The 5 Most Common Lawn Problems (and how to overcome them!)

Everyone wants a beautiful lawn, but we often face obstacles that feel like they’re difficult to overcome. Perhaps your lawn floods in heavy rain? Maybe your grass is patchy, with areas that just won’t grow? Read on – for we’re here to address the five most common lawn problems.

Few of us are lucky enough to have a lawn that looks after itself. And, in the end, we just resign ourselves to the fact that we’re unlikely ever to have a lawn like Downton Abbey.

Well, this article is about the 5 most common lawn problems, with solutions to overcome them. So, no matter what your lawn looks like right now, it IS possible to improve it.

Ready? Let’s go.

Lawn Problem #1: Poor growth in the shade

You probably don’t worry too much about shade if you have a south-facing garden. However, your grass possibly struggles to grow at the bottom of the garden where your fence shades your lawn.

But for the rest of us, we have to deal with full or partial shade over our lawns. And grass just doesn’t seem to grow as well if it doesn’t get full sun.

This problem is easily solved because it’s likely a grass variety issue.

Perennial ryegrass and red fescue are particularly shade-tolerant, so these are the varieties that will grow well in darker areas of your garden. However, you probably don’t want to buy several types of seed and apply them to different areas of your lawn, depending on the light it receives.

MOOWY’s Shade and Sun grass seed is the perfect solution. With a high percentage of perennial ryegrass and red fescue (with a touch of Kentucky Bluegrass), Shade and Sun provides excellent coverage in the shade AND thrives in full sun.

Check out our article: How to improve your lawn in a shaded garden for more information.

Lawn Problem #2: My lawn keeps flooding

Flooded lawn surrounding fruit trees
Flooded lawn – Photo by Kokhan O on Shutterstock

There could be many reasons why your lawn might flood. The two main ones are:
Your soil is too heavy or compacted
The surface is uneven

Heavy clay soil

Clay soil is usually high in nutrients (good times), but it acts like a sponge and retains water (bad times). This means that clay soils become heavy and waterlogged, and they can lack oxygen, which is essential for healthy growth.

This all adds up to a bit of a pain in the neck for your grass plants, which can die in flooded lawns.

The best way to tackle heavy clay soil is to aerate the earth regularly. Aeration is a process of making holes in the soil surface, bringing air into the roots of your grass plants.

There are several ways to aerate, from digging the tines of your garden fork into the lawn surface to using specialised aeration tools.

For more information on aeration, check out our expert article.

Flooding due to an uneven soil surface

Sometimes puddles occur in your lawn wherever the soil level dips. Unevenness commonly happens around heavy use areas – the goal area on a football pitch often wears down quickly.

A quick fix is to sprinkle some topsoil over the dip in your lawn while overseeding with an appropriate seed mix.

But if your lawn is very unlevel, you might need to renovate the entire lawn. Check out our article about how to level out your lawn.

Lawn problem #3: Patches of your lawn keep dying

Patchy lawn
Patchy lawn – Photo by Floki on Shutterstock

There are many reasons why patches of your lawn die. But the main clue is often in the shape of the patch.

You could have an infestation of chafer grubs or leatherjackets, which can be treated with pesticides. However, many chemical pesticides are prohibited for domestic use – often solely licenced to professional pest controllers.

However, it is possible to tackle pest infestations with biological solutions, such as nematodes. Check out our articles on tackling chafer grubs and leatherjackets for some inspiration.

Alternatively, patches of dying grass could result from animal urine, such as dog or fox wee. Some animal urines are high in nitrogen, which can kill your grass.

And while there are some old wives’ tales that suggest spreading human male urine around the perimeter of your garden will prevent foxes from visiting, there’s limited evidence to suggest it works.

And you probably don’t want your garden smelling like a latrine.

If your garden is troubled by foxes at night, you could try an electronic device to scare them away.

And check out our expert article on repairing your patchy lawn.

Lawn problem #4: My lawn is pale and looking sorry for itself

Pale grass and poor growth
Pale grass and poor growth – Photo by SingjaiStocker on Shutterstock

Discoloured grass is usually an indication of poor nourishment. If your grass is going yellow or brown, it could need fertilising.

First, it’s wise to rule out dehydration by checking the moisture level of your lawn. Your grass is a plant, and it needs at least 4cm of water every week to thrive. So, if the earth is dry, give your lawn a hosing.

However, if your soil is moist and you’re watering your lawn regularly, the discolouration is most likely a nutrient deficiency problem.

Luckily, nutrient deficiency is easily remedied using a good quality fertiliser. Remember, over fertilising can scorch your grass, so if you’re already fertilising your lawn and it’s still going yellow or brown, it could be that you’re overdoing it.

Check out our excellent article on how to fertilise your lawn.

Lawn problem #5: My lawn is full of moss and weeds

Mossy lawn
Mossy lawn – Photo by Ingo Bartussek on Shutterstock

If your lawn has become spongy underfoot, you could have a problem with moss. Moss can feel quite nice to walk on, but don’t let it overtake your lawn because it suffocates your grass plants.

Moss grows in a thick layer over the soil surface and eventually kills your grass, so it’s a bad idea to leave it to grow because it reduces your lawns resistance to disease, weeds, and pests.

Mossy lawns are often troubled by weeds, which take advantage of your lawn’s vulnerable condition. In combination, moss and weeds significantly stunt your grass’s growth.

There is a simple solution, however.

Firstly, you could scarify your lawn, removing the thatch layer and ripping up the weeds from their roots. Secondly, add moss killer – MOOWY’s 2-in-1 moss killer and fertiliser ensures that the damage done to the lawn from scarifying is repaired with extra nutrients while killing off your moss problem.

Check out our expert guide to scarifying your lawn.

Ready to start working on your lawn? Or do you need some more help?

We hope we’ve given you some good solutions to the most common lawn problems. But get in touch if you have any questions.

Alternatively, check out our extensive Help section.

Thanks for reading.

How to level your garden: a step-by-step guide

Does looking at your lawn give you sea-sickness? Are there waves of ground where you’d love a perfectly flat surface? Eventually, every lawn becomes somewhat uneven; maybe soggy patches sink, or heavy use areas get worn down. It’s time to think about how to level your garden.

You might be thinking about creating a raised terrace area or laying new turf? If you don’t level the ground first, the results will be disappointing.

Levelling your garden is one of the tasks we all have to face at some stage, and this article is all about what it is and how to do it. You might wonder whether it’s a task you can do for yourself or one to outsource to a professional? All the answers are neatly tucked into this article.

Ready? Let’s learn how to level a garden.

What is levelling a garden?

Levelling your garden is the process of starting from scratch with your lawn. Essentially, you clear out your existing turf to level out the soil surface.

Don’t panic! It takes a lot of work, but the results can be spectacular. It can make a grotty old patch of grass look like a Wimbledon tennis court.

Levelling the garden may be too much work for you to do for yourself. If you love a project, it’s perfect. Or you might consider hiring a professional to carry out this heavy task.

Either way, it’s helpful to understand what the process is to ensure that you get value for money.

Why should I level my garden?

Large Puddle on Lawn
large puddle in lawn

You’ll know that your soil surface is uneven if there are:

  • Sunken areas around your lawn
  • Soggy patches that quickly form into puddles
  • Soil subsidence, often as a result of tree roots

If you’re considering laying a patio or decking, you definitely need a level surface. Otherwise, the slabs or decks will sink unevenly, and it will look a bit of a mess in a couple of years.

Level ground helps your lawn to drain sufficiently. Grass that sits beneath puddles of water for more than a couple of days is likely to die if it happens repeatedly.

