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13 messages
22/04/2014 at 11:41

I laid my seeds about 2 weeks ago and still nothing growing.... I am a total novie at this so here is what I have done.....

My lawn was bumpy and had a slope on it..... so I killed the grass using roundup weed killer....then I leveled it all, rolled it and tryed as best I could to compact it.....then i put the seeds down, watering regulary, but still no sign.... I have just been out and bought some compost and was going to put a layer of that over the seeds to see if it helps... but I thought I would ask on here for any tips, or some other sort of feed which will kickstart it before I use the compost....

Any tips/ideas would really be appreciated...

22/04/2014 at 11:44

sorry about title error, I missed the "not " off

22/04/2014 at 11:50

Feeding a newly seeded lawn is like giving a newborn baby a steak meal.  It has been dry lately, and a bit breezy, so the area most likely got dry, then you wet it, then it dried, then you wet it, etc.  I think the same has happened here, and our seed has not germinated like it usually does.  Also, the type of soil we have here can get a bit of a crust on it which makes it hard to absorb the water.  I am going to re-seed, although some of ours is growing, but I am going to try mixing the seeds with some sieved soil and compost mixed together, and then spread it over an area and I will also totally soak the ground beneath before putting it there, then continue with the watering regime if the rain doesn't do it for me.  The fact that it will be warm and showery this week might be better than the dry sunny weather we have had lately. 

22/04/2014 at 11:57

it is raining here now, if i went out and put a layer of compost on now do you think it will do any good????

22/04/2014 at 12:26

I wonder if the Roundup is killing any new growth. You really did not have to kill off all the grass just to level the lawn. I would buy sand to level the lawn then lay turf. Seed grown grass is fine only for gardens with very little traffic walking on it.

22/04/2014 at 13:28

I treated my established but tatty seeded lawn with Evergreen several weeks ago, to kill off the moss etc before renovating. I wouldn't use a universal weedkiller on any proposed lawn area, since it's not that hard to get rid of existing poor grass and stacking cut turves will give you wonderful soil in due course.)

After scarifying, then cutting and raking the grass and spiking the lawn, I then top-dressed it all a fortnight ago, using a mixture of sieved soil, sharp sand and grass seed and focusing most on the bare patches. I've watered it a few times while the weather was dry and warm and hope that the recent rain will finally spur the seed into growth, since the germination period is meant to be 2-3 weeks.

Choose what seed you use according to the orientation and use of the lawn: there are now seed mixtures specifically designed for shady areas and for those getting heavy traffic, so it shouldn't be necessary to use turf.

22/04/2014 at 14:09

I don't think the Roundup is to blame (I'll probably be accused again of working for Monsanto - those of you who know me know that nothing could be further from the truth, but hey ho ) - I think it's more likely that the recent cool temperatures are the reason it's not germinated - my guess is grass seed will start germinating soon as the temperatures are rising and we're also getting some damp weather. 

Don't put soil/compost over the top - grass seed needs light to germinate.

And don't worry - if it's not germinated in a fortnight rake it over and spread another lot.  It's only £2.50 per kilo at Wilkos 

24/04/2014 at 11:38

Someone suggested pre-germinating the seed in damp (not wet) compost before scattering it, to deter birds from eating it all. Sounds like a good idea to me....

Otherwise, anyone reseeding large patches could try defending the seed with strawberry netting, which is usually available in pound stores. Much easier than the traditional idea of stretching black thread over the newly-seeded area but it's essential to take up the netting before the grass grows too strongly through it.

24/04/2014 at 12:33

I thought it said on Roundup tins that it will keep weeds down for 6 months, though I'm not an expert on weed killer...I know that a very good gardner friend got some compost from council - put it on his garden and killed everything...so had to take everything out compost he had bought up, and start again with compost from my organic garden...I wonder if you can still see the grass seed?  The only reason I ask is that the pigeons may have eaten it...hopefully nothing else or they may have been killed by the weed killer too.

24/04/2014 at 12:41

Council compost is hot-composted and often remains hot (and smelly) for some time after it's delivered, so your friend may have spread it too soon - before it had cooled down sufficiently to be safe for his garden.

Otherwise, it's usually safe enough but is not particularly nutritious (compared to garden compost or commercial stuff). Its main use is to help open up soil by adding organic matter. Added en masse to newly-cultivated ground, it's really useful - but don't try to use it for germinating seeds! It works OK as a mulch (which is probably what your friend did) but only once it's cooled completely.

24/04/2014 at 12:54

He is over 80, gardened all his life, was a farmer until he retired, really knows his stuff...I would have thought that as he bought it bagged it would have already cooled down...he has done the same thing year in year out, so I think on this occasion it may have been the compost...I employ a no dig system stops the cats, but in any case you can't see a lot of soil it is covered by plants...but use my own compost for everything including seeds...tomatoes etc.

24/04/2014 at 15:19
Round up path and patio suppresses seed germination for up to 6 months (I've just read the label on mine) so maybe that's the problem?
24/04/2014 at 17:17

From reading your description of what you did you made a basic mistake. You compacted the soil by rolling it. You don't roll a lawn till its established. You have probably compacted too much and seed will struggle to put down roots on compacted ground. You only need to tread a seed bed and after treading you rake the surface to a fine tilth then seed and water daily.

Roundup pathclear will prevent seed germination, roundup glysophate weed killer will break down on contact with the soil.

Firstly which roundup did you use?

If it was the weed killer then break up the surface of the soil again, then tread, re rake then resow. You don't want compost on it, just get the basics right and be patient. The weather at the moment is ideal for sowing a lawn, 10 - 20 days for germination, you won't get a decent lawn for several months, so don't expect too much too soon.

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