Create a new lawn,

A Comprehensive Guide to Creating a New Lawn

Planning to start a new lawn? What steps do you need to take for a perfect lawn? With this step-by-step guide, you can create that coveted lush green grass.

6 MIN 07 Jan
Last update: 07 Feb 2024
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Is your lawn in need of revival? Recently moved into a home with a neglected garden? It’s the perfect time to start fresh and create a new lawn.

Table of contents:
  • Laying a lawn: what you need to know
  • What type of soil is in my garden?
  • Creating a new lawn: What type of grass do I want?
  • Creating a new lawn in 10 easy steps
  • New lawn aftercare

Laying a lawn: what you need to know

When creating a lawn, there are some important considerations:

  • What type of soil is in my garden?
  • What is the lawn going to be used for?
  • Is my lawn in full sun or in the shade? Or both?
  • What type of grass do I want?
  • How large should the lawn be?
  • Do I want to sow grass or lay turf?

We provide you with insights so you can confidently answer these questions.

What type of soil is in my garden?

Lawn soil in pair of hands

The type of soil in your garden determines how to best care for it. Understanding this is crucial for soil cultivation, choosing fertilisers, and adding organic matter. In the UK, common soil types include clay, sand, and loam.

The Garden Doctor:

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

The soil in your garden primarily depends on your location. Occasionally, soil is excavated, altering the natural soil type. If you want to know precisely which soil type is in your garden, you can conduct or have a test done.

Creating a new lawn: What type of grass do I want?

Sowing grass seed by hand

Next, determine the purpose of your lawn.
Do you want grass that feels soft and fine, or will it be frequently used for sports and games?
More details on determining the purpose of your lawn can be found here.

There are different types of grass seeds, and we’ll highlight some for you.

Creating a high-use lawn

For heavy use, Sports & Fun grass seed is the best choice. This grass seed germinates quickly and creates a beautiful, dense lawn. It can withstand rough play, so children can run around or kick a ball. If the grass gets damaged, it recovers quickly and is strong enough to endure the winter.

Creating a shady lawn

Does your garden face north or have many trees? In that case, there’s a high chance your lawn will be in shade for a large part of the day. Take this into account when selecting grass seed. Not all grass types thrive in the shade, but shade grass does! This consists of grass varieties with a low light requirement.

Discover more about growing grass in shaded areas.

Creating an ornamental lawn

ornamental grass

Do you want a beautiful English ornamental lawn that leaves everyone amazed? With ornamental lawn grass seed, you can easily sow your own elegant lawn. The grass varieties in this mixture feel pleasantly soft. It’s not suitable for heavy use, but you can walk on it without any issues.

Creating a new lawn in 10 easy steps

Building on the basics, let’s explore the 10 steps together to actualise your dream lawn!

Step #1: Remove Weeds

Before preparing the seedbed, ensure to remove weeds from the soil. This can be done manually or, if necessary, with a weed killer. In the latter case, be cautious to choose a weed killer that won’t affect new seeds; otherwise, the grass seeds may not germinate.

MOOWY’s weed picker
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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

Next, plow the soil using a rotary tiller to a depth of 20 to 25 cm. Allow the soil to settle for about 2 weeks, aiding the process by watering it thoroughly. After this waiting period, you’ll notice new weeds have emerged; remove them by hand.

Then, strive to achieve a flat surface. This can be done with a rake, or you can use specific leveling tools. Once the ground is completely flat, compact it with a lawn roller.
Tip: If you want to adjust the soil structure, now is a great time! You can do this by, for example, incorporating compost through tilling.

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.

Step #5: Sowing your new grass

Sow by hand if you have a small lawn or use a spreader for a larger surface area.

Sowing grass seed with spreader

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

More details on sowing grass seed can be found here.

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

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

About 2 weeks after germination, you will see that some bare patches have appeared. Re-seed these bare patches with grass seed.

The Garden Doctor:

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

Quick Repair
Front image of the Quick Repair Grass Seed product pouch with grass seed in front of the pouch
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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

Now that you’ve established your lawn, it’s crucial to maintain it properly. This involves regular mowing, providing the right nutrients through fertilisation, and applying lime when necessary.

Scarifying and overseeding 1 to 2 times a year keeps the grass mat dense, preventing the growth of weeds and moss. Scarifying also allows nutrients, water, and oxygen to reach the plant more easily, resulting in better overall health.

Additionally, ensuring your lawn receives sufficient water is essential. Aid nature by irrigating regularly during dry periods. This can be done manually with a garden hose or, alternatively, through an irrigation system.

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

Congratulations! You’re now ready to create your lawn. Want to learn more about lawn or garden maintenance? We’ve got all the tips for you.

Do you have any questions after reading? Leave a comment or get in touch with us.

Happy gardening!

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Question 1/2
Loading your result…
  • What is your lawn care goal?
    1. A. Greener grass
    2. B. A more lush, dense lawn
    3. C. Bald spot repair
    4. D. Lawn restoration
    5. E. Laying out a new lawn
    6. F. Combating moss
  • For which season?
    1. A. Spring
    2. B. Summer
    3. C. Autumn
    4. D. Winter
  • Describe your lawn:
    1. A. My lawn has shaded areas
    2. B. My lawn is used intensively (e.g. by children & pets)
    3. C. I have a decorative lawn
    4. D. I have a standard lawn without special features
  • How many bald spots do you have?
    1. A. A lot, my lawn looks like a barren wasteland
    2. B. A few bald spots here and there
  • Describe your lawn restoration goal:
    1. A. I want to completely renovate my lawn
    2. B. I want to overseed my existing lawn
  • Describe your lawn:
    1. A. My lawn is shaded
    2. B. My lawn will be used intensively (e.g. by children & pets)
    3. C. I would like to have a decorative lawn
    4. D. I would like to have a thick and strong lawn
  • How bad is the moss problem in your garden?
    1. A. Bad. My lawn is covered in moss.
    2. B. Just a few spots
RESULT
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Do you want a lawn calendar?

🌱 All important maintenance moments for your lawn during the year. Leave your email and we will send you the lawn calendar for free.

Enter your email

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Enjoy a green lawn all year round!