When to level your garden

Construction Worker Checking Level Of Wood With Spirit Level While
Construction worker checking level of wood with spirit level while coworker looking at it

It’s necessary to level your soil surface if you’re:

  • Landscaping your garden: landscaping needs precision to be fully effective, especially if you’re laying paths, patios, or decking.
  • Building a shed or a garden office: your new building requires structural integrity. You’ll need a perfectly level surface before you begin your building project. For best results, lay a concrete base.
  • Renovating your lawn: there’s little point in renovating your lawn unless you level out the surface. Otherwise, the efforts of scarifying, liming, eliminating weeds and moss, draining, and aerating will produce lacklustre results.
  • Sowing new grass: tilling the soil makes the soil workable and brings oxygen into the earth. This needs completing before you sow new grass seed.
  • Laying turf: new turf looks beautiful if laid on well-prepared soil. But it will highlight the imperfections if the ground is uneven.
  • Laying artificial grass: Ideally, it’s wise to lay a deck on top of your existing soil – this will provide a perfectly level platform to lay your synthetic grass. It looks awful on uneven surfaces.
  • Building a swimming pool or pond: this larger project requires full excavation of the earth, with hardcore to help the soil bear the weight of 1000+ litres of water. However, if you’re using material soil liner, you’ll also need to ensure that no stones or roots could penetrate the liner in the future.
  • Laying gravel: gravel is naturally organic in appearance, but it still requires a level surface. Otherwise, the stones will travel, and bare patches will appear over time.
  • Laying the foundations for a carport or garage: it stands to reason that you need a level surface for building projects. Levelling your garden is an essential first step in the process.
  • Building a play area: if you’re putting a trampoline, slide, swing set, or monkey bars in your garden, you’ll need levelness for structural integrity. A trampoline, for example, requires its legs to be evenly supported all the way around the base; otherwise, the body of the trampoline becomes weak, and it can be dangerous.
  • Filling in a pond: if you’re reintegrating the area into your lawn, it needs a level surface; otherwise, it will be uneven as the grass grows.

How to level a garden in 10 easy steps

Levelling the garden is a big job, and it takes a fair amount of time. But it’s completely worth the effort.
Follow our 10-step process, and you’ll do a great job.

Step 1: Get prepared

Because this is one of the larger garden jobs, it’s helpful to have all of the appropriate tools and materials at hand before you start. That way, you can avoid endless trips back to the garden centre!

Gather together your supplies, and make a plan of action. Keep an eye on the weather forecast; it’s best to avoid the rain.

Before you start levelling, the soil needs to be dry – a heavy rain shower can cause real problems and considerable delays. Waterlogged soil is extremely heavy and difficult to dig.

Step 2: Mark the ground

Place stakes in the ground to help delineate the areas for levelling.

Step 3: Remove the mess

If you’re completely renovating your garden, starting from scratch is better. If you just lay topsoil on top of existing turf, all of the old problems will return: weeds, moss, flooding.

Clear the ground of bushes, leaves, and stones. Remove these from your garden altogether – take them to your landfill site if you can.
Remove the existing turf using a spade – or an industrial digger if you have a large garden.

Step 4: Prepare the surface

Using a spade, digger, or tilling machine, work the soil surface. Dig to a depth of 15-20cm, mixing the surface soil. This helps break up the soil texture, making it more workable while aerating the earth for healthy foundations for your new grass plants.

Step 5: Find the ground’s highest point

Find the highest point of your tilled soil and tension a string at that precise height between the posts placed in step 2. Use a spirit level and tension several strings across the length and width of the soil.

You can, of course, find the level by eye, but this is more difficult than it sounds. It’s definitely better to have some guides to help.

Step 6: Top up the topsoil

Add good quality topsoil to the existing earth and level out the surface. If you’re adding paving, sprinkle a thick layer of sand on top of the soil, which will help maintain the levelness over time.

TIP: Don’t recycle your garden soil at this stage. Make sure that your topsoil is guaranteed to be weed-free.

Step 7: Even out the surface

Keep to the height indicated with the string from step 5. Use a rake or even a long plant to level the soil surface.

Step 8: Roll the earth

Once the soil surface is even, tamp the ground firmly. You can do this by hitting it with the back of a spade for small areas. For larger areas, use a roller.

Step 9: Let the soil rest

Let the newly laid earth settle for a few days before moving on to the next stage of your project. This ensures that the surface is perfectly level without any sunken areas.

Step 10: Water

If you’re laying a new lawn, either with turf or grass seed, ensure that the soil is moist. Water the soil lightly before turfing or sowing new seed if it hasn’t rained since rolling.

How to level a garden: Levelling with a digger

Loosening the soil in the garden beds with an electric hand-held cultivator
Loosening the soil in the garden beds with an electric hand-held cultivator

All that digging may seem rather back-breaking, so it’s possible to use a digging machine, which makes lighter work of removing the existing turf.

You probably have an industrial-sized digger in your head, but a mini-digger is all you really need for a garden.

A machine like this makes light work of tilling the soil and removing turf.

How to level a garden: Levelling your soil by hand

Levelling by hand is obviously much harder. You’ll need a good quality spade and a rake. You’ll also need a wheelbarrow and a spirit level.

You can level soil by patting the back of the spade’s blade onto the surface until it’s firm and flat. Don’t overdo this – you just want the surface firm enough so it won’t be disturbed by the wind.

How to level a garden: Levelling a sloping garden

Mowing trim green grass on lawn hill with lawnmower
Gardening care, mowing trim green grass on lawn hill with lawnmower.

Remember, very few gardens are entirely flat, so this applies to many garden levelling projects.

Place a wooden stake at the highest point of the slope; with another at the lowest. You’ll need a longer stake for the lower end.

Tension a piece of string between the two stakes; making sure that the line is level – use a spirit level or a laser level. There should be no slack. Otherwise, the string will sink in the middle.

The lowest end of the lawn will need reinforcing with sleepers or planks to the height of the highest level of the soil. This will ensure the ground doesn’t sink downwards with gravity.

Fill out the soil, using the string as a guide.

How to level a garden: The tools you’ll need.

If you’re considering carrying out the work for yourself, use this checklist to make sure you have everything you’re going to need at Step 1 of the process:

  1. Spade
  2. Rake
  3. Wheelbarrow
  4. Spirit level (or laser level)
  5. Garden soil
  6. Picket posts
  7. Thin rope
  8. Lawn roller
  9. Knee pads
  10. Gardening gloves

If you’re going to lay a new lawn, you’ll need:

How much does it cost to level a garden?

If you’re doing the work for yourself, the main costs are for topsoil and any tools you don’t already have.

Measure your lawn area precisely to calculate how much topsoil you’re likely to need. Don’t estimate it; use a tape measure. And measure it twice to ensure you’ve got the correct figures to work with.

If you’re laying turf, you’ll need a minimum of 15cm of good quality topsoil. If you’re filling in a relatively small surface area, you might be OK using bagged topsoil from a garden centre, costing around 20p per litre.

However, if you’re levelling a sloping garden, you’d be better off ordering topsoil from a specialist company that will deliver and drop the soil into your garden for you.

Roughly speaking, topsoil can cost between £20 to more than £80 per tonne.

If you’re paying a professional to level your garden, it’s likely to cost around £1500. Of course, it depends on the size of your lawn.

It generally costs around £800 for a 40m² garden if it’s not sloping.

Ready to get started?

We hope we’ve given you all the information you need to plan your garden levelling project. But if you still have questions, we’d love to hear from you.

Just email us, and we’ll get back to you asap!

Thanks for reading!

How to level a garden: FAQs

Q. How do you level a garden without a digger?
You’ll need: stakes and string, a garden spade, a rake, a spirit level, topsoil, a wheelbarrow, and a roller.

Q. Do I need planning permission to level my garden?
You don’t usually require planning permission for ground-level projects, such as erected decking, patios, or relaying turf. However, decking needs to be less than 30cm above ground level.

Q. Are you allowed to raise the entire level of your garden?
Always check before substantially raising the level of your garden. In general, increasing the ground level may require planning permission. If you’re levelling out a sloping garden, you may not need permission, but it depends on whether you affect your neighbours’ view.

Inspiring lawn designs and backyard styling!

Now that Christmas is done and dusted, our thoughts often turn to changes we might make for the coming year. And while some of us might don tracksuits and hit the streets Rocky Bilboa-style, change can come in far more sedate, tranquil guises. Perhaps it’s time to consider some inspiring lawn designs for 2022?

Whether your lawn is the perfect square or rectangle, there’s a lot to gain from considering less conventional configurations for our gardens or backyards. And if you don’t have a lawn at all, there are lots of ways of bringing vegetation into your stony haven.

This article is all about thinking outside of the box and exploring some inspiring lawn designs that could influence how you transform your garden in 2022.

Let’s go!

Garden lighting

Funky garden lighting
Funky garden lighting – Photo by AsiaCultureCentre on Unsplash

Re-imagining your garden or outdoor space doesn’t always require a large infrastructure project. In fact, as we all hear so often, less is more.

So, it’s worth considering how you might transform your garden with lighting.

LED technology has come on a LOT in the past decade. And it’s now possible to light your garden with low-powered LEDs without running up huge electricity bills.

Festoon lighting

Festoon lighting
Festoon lighting – Photo by Philip Moore on Unsplash

Festoon lighting provides a surprising amount of light. So, if there’s a corner of your garden (or yarden) that feels primed for late-night parties or chill-out sessions, add a little twinkle with these weather-proof string lights.

There are festoon lights that suit every budget, from as low as around £20 upwards.

Add a little techie angle to your festoons, and introduce colour-changing bulbs or even remote-controlled lights that work on a timer.

And with a range of bulb types, from your basic filament globe to industrial-looking squirrel cage bulbs, there are plenty of ways to personalise your outdoor space.

Solar-powered LEDs

Mains-powered festoon LEDs require access to power, of course, which could mean drilling a hole in your door frame, or threading cables through windows.

It can get a bit messy. And if you’re looking for a tidier alternative, solar-powered LEDs could be the way ahead.

Solar-powered lights rely on a good 8-hours of fairly direct sunlight to charge the batteries fully each day, so you’ll get less light hours from your bulbs during the winter.

However, you’re less likely to regularly use your garden during winter evenings, so solar-powered lighting might make sense for a greener way to light your back yard.

Traditionally, solar-powered LEDs were a little weedy in terms of light output. And while they’re always going to be less bright than LEDs attached to your main power grid, you can buy some excellent solar-powered festoon lighting that offers lovely ambient light all around your garden.

This model has a USB-C connector, which means you can charge the batteries from the mains if sunlight fails you on an important occasion like a family get-together when you’d like to show off your garden.

Pathways to shape your lawn

Paths to shape your lawn
Brick paths to shape your lawn – Photo by Andrey tiyk on Shutterstock

This lawn could easily have remained a boring rectangle. But these dual paths offer some organic curvature that creates aesthetic interest. The perfectly kempt grass is framed by these exquisitely laid brick paths, inviting your eye to travel all the way to the raised patio and rockery.

Right angles are rare in nature (let’s not get into crystal formations or basalt columns). Yet we all too often insist on square or rectangular lawns.

Sure, right angles are neat, but if you’re looking to add visual interest to your garden, aiming for more organic curves can be a real winner.

Circular lawn divided into sections
Circular lawn divided into sections – Photo by Josh Power on Unsplash

Pathways to preserve your lawn

If you have cats, you’ll probably notice that they take the shortest route from the bottom to the top of your garden every time – and they likely wear a little path into your lawn.

lawn pathway
Cat path – Photo by Mike Heath

Well, cats are very wise animals, and they’ll often find the shortest path, which – instinctively – we humans also follow.

Avoid the damage of those natural paths by installing paving that follows that same trajectory. Think crazy paving for a fun approach, or something more stylish and neater made from brick or wood, such as:

brick pathing gray
Beautiful brick pathing – Photo by Ricardo Gomez Angel on Unsplash
Stunning brick mosaic paving
Stunning brick mosaic paving- Photo by DDP on Unsplash
Wood path
Wood path – Photo by AePatt Journey on Shutterstock

A well-curated path can bring breathtaking beauty to your garden, enhancing the appearance of your lawn while preserving the integrity of your grass plants.

Garden zoning

Large or long thin gardens can look a little featureless without some careful consideration. So, it’s worth thinking about breaking up your garden into zones.

Divide a long and narrow garden into three distinct spaces, with a patio close to the house, a lawn in the middle, and a raised decking area at the far end. This works especially well for west-facing gardens, as the sunlight creeps along the length of the yard throughout the day.

Zoning in this way provides:

  • Some beautiful sunlight in the morning on the patio
  • Afternoon sun as you lounge on the lawn
  • Early evening sun on the raised decking area

Zoning makes a large garden less overwhelming.

Zoned garden
Zoned garden – Photo by Roger Heath

This garden is around an acre in size, but has been divided into sections. Along the bottom end is a secret garden with a log cabin to the left, a patio with a pergola along the middle, and a potting shed to the right. Along the right hand strip of the garden is a little orchard area with a greenhouse, enclosed by a flower bed. The middle section is lawn. The top end of the garden has another patio with a pergola and a large fish pond for coy carp.

Each section is divided by a low wall, hedge, picket fence, or a flower bed, adding interest and texture to the overall look and feel of the garden.

Plants

Finally, a garden that’s “all lawn” can look a little lost. Some people prefer to avoid garden plants because they think they require too much maintenance. Indeed, bedding plants do require decent earth, the right amount of light, and a fairly consistent weeding regime.

Potted plants look great in small gardens or back yards, and can negate the need for high-maintenance flower beds. Pots are often easier to look after than bedding plants, although they’re likely to require more regular watering as pots dry out more quickly than your garden soil.

Adding plants, shrubs, bushes, and trees provide an excellent way to build texture in your garden, providing colour throughout the year. Think about berry-producing shrubs that provide autumnal nourishment for birds, and flowers that attract bees.

potted plant garden
Potted plant garden – Photo by adriana carles on Unsplash

Ready to get started?

We hope we’ve given you some inspiring lawn designs and plenty to get you planning your garden renovation. Of course, we love hearing from you, so if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch!

Thanks for reading!

Creating a new lawn from scratch (including a step-by-step plan!)

Is your lawn looking tired and unloved (despite your many efforts)? Perhaps you’ve moved into a new home, and the previous residents severely neglected the garden? It might be time to think about creating a new lawn from scratch?

Now, don’t panic – it’s not as complicated a task as you might think. But you need to understand:

  • How to prepare your soil
  • Your soil type and the micro-climate
  • What type of grass seed is most suited to your soil, your needs, and your climate

This article explains everything you need to know about laying a new lawn – guiding you through the process in ten easy steps.

Ready? Let’s go!

Laying a lawn: what you need to know

green lush lawn

Before you pick up a single garden tool or buy your grass seed, it’s important to consider our checklist:

  • What is the lawn going to be used for?
  • What type of soil do you have?
  • Is your lawn in full sun or in the shade? Or both?
  • What type of grass you’re hoping for
  • How large is your lawn going to be?

What is the lawn going to be used for?

This seems like an odd question, but it’s actually crucial to consider the likely purpose of your lawn.

Are you looking for a purely ornamental lawn – that quintessential English manicured lawn look? Bear in mind that this type of lawn isn’t usually suited to heavy use.

Or will your lawn see a lot of springtime and summer activities, such as ball games, BBQs, and family get-togethers?

The level of use determines the perfect type of seed you’ll need.

What type of soil do you have?

Lawn soil in pair of hands

Each UK region has a different predominant soil type, ranging from heavy clay to sandy.

It’s helpful to recognise your soil type because it dictates the preparations you’ll need to make, the variety of grass that will thrive, and the type of fertiliser/soil improver you should use.

Clay soil

Clay soils are nutrient-rich but moisture-retentive. This means that your soil contains most of the necessary nutrients for healthy grass but requires regular aeration to assist with drainage; otherwise, it could flood.

In the winter, clay soils are wet and cold, while they bake dry in the summer.

Sandy soil

Sandy soils drain extremely well and probably don’t need aerating as regularly. However, nutrients are easily washed away from sandy soil, so you may need to fertilise the ground more frequently.

Sandy soils often lean towards the acidic side of the pH table, which can inhibit the healthy growth of your grass plants. You’ll need to add lawn lime to balance the pH.

Silt soil

Silt soils are light and fertile but also moisture-retentive, which easily compacts. Compacted soil inhibits the growth of deep roots, reducing the resistance of your grass plants.

Loam soil

Loamy soil is the best of both worlds – it’s a mix of clay, sand, and silt. This soil type drains well but holds its nutrients, giving it excellent fertility.

Creating a new lawn: adding organic matter

Adding organic matter such as leafmould or compost to your earth helps improve the soil consistency – it loosens up clay soil and improves the drainage, while it helps sandy soil hold onto its moisture.

