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Sowing a new lawn


by Kate Bradbury

I have grand plans for my lawn. It's only tiny, but it will be full of pretty 'weeds', wildflowers and crocus. Butterflies will lay eggs in it, bees will drink nectar from it and I will sunbathe on it.


Transplanted grass. Photo courtesy of Julie WatsonI'm not one for manicured lawns. I think lawn weeds are pretty. I'd really like clumps of bird's foot trefoil, dandelions, daisies, creeping buttercup and self-heal growing among the grass in my garden. In fact, I've just planted some clover and moss.

I have grand plans for my lawn. It's only tiny, but it will be full of pretty 'weeds', wildflowers and crocus. Butterflies will lay eggs in it, bees will drink nectar from it and I will sunbathe on it.

At the moment I can't really describe what I have as a lawn. Our first job when we moved into our new flat was to lift the paved courtyard at the back, remove the sand and builders' rubble and buy in lots of topsoil (this used up my garden budget, so we couldn't buy any turf). We then sowed some grass seed - one mix for shady areas, one regular blend and one with wildflower seeds - and watched the pigeons eat it all up. We made a scarecrow with a mop, a garden fork, an old shirt and some plastic bags and sowed some more. The pigeons didn't like the scarecrow, but the seed didn't germinate and I got bored and trod over the mud to access the planters. Then the scarecrow fell over and got muddy so I dismantled it and the pigeons ate the seed.

My quality topsoil got traipsed into the flat, lodged in the tyres of our bikes and transported across town, into our offices. There's some under my desk now.

Grass waiting to be transplanted, photo courtesy of Julie WatsonIn desperation, I came up with a solution to my lack of lawn. I sow the seed indoors, where it germinates quickly, then take it outside and transplant it into the mud. Everyone else is sowing tomatoes and chillies, excitedly tending seedlings. I'm transplanting grass.



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Gardeners' World Web User 25/03/2010 at 14:39

What a great idea, Kate, I must suggest it at the next meeting of the village football team, eleven players plus reserves, a couple of trays each and we will have enough to repair the goal mouth in no time. Good luck with the sunbathing!

Gardeners' World Web User 25/03/2010 at 14:44

It will be a long time before I can sunbathe on it at this rate, but thanks! I think I got the idea from Toby Buckland actually, so can't take the credit. Good luck with repairing the goal mouth! Kate

Gardeners' World Web User 26/03/2010 at 08:21

Think this a great idea will try it next year just got out lawn in great condition but have a small one would like to try and encourage

Gardeners' World Web User 26/03/2010 at 11:59

I saw a lawn being laid blade by blade by a huge team of gardeners some twenty years ago in Mombasa - different species of grass no doubt. A cats cradle of string over newly sown seed works wonders against birds and mice!

Gardeners' World Web User 26/03/2010 at 15:37

What a great idea Kate! raising and growing the delicate wild flowers until they are strong enough to resist the competition from the grasses and other weeds in the garden. Think I will sow a kitchen windowbox for the lovely seeds to look at! Kate, are you related to Julia Bradbury? Thanks for the tips!

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