London (change)
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17/04/2014 at 19:59

hi there, i recently sowed some new grass seed on my very patchy back garden, this was carried out on the 31/03/2014. Before sowing i carried out lawn aeration, and scarification. i gave the soil a really good rake, put a few new bags of top soil on and mixed in a lot of grass seed into the bare patches.Its been almost three weeks now and apart from a few new blades of grass i'm very disapointed in the out come.

I'm not not sure where i've gone wrong, the temperature hasn't been the warmest, which i know can effect the seed. I only have watered the ground when it has looked really dry.

Any tips or help would be very much appreciated guys, thanks for reading


17/04/2014 at 20:23

Me too, and I'm pretty annoyed given I haven't had trouble with grass seed before and we invested in some special stuff with water retaining gel in the seed and everything.  But for us, I think the problem lies in the dryness and the fact that even though I have sometimes watered twice a day, the area has dried out very quickly due to the sunshine and drying wind we have had.  Watering has formed a bit of a crust on the top of the soil, which must be pretty off putting for a little seed.  A more normal April, with intermittent showers and some overcast-ness would probably be better.  So, I have decided that I will mix the seed with a 50:50 mix of compost and sieved soil and put that over the area I want to seed.  I am hoping that the water retention of the compost and the fact that the seeds will be covered will give a better chance of the seed taking off.  I'm not saying that will work, but it's my gut feeling about a course of action to take here.  You are not the only one with this issue this year, and normally, April or September are seen as the optimum time to sow grass seed.

17/04/2014 at 20:30

Is your watering really soaking the soil - put a sprinkler on for a good  20 - 30 minutes - I'd do it in the morning when a sunny day is forecast - that should get the seed germinating 

17/04/2014 at 21:11

Well, for me I would think it possible that the soil temperature isn't warm enough for your grass seed to germinate.

Grass seed germinates best when daytime temps are between 60 & 70f.

17/04/2014 at 23:02

Keep it well watered ryan 3 the recent warmth will encourage it to germinate. You sowed it a bit too early really, be patient it will come.

19/04/2014 at 00:00

hey folks, thank you so much for all your help and tips, I will keep you all posted on how its develops, many thanks again guys!

22/04/2014 at 00:06

is there a stage where the grass seed which has been lying on the ground for the last number of weeks be unuseable, (die)?


22/04/2014 at 11:31

Some may not germinate, but again it's a case of patience to see what comes and what doesn't. Just wait and see. If you need to re sow do so, if not let the grass develop.

22/04/2014 at 22:22

thanks dave, much appreciated!


22/04/2014 at 22:28

I always expect to wait 3 weeks for grass.

23/04/2014 at 06:17

With respect to other's experience - the Lawn UK website says this, stressing it in bold print " ....It is also worth noting, that there needs to be adequate warmth in the soil, 6-8 degrees Celsius is required for germination, and this is usually when the air temperature is above 10 degrees Celsius." 

and the RHS website says ".... Seed germinates most readily in early autumn and mid-spring.  The soil is warm, there is plenty of moisture and the weather is neither too warm nor too cold......"  it goes on to say ".... germination should take between 7 and 10 days ...." .

And indeed that is also my experience

23/04/2014 at 08:02

I regularly seed worn out bits , in the spring and autumn and the temperature  definitely makes a difference , also if a bit dry , give it a water

best of luck 


23/04/2014 at 08:46

i've been having same experience ryan so i bought a box of seed mixed with fertiliser from aldi as the 1st stuff i sowed wasn't cheap.. in a week it's germinating fairly well, lawn was totally bare in  a 2 metre square area so may not be perfect but looking better , i resowed after 6 weekss, i do agree temp being higher has probably helped too

23/04/2014 at 10:36

Well, after a few posts on this and other 'grass won't grow' threads, I am pleased to report that mine is finally coming up.  I can't help feeling that after two weeks of no rain, bright sunshine, ranging temperatures and drying winds, yesterday and Sunday's warm and damp conditions may have helped.  I have watered again today, as we have sunshine once more (not that I'm complaining!)  I really hope that all the other gardeners on here will find their new lawns/repaired patches, are doing the same.  The mysteries of nature!!

10/05/2015 at 14:51

How long should I wait it's been nearly 3 weeks when I sowed my lawn repairing patches it has been wet and rainy but very cool however no signs of any new blades a at all

10/05/2015 at 17:11

Still cool here Stoogy - apart from a couple of warmer weeks in April - so it's probably still a bit soon unless you're in a mild southern spot. Grass needs a reasonable temperature to get going. Give it a bit longer 

Unless the birds have eaten the seed 

10/05/2015 at 22:25

When mine finally came up last year, the weeds had got there first, and in the end, I pulled the whole lot up and started again, because it was so full of weeds.  This year I have waited till now (May) to seed a new area, and again, the grass shows no sign of growing, even though I seeded it a week ago.  I was seeding bits regularly last summer and autumn, and had no trouble, and used some of the same box of the expensive gel coated seed, and got a great result.  I think it is to do with the time of year.  I have heard autumn is a much better time than spring, and in my experience, autumn seeding has always gone better.

10/05/2015 at 23:01

Hi busybee the chairman has just seeded a patch by the path.

he put the lawn seed in an old compost bag with some damp but not wet topsoil then left it closed up in the garage for 5days when he opened the bag the seed had started to sprout.he raked and weeded the sorry patch watered it then sprinkled the seed and topsoil over it ,now a week on it is showing green so well pleased

He's threatening to do another area before the heatwave starts

11/05/2015 at 09:05

Busy Bee2 , it has been a rather cold hear and grass seed need a min temperature to germinate

Just remembered my Dad used to repair his lawns buy growing grass seed in trays , a bit like buying a role of turf , obviously it is designed for small repairs 

slightly different thread anybody used weed and feed Aftercut ?

11/05/2015 at 11:21

Make sure you are not buring the seed - grass needs some light to germinate so overmixing it with compost and over raking once you have sprinkled the seeds can drastically reduce germination.  Prepare the ground before you aply the seed so that the seeds get the maximum contact possible with wet earth. Rake off dead grass and dry plant material first to expose the soil and rake it gently to break up any hard top layer. Wet the ground and then sprinkle on the seed.

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