There’s a simple way to determine your soil type:

  • Take a handful of soil and squeeze it in your palm for a couple of seconds
  • Release your palm
  • If the soil falls apart again, you have light, sandy soil. You have heavy clay soil if the earth holds together in a perfect replica of your inner clenched fist.

Knowing your soil type helps determine which fertilisers to use and whether you need to add organic improvers.

Creating a new lawn: which type of grass seed should you use?

Sowing grass seed by hand

Once you’ve established your soil type and the intended purpose of your new lawn, you can make some decisions about the variety of grass seeds to use.

There are many different types of grass seeds on the market, and it can be tempting to go for the cheapest brand you can get hold of. But, like most things in life, you get what you pay for, and it’s often a false economy to go for entry-level products.

Generally, cheap seed has a low germination rate, and the resulting grass plants lack the resistance of premium seed. MOOWY’s grass seeds range in price and offer high-resistance lawns that last for years.

Creating a high-use lawn

If you’re looking for grass that will tolerate intensive use, such as ball games, you need a grass-type that’s durable and grows densely.

MOOWY’s Sports & Fun grass seed is produced by the same company that supplied grass seed for the FIFA 2018 World Cup stadiums. Sports & Fun germinates quickly and grows densely, meaning it’s up for a proper beating – perfect for children to run around on and play games.

And if the grass gets damaged, it recovers quickly and is strong enough to survive a harsh British winter.

But we all know that British weather is unpredictable! Sports & Fun is robust enough to endure both drought and heavy rainfall.

Creating a shady lawn

Shaded garden with a green lawn

If your lawn is south-facing, you’ll enjoy all-day sunshine. But not everyone is that lucky, with shaded gardens that get dappled sunlight due to trees, shrubs, and other obstacles, such as buildings.

Of course, there are benefits to shaded gardens: they never get too hot, and – in general – they’re reasonably private due to the proliferation of trees and shrubs that throw the shade across the grass.

But most grass types need lots of sun.

Luckily, MOOWY’s Shade & Sun grass seed is designed to thrive in lawns in full or partial shade. With a high mix of red fescue and Kentucky bluegrass (don’t worry – it’s not blue!), Shade & Sun is hardy enough to thrive with little direct sunlight.

Perhaps your existing lawn struggles to grow underneath a shady tree? Try overseeding with Shade & Sun in the shaded areas for excellent coverage.

And check out our article about growing grass in shaded areas.

Creating an ornamental lawn

If you want the type of quintessential manicured English lawn that you see in the grounds of Downton Abbey, you need MOOWY’s Premium Lawn grass seed.

Ornamental lawns are, by nature, low-use lawns – not intended as play lawns. However, this grass type – high in fine-leafed red fescue – feels like a carpet to walk on.

Tolerant to much shorter mowing, this is the type of grass you might see on a golf putting green. And it grows more slowly than your average lawn, so it requires less mowing.

Patching up your existing lawn

Maybe you don’t want to start from scratch? Perhaps you’re looking to overseed your existing lawn?

First, it’s essential to clear your existing lawn of moss, thatch, and weeds, so it will need a good scarification to prepare for overseeding. This involves removing the thatch layer that sits on the topsoil.

MOOWY’s Power Lawn grass seed germinates rapidly, producing a hardy lawn that will last through extreme weather and heavy use, with strong resistance to disease and fungi.

Creating a new lawn in 10 easy steps

It’s time to get to work!

Step 1: Remove Weeds!

You need a clean slate before you re-lay your lawn. Chances are, you’re going to need to remove the old turf (Step 2), but you’ll still need to kill off the weeds to ensure their roots don’t endure beyond all of your efforts!

So, remove the weeds by hand (possibly with a weed remover tool) or with a permitted weed killer.

If you’re using a chemical weed killer, make sure you use one that doesn’t affect new seeds; otherwise, it will prevent your new seed from germinating.

Step 2: Remove the old turf

digging up old turf

This is a little back-breaking but well worth the effort. If you’re laying a new lawn over old, weedy turf, then it’s best to remove it with a turf lifter.

