Aeration is a temporary process, so aerate periodically. The diagram below shows the benefits of aeration:

Compacted soil cause shallow roots in grass plants. When you make holes in the soil’s surface, air, water, and light reach the roots, encouraging deeper penetration into the earth.

Over time, these aeration holes close, but your grass plants will be healthier because deeper roots improve resistance to drought and disease.

Healthy soil is composed of:

  • 50% pores and air pockets
  • 50% solid soil particles

Compacted soil loses its pores and air pockets, so aeration helps restore this balance.

Clay soil has smaller pores and restricted airflow, so regular aeration is necessary to improve the soil structure. Sandy soils don’t compact as easily as clay soils, but they still require aeration for optimal health.

Aeration for oxygen

Aeration helps oxygen reach down into the earth. The more oxygen, the more healthy the lawn. Without oxygen, your lawn will die.

If your grass has turned brown, there’s a chance that the oxygen/carbon dioxide levels within your soil have lost their natural balance. Compacted soil holds onto its carbon dioxide, produced as a natural result of photosynthesis – so aerating helps restore that balance.

Aeration for sunlight

Roots, of course, grow underground – but that doesn’t mean that they don’t benefit from some exposure to the sunlight.

Sunlight penetrates porous soil, and plants with relatively shallow roots, like grass plants, detect the sunlight and make use of it to encourage growth. Plant roots have photoreceptors called phytochromes that receive light transmitted from the leaves, but some light penetrates the surface topsoil.

Roots (usually) naturally grow AWAY from the sunlight. So, if you aerate your soil, sunlight reaches the roots through the natural pores in the soil. This encourages the roots to burrow down into the ground, making the root system deeper.

Aeration for irrigation

Water that penetrates deep into the soil encourages deeper roots. And water is an excellent carrier for nutrients – aeration helps maximise the effect of fertilisers.

And if you’re sowing new seed, aeration helps the soil absorb nutrients to boost the likelihood of germination.

So, if you’re wondering, “is aerating your lawn worth it?” hopefully, we’ve convinced you that it’s an essential lawn care task for beautiful lawns!

When should I aerate my lawn?

calender board

It’s best to aerate your lawn during its peak growing season. That way, it will recover quickly. Early spring or the beginning of autumn are the best times – just avoid the frost.

Most lawns experience their heaviest battering during the summer while we’re enjoying barbeques and the kids are playing ball games on the grass. Aeration stresses your grass plants, so it’s best to leave it to periods during the year when they’re freer to recover.

Be careful if aerating during the winter – frost will kill the roots if they’re exposed. Aerate at least four weeks before frost is due.

TIP: Keep an eye on the weather forecast and aerate before rain. Then you don’t need to water!

Does aeration actually work?

Well, we’d be wasting our time writing an article about it if it didn’t! 😉

Aeration is one of the lighter lawn care tasks in terms of effort, but it definitely works.

There are liquid aeration products available, which you simply water onto your lawn. But the verdict is still out – most experts refute the claim that liquid aerator products alleviate compaction by breaking down dense soil.

Most experts consider the “core” aeration method the superior approach – and that’s the approach we’re going to be exploring.

How often should I aerate my lawn?

Clay soils become compacted more quickly, so it’s a good idea to aerate once a year.

Sandy soil closes up more slowly, so biannually is usually sufficient. However, you might only need to aerate sections of sandy soil – mainly the areas of most heavy use.

The best advice we can give is: look at your grass. If a moss or thatch layer has developed on the soil surface, it will prevent water penetration. In that case, aeration or scarification is needed.

What is the best way to aerate a lawn?

The verdict is out regarding the efficacy of liquid aerator. At any rate, why add chemicals to your soil when you don’t really need to?

For small or medium-sized lawns, manual aeration is the perfect option. For more extensive lawns, you might consider opting for a mechanical approach.

Spike roller

Lawn Aerator for the lawn with spikes - product image 1

manual spike roller makes aeration quick and easy. This approach creates very little mess or aesthetic damage to your lawn’s surface.

As you push the roller across the lawn, the spikes (a bit like nails) puncture holes in the soil’s surface, creating those essential little air pockets. Spiking creates smaller holes than a hollow tine aerator, so you may have to repeat the process a couple of times.

Hollow Tine Aerator - product image 1

If your soil is very compacted, a spike roller might not do the job – you might be better with a machine.

Aeration sandals

Men wearing the MOOWY Lawn Aerator Shoes for aerating the lawn - product image 1

OK, you’re unlikely to see aeration sandals on the catwalk during London Fashion Week, but they’re an easy way to aerate smaller lawns.

Aeration sandals have spikes attached to the underside of the sole and strap onto your usual gardening footwear. Walk around your lawn a couple of times wearing these rather dashing sandals, and the spikes sink into the soil, creating air pockets.

Simple, cheap, and barely any effort. And, dare I say it: fun!

Manually aerate with a garden fork

Garden fork against the wall

This approach requires a little more effort, but it’s still one of the lighter garden tasks.

If you have a garden fork that’s gathering dust at the back of the shed, it’s time to dust it off. Sink the tines of the fork multiple times into your soil.

  1. Insert the fork into the ground, keeping the tines as straight as possible.
  2. Apply pressure so that the tines sink around 10-15cm into the earth. Gently move the fork back and forth to make the holes slightly bigger.
  3. Repeat this action every inch or so over the surface of your soil.

Fork aeration is time-consuming, so it’s perfect if you’re aerating small compacted sections of your lawn – where the kids have been in goal, for example.

But for larger lawns, save yourself some time and use a roller or a machine.

Aeration machine

Lawn aeration machine

Ready for the big guns? If you have a large lawn or your soil is particularly compacted, an aerator machine is your best bet.

An aerator machine looks similar to an electric lawnmower or scarifier. Equipped with a petrol engine, aerator machines are effortless to use – literally gliding along your lawn’s surface.

Aerator machines use hollow tines that resemble an apple corer (hence the term “core aeration”) rather than a spike. The hollow tines create larger holes in the soil – around 1cm in diameter and 10cm deep into the ground – creating a longer-lasting soil aeration.

Aeration machines can be expensive, but you should be able to hire one.

TIP – Plan aeration with your neighbours and share the rental cost!

How deep into the soil do I need to go for effective aeration?

Aim for 10-15cm in depth for adequate aeration. If you’re using a spiked roller or aeration sandals, ensure that the entire spike sinks into the earth.
Can I aerate a new lawn?
Aerating stimulates deeper roots, sure, but it’s not a good idea to aerate a brand new lawn.

Wait until your grass plants have established a deep root system – so wait until year two before you aerate a new lawn for the first time.

Is aerating the same as scarifying?

Short answer: no. But there are similarities.

Aerating with hollow tines can affect the immediate look of your lawn – it may look a little holey afterwards. But scarifying is the next level of lawn care tasks – your lawn looks like it’s been chewed up by an enthusiastic mole after scarification.

However, your lawn recovers quickly if you do it when the grass is growing well – in early spring or autumn.

For more details about scarifications, check out this article.

What do you do after you aerate your lawn?

Your lawn will need a bit of a tidy-up after aerating, depending on the tool you’ve used. Spike aerating shouldn’t leave that much aesthetic damage, so tidying up is minimal.

But if you’ve used a mechanical solution, you’ll be left with a bit of a messy lawn surface.

Clean up the mess

Hollow tine aeration leaves tubular dints of grass and soil on the lawn’s surface. Some people leave those to dissolve back into the earth, but they look a little unsightly for a while. So, remove any dints with a rake if you want to tidy up your lawn’s surface.

Top dress the soil

Aeration leaves little holes in the soil. Add some well-rotted compost or organic fertiliser, which drops down into the holes. It’s an excellent opportunity to refresh the earth.

If you aerate in the soil, top dress your grass with a high-potassium autumn fertiliser, strengthening the turf and preparing your lawn for overwintering.

Sow bare spots

If you have bald spots around your lawn, post-aeration is a great time to overseed. Germination should be nice and prompt because the soil will receive the air, light, and nutrients it needs to promote faster growth.

Should I mow before aerating?

Quick answer: yes.

What is the best way to aerate your lawn?

Follow our step-by-step guide to aerating your lawn for the best results:

  1. Mow your grass as short as possible. However, never cut more than a ⅓ of the grass blade’s length to avoid stressing the plants.
  2. Aerate your lawn vertically and horizontally.
  3. Clean your tools, removing any lodged-in turf. You’ll thank yourself next time you aerate.
  4. Tidy up any detritus.
  5. Fill the gaps with a fertiliser or well-rotted compost to help nourish the soil.

How much does it cost to aerate a lawn?

A jar of money

Aeration is a reasonably simple procedure. The only special equipment you need is the aerator tool.

If you’re using a spike system – a roller or sandals – the initial investment is low: around £50 at the very most. Remember, look after your garden tools, and they’ll last for many years.

If you’re looking at hiring a mechanical aerator, it’s likely to cost around £100 for a weekend. Remember, plan your aerating with your neighbours and share the hire costs.

You could, of course, hire someone to aerate your lawn for you. But where’s the fun in that?

Are you ready to get aerating? Or do you have more questions?

We love hearing from you. If you have any further questions about aerating (or anything else lawn-related), get in touch, and we’ll gladly help!

Thanks for reading!

Grass Seed Vs Turf? Which is right for you?

You’re probably reading this blog because you’re thinking about renovating your lawn. You might have moved into a new property, and the grass is a mess. Or maybe you’re fed up with battling your old turf and want a quick fix? Grass seed vs turf: which is the winner for a long-lasting, gorgeous lawn that you can show off to your family and friends?

Let’s face it: we all want the type of manicured lawn we see in shows like Downton Abbey. But getting to that point of perfection requires a fair amount of work.

Whether you’re looking for a total overhaul of your existing lawn or are looking to start from scratch, the big question is always:

“Do I seed” or “Do I turf”?

This article explores the pros and cons of seeding and turfing, helping you make an informed decision about which way
is best for you.

The benefits of sowing grass

Sowing grass seed by hand

Let’s get straight to the point here: sowing seed is MUCH more affordable than buying
and laying turf. In general, sowing seed is at least ten times cheaper than turfing.

As a rough guide, this table will help determine the costs of grass seed vs turf in the UK in 2021:

TYPEAVERAGE COSTS PER m²
Budget turf£3+
Mid-range turf£5+
Premium turf£7+
Typical turf-laying/preparation labour costs£150-200 a day

How to lay turf

Laying turf requires a lot of preparation. Some of the associated tasks are:

  • Removing old turf/decking/paving
  • Skip hire (at the cost of around £100 up to £300 depending on the amount of discarded sod)
  • Replacing the topsoil (could be up to £30 per m²)

Of course, you can turf your lawn yourself, which will save you a considerable amount of money. But it’s a time-consuming task (if you do it right!).

If you’re considering getting the experts to do the whole job for you, you’re looking at around £500 for a 20m² lawn for turf and labour costs.

So, let’s compare that with the costs of grass seed

A jar of coins – Photo by Josh Appel on Unsplash

Of course, it’s essential to acknowledge that not all grass seed is the same. It’s possible to buy cheap grass seed and get good results.

But:

Cheap grass seed is cheap for a reason: the rate of germination is likely to be low.

So, for the best results, avoid the really cheap seed. This table should help you calculate how much it may cost to seed your new lawn.

TYPEAVERAGE COSTS PER m²
Cheap lawn seed16p
Mid-range lawn seed26p
Premium grass seed35p

We stock an excellent range of grass seeds at MOOWY, suitable for everyone’s budget, from our Power Lawn Grass Seed at around 26p per m² to our Premium Lawn Seed at about 35p per m².

Of course, our mid-range seed is super-efficient with a much higher germination rate than your average cheap seed.
Our grass seeds are developed by the company that produces lawn seed for FIFA, so you’ll get excellent, hardwearing results.

And remember: for premium outcomes, you need a premium seed.

But – big drawback:

Grass seed takes a while to establish

Sowing grass is at least ten times cheaper than turf. So, from a cost perspective, sowing is the way to go.

But, of course, seed takes a while to establish. With turf, you get an instant lawn.

How long does it take for grass seed to germinate?

moowy gras gazon

First and foremost, you need the right weather conditions to germinate grass seed. Grass plants go dormant during the winter after the temperature drops below 10ºC – so it stands to reason that they won’t germinate in those conditions.

For the best results, wait until the ambient temperature has reached a good, consistent 10ºC, so we’re talking roughly February until October.

However:

The soil temperature is more significant than the ambient temperature. Soil takes longer to warm up than the air, so it’s always wise to use a soil thermometer, even if we’ve had a mild January.

If your soil has reached 10ºC, then we’re go!

Once you’ve sown your grass seed (check this article for the lowdown on sowing), it should germinate within ten days. You’ll see the first signs of life at ten days – but don’t walk on it yet.

How soon can I walk on a newly seeded lawn?

Man walking on the lawn
Feet on grass – Photo by Joshua Rodriguez on Unsplash

Grass shoots are vulnerable to damage at first, so avoid treading on your new grass for at least four weeks.

And it’s best to wait a little longer before you start using it regularly – until after its third cutting, at least. This gives your new grass plants time to establish strong roots.

Cutting your new grass helps build resistance, but don’t mow it too short at first. Let it grow reasonably tall before the first cutting (around 5 inches).

Follow this table before walking on your new grass:

Grass seed sown. No visible sprouts.Avoid walking on the lawn.
First growth after 10 days.Avoid walking on the lawn.
Grass has grown to 3.5-5 inches.Mow to 3 inches weekly. Avoid walking on the lawn other than to mow.
Weekly mowing for at least 3 weeks (preferably 5)Regular foot traffic and everyday use.

So, we’re looking at around 5-6 weeks before your lawn is ready for regular use.

When can I first mow new grass seed?

Wait until the grass sprouts are at least 3.5 inches before the first mowing – 5 inches is better. If you mow too soon, your lawnmower could suck the seedlings out of the ground.

Set your cutter blades as high as possible for the first few cuttings. The general rule is:

Never cut more than ⅓ of the grass blade’s length.

Can I walk on turf straight away?

There’s certainly a bit of a waiting game with grass seed. So, how about for newly laid turf?

Surely you should be able to walk on turf straight away?

Well, no. Sorry to disappoint, but you shouldn’t walk on newly laid turf until it’s established – or you’ll end up killing the grass.

How long does it take for newly laid turf to establish?

The advantage of laying turf is that – aesthetically – you have an instant lawn.

But grass plants are only as strong as their roots.

So:

You shouldn’t walk on new turf for at least four weeks while the grass plants develop roots deep into your existing soil. This helps your grass plants strengthen and build resistance.

So, how long before I can walk on newly laid turf?

Wait at least four weeks before you submit your lawn to regular use.

Grass seed vs turf: which is the winner?

Trophee for winning
Photo by Giorgio Trovato on Unsplash

It depends on your needs, but – as you can see – it takes roughly the same amount of time to establish new grass seed as it does turf.

Grass seed is much cheaper, and your soil requires some preparation. It takes around 5-6 weeks and at least three mowings before it’s ready for regular use.

Turf, on the other hand, offers instant results. But you need to wait at least four weeks before the grass plants have developed roots.

Turf, of course, is much more expensive to buy and install.

Grass seed vs turf: which is better for smaller lawns?

Seed provides the most consistent look if you’re looking to repair your existing lawn (aka overseeding). If your lawn area is small, then seeding is probably the most cost-effective approach.

Bear in mind that there’s no instant fix either way- you have to wait at least a month before using a turfed lawn. So seed is the cheaper approach, and it doesn’t take that much longer until it’s ready for use.

Grass seed vs turf: which needs the most aftercare?

Both seed and turf require a degree of aftercare – mainly watering.
Never let the soil dry out because the grass will die.

Grass sprouts from seed are more vulnerable than turf: turf has already sprouted and established. But, either way, you’ll need to make sure that the soil gets enough water.

Check out this article for guidance on watering your lawn. Never let the soil dry out but make sure you don’t leave puddles on the surface.

Grass seed vs turf: the window for installation

Calender for lawn care
Photo by Debby Hudson on Unsplash

You can lay turf at any time of year, while you need to wait until February before you sow seed.

Turf is initially more robust in bad weather, while new grass seed can get washed away if there’s a heavy downpour before the seedlings have established. Seed can be disturbed by heavy wind, while strong wind shouldn’t affect your turf.

For these reasons, it’s better to wait for a period of decent weather before sowing from seed.

Grass seed vs turf: which is easier?

Both sowing grass seed and laying turf require preparation.

Laying turf is a lot more labour-intensive. The grass rolls are extremely heavy and usually delivered in a van or lorry.

Consider access to your back garden. No one wants to carry turf through the house to get to the lawn, after all.

Where access is poor, laying seed is – by far – the easier option.

Are you ready to get started yourself, or do you need more information?

We hope we’ve helped you decide which works best for you – grass seed
or turf? But if you have more questions, please get in touch.

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How Much Grass Seed Do I Need?

We’re going back to school a little for this week’s article, where we explore the frequently asked question: How much grass seed do I need?

But don’t let the spectre of large, echoey municipal corridors, wedgies, and the memory of fascistic prefects put you off. There’s no over stewed cabbage or stodgy puddings in the MOOWY school of calculations.

Working how much grass seed you need to either sow or overseed an existing lawn is a case of simple maths you learned at school. Hallelujah – for trigonometry finally has an application in real life.

In this article, we’ll show you how to calculate exactly how much grass seed you’ll need to start a new lawn from scratch or overseed for a perfect result every time.

Ready?

Exercise books open; pens at the ready. No talking at the back.

Does it matter how much lawn seed I use?

Well, this would certainly be a short article if it didn’t matter, of course.

First and foremost, it’s essential to understand the mathematical area of your lawn in terms of square metres.

That’s pretty easy with a square or rectangular lawn. But what happens if you have a circular or triangular lawn? Or even worse: an irregularly shaped lawn?

Don’t panic, because we’re going to explain how to work out the area of every lawn. And then, we’ll show you how to work out how much grass seed you need for perfect coverage.

But in answer to the question “does it matter how much lawn seed I use”:

  • if you use too little seed, the results will be patchy and inconsistent
  • if you use too much seed, it’s a waste because there’s only so many grass plants your soil can support

How much grass seed do I need for a rectangular lawn?

Calculations for a rectangular lawn

First, calculate the area

Working out the area of a rectangular lawn is the easiest to calculate. We use the same mathematical equation that most of us use when working out how much paint to buy to cover a wall.

All you need to do is:

  • Multiply the Length (L) by the Width (W)
  • The equation, therefore, is L x M

Our perfectly rectangular lawn above is 10m long (L) and 5m wide (W).

So that’s:

10 x 5

or

10 (L) x 5 (W)

Therefore, 10m x 5m = 50m² / 550ft² – that’s 50 square metres.

How do I convert area into rate of application?

This depends on whether you’re sowing a new lawn from scratch or overseeding an existing lawn. If you’re not sure, check out our article, The Ultimate Guide to Sowing Grass Seed.

The standard recommended application rates are:

  • 35g per square metre for sowing a new lawn
  • 25g per square metre for overseeding

Let’s calculate how much grass seed you need

We have all of the figures we need. Our lawn is 50m² / 550ft², and we know how much seed to use per square metre.

So, for sowing from scratch, your calculations will be:

50m (area) x 35g (rate of application)

On this occasion, it doesn’t matter that the units are different (i.e., metres x grams). We just multiply the figures, and the answer gives us the number of grams we need to sow from scratch.

So, 50 x 35 = 1750g (or 1.75kg).

If you’re overseeding, your calculations will be:

50m (area) x 25g (rate of application)

Therefore: 50 x 25 = 1250g (or 1.25kg).

And that’s it.

Once you know HOW MUCH seed you’ll need, you might need to know HOW TO sow or overseed grass seed. Check this article for the answer!

How much grass seed do I need for a circular lawn?

The principal is the same as before: square metres x application rate.

The application rate of:

  • 35g for sowing
  • 25g for overseeding

will always remain the same regardless of the shape of the lawn.

But this is where we need to revise our rudimentary grasp of trigonometry.

Trigonometry! It’s time for Pi!

Remember Pi? No, not the meat and potato variety: Π

Pi is that elusive number with no end – at least, that’s what we were taught in school. We were told that Pi had an infinite number of decimal places, making it quite hard to use in a mathematical equation.

The number Pi on a blackboard

But in March 2019, there was a “Pi Day Miracle” – one of Google’s employees, Emma Haruka Iwao, discovered (don’t ask me how!) that Pi has:

31,415, 926, 535,897 decimal places. We can round that down to 31.4 trillion decimal places.

If you’re super-keen to discover HOW Emma Haruka Iwao worked that out, check out this fascinating article.

Otherwise, let’s move on.

Let’s just call Π (for the ease of calculations) 3.14

How to calculate the area of a circular lawn

A circular lawn

To calculate the area of a circle, you need to know the Radius (R).

Remember: the Radius (the distance from the centre of the circle to the edge) is exactly half the length of the diameter (the distance across the circle, cutting through the centre).

The formula is:

R x R x Π

Or

R² Π

Let’s say our circular lawn is 5 metres wide across the centre.

Circular lawn

To work out the Radius, we need to halve the Diameter (D). In this case:

5m (D) ÷ 2 = 2.5m

Or

½ x 5 = 2.5

So, our Radius is 2.5m.

To calculate the area of the circle, we need to “square” the Radius (or multiply it by itself) and then multiply that by Pi.

2.5m² (or 2.5 x 2.5) x 3.14 (Pi)

So,
2.5m² x 3.14 = 19.625

That means that the area of our circular lawn is 19.625m². We can round that up to 19.63m², or even 20m² if it’s easier.

For ease of calculation, let’s round it up to 20m².

Multiply your area by the rate of application

The application rate is always going to be the same: 35g for sowing, 25g for overseeding.

So, if our circular lawn is 20m²:

  • For sowing, it’s 20 x 35 = 700g
  • For overseeding, it’s 20 x 25 = 500g

Simple.

How much grass seed do I need for a triangular lawn?

The area of a triangular lawn is actually really simple to calculate because a triangle is always half of a square (or a rectangle).

Triangular lawn

In this case, we don’t need to measure the long edge of the triangle (the hypotenuse) because we have the measurements for the length (L) and width (W).

Use precisely the same formula for calculating the area of a square (L x W), but then divide the answer by 2.

Ie, 10 x 5 = 50m² / 550ft²
÷ 2 = 25m²

Again, use the same application rate calculations to work out how much grass seed to use.

Calculating how much grass seed for an irregularly-shaped lawn

If your lawn is irregular in shape, it’s a little harder to work out the area. But there are some ways that you can estimate it.

It’s always better to overestimate than underestimate. All MOOWY grass seeds come in a resealable, air-tight bag, which helps prolong the lifespan of the seed. So, if you do buy too much, just keep the remainder sealed and use it for overseeding next year.

There are two main methods of calculating the area of an irregular lawn. The first is less accurate (but easier), while the second is more accurate but requires a little more work.

Guestimate the size of your lawn

Regardless of the shape of the lawn, most lawns kind of fit into a square.

Irregular lawn

Calculate the length and width of the lawn in the same way as you would for a standard square, using the L x W formula.

Then you’ll need to estimate how much of that square is lawn – perhaps, in this case, it’s around 75%. Remember, it’s better to err on the side of caution, so add an extra 5% for safety.

Once you’ve estimated the area, apply the same rate of application rates according to your needs.

Draw a more accurate plan

The second approach to calculating the area of an irregular lawn is to draw a more accurate plan using graph paper.

Irregular grid lawn

In this garden, the lawn is 11 metres long at its longest and 7 metres wide. Each square represents a square meter, so draw your lawn shape to scale onto the graph paper.

Count how many squares are fully covered by lawn. Then estimate how many cover half of the square. Don’t worry about being too precise here.

We calculate around 26 total squares and 30 partial squares here. So, we could halve the square footage of each partial square, bringing us to 15 sq m.

Therefore, 26 + 15 = 41m²

Again, use the rate of application according to your needs to calculate how much grass seed you need.

Ready to get sowing?

Hopefully, you’ve got everything you need to calculate how much grass seed you’ll need for your seeding project. But we’re always happy to help.

If you need any assistance, just get in touch.

We’re looking forward to hearing from you.