Get the ground ready now for laying new lawns as now is the best time of year to sow grass seed or lay turf, while the air and soil are still warm and there are gentle autumn rains to help roots establish quickly.
Here at the garden centre in London we have fresh new turf in stock right now, ready to lay, as well as grass seed to suit every application from hard-wearing general purpose to lush, luxurious bowling-green quality.
Whatever you choose, take plenty of time to thoroughly prepare the ground before you lay your turf or sow grass seed. The soil beneath your lawn is the foundation it’s built on – so get that right, and you’ll have a lawn that lasts longer and looks better too.
Start by removing all weeds, especially perennial weeds which could compete with the new grass. Hand weed if possible, or use a glyphosate weedkiller to tackle difficult weeds like bindweed or ground elder. Then dig over or rotavate the whole area to a depth of 20-25cm to reduce soil compaction and help drainage, removing any large stones or other debris as you go.
Next, add a 3cm layer of compost or soil improver and lightly fork it in. Use topsoil to level out any hollows, then leave the soil for at least a week – preferably longer – to allow it to settle.
You may find weeds return at this point: hoe these off and you’ll have soil that’s clean and ready to plant. Rake the area level with a garden rake, then tread the site with your heels to firm the surface. Repeat in opposite directions a few times until the soil is level and firm underfoot. This should create a lovely fine, breadcrumb-like tilth on the surface that’s perfect for starting your new lawn.