Step 3: Plough and level the soil

Once you’ve removed the old turf, it’s time to plough the soil using a rotavator. You need to go down to a depth of 20-25cm, so it’s a fair old task to do by hand. You can, of course, turn the top layer of soil with a fork, but it’s pretty back-breaking.

You can, of course, hire a rotavator; that’s much quicker and easier.

Once you’ve turned the soil over, give it two weeks to settle. Try not to walk on the earth too much during this period, but give it a good watering to help it settle.

This two-week window is essential for optimal results because it will give any weeds remaining in the earth time to spring back to life. Remove them by hand, then level out the surface with a rake or levelling tool.

This is also the stage to address your soil type. Adding soil improver, such as well-rotted (weed-free) compost, will help improve drainage for clay soil and moisture-retention for sandy soil.

Then, use a roller to ensure a flat, even soil surface.

Step 4: Fertilise your soil

Give your new seed an optimal chance to germinate and establish by fertilising the soil before you sow. MOOWY’s Lawn Starter fertiliser contains plenty of phosphorus, promoting root development for disease- and drought-resistant grass.
Use 25g per m², and rake it in.

Time of yearAt what stage?Which fertiliser?
Feb-OctWhen sowingLawn Starter
March-Oct8 weeks after sowingEasy Mow
Sept-OctEach year before winterAll-Round

Once established, fertilise your new lawn three times within the first year – twice in the first growing season. Then, fertilise three to four times a year moving forward. Check out our complete guide to fertilising your lawn.

Step 5: Sowing your new grass

Sowing grass seed with spreader

This is the fun bit: sowing your new grass seed. Sow by hand if you have a small lawn or use a spreader for a larger surface area.

Click here for our in-depth guide to sowing grass seed, but to summarise:

  1. You’ll need 34g of seed per m². Calculate how much you’ll need before you start sowing.
  2. Divide the seed into two measures. Sprinkle the first part lengthwise across the soil and the second part widthwise, covering the same area.
  3. Lightly rake the grass seed to ensure optimal soil contact. Don’t cover the seed with soil – it won’t germinate evenly.

Step 6: Press the grass seed

Use a lawn roller to press the seed onto the soil surface. You can do this with your feet if you have a smaller lawn.

You need direct contact between the seed and the soil surface for best results. This stops the seed from getting washed away when it rains or when you water.

Step 7: Water!

watering the lawn with a watering system in summer

It’s better to water lightly four times a day than to water heavily once a day; otherwise, you risk disturbing the seed, which will create an uneven covering.

Keep watering daily until the seeds germinate. This should take around two weeks.

Step 8: Reseed bald spots

Despite your efforts, some seed is likely to have moved during the process of sowing, so you may notice a few bald spots around your new lawn.

Wait two weeks after initial germination to determine whether there are, indeed, any bald spots. And overseed those patches with new seed.

TIP: When buying grass seed, buy 10% more than you actually need. This allows you to overseed later if required.

Step 9: The first mowing

Leave it 21 days after the grass has germinated before you mow, and avoid walking on your new grass plants during this time.

Never cut more than ⅓ of the length of the grass blade, or you’ll weaken the plant. If you want your grass shorter, wait a few days and mow another ⅓ of the length. Cutting every 3 to 5 days makes your grass grow faster.

Step 10: Limit lawn treading

You should avoid walking on your grass seed throughout its entire first season to ensure you don’t damage the vulnerable young plants. Give it a good few months before you start using your lawn, and it will repay you with many years of beautiful service.

New lawn aftercare

Your new lawn should give you many years of happy times! But, for optimal results, it’s essential to instil a good maintenance regime.

To maintain your lawn, ensure that you:

  • Mow regularly
  • Fertilise the earth three to four times a year
  • Neutralise acidity with lawn lime once a year
  • Scarify every year (or every other year)
  • Overseed whenever bald patches appear – this will help prevent moss and weed infestations
  • Water your lawn during dry spells

Ready to get started? Or do you need more information?

We hope we’ve given you a good outline of the do’s and don’t’s to successfully create a new lawn from scratch. But if you’ve got any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Send us an email, and we’ll get back to you promptly.

Happy gardening! Thanks for reading.