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It's Your Choice
There are two routes to a lush new lawn: sodding and seeding. While they may sound similar, each has some fundamental and significant differences. Sodding delivers immediate results, but is more expensive. Seeding can cost much less, but requires time and patience and, while it can be done in the spring or early summer, late August or early September is the best time - so you won't really enjoy that new lawn until next year.
Both kinds of new lawns take a few straightforward steps.
This applies whether you intend to sod or seed. Make sure that all stones, trash and perennial roots are removed. Be sure that you have at least 10 centimetres (4 inches) of good topsoil. You may have to add some organic matter, lime or fertilizer to the soil, although a healthy application of peat moss or composted manure mixed in with the soil is usually good enough. Break up soil clumps and roll the surface smooth and firm to make mowing easier. Also, be sure that the grade slopes away from your house.
Once that's done you can go in whichever direction you choose.
Once you've bought enough seed to cover the entire area - following the specifications shown on the grass seed package - divide the amount into two. Then cover your lawn twice in a criss-cross pattern - once in one direction and then again at right angles. Rake very lightly or roll again to ensure there's good contact between seed and soil. Remember though that seed should not be planted more than 3 to 6 millimetres deep.
Note that different grass seed can be better for different conditions. If there's lots of shade on the area you're planting, look for seed that doesn't need much sunlight. If there's plenty of sun, choose accordingly there, too.
Water gently, and keep the lawn damp until the grass is about 3 centimetres
(1 1/4 inches) high. Keep all traffic off the newly seeded area. Depending on what kind of seed you use, germination should begin in less than three weeks.
Once you've prepared the soil applying sod shouldn't take long. Start laying the pieces in a straight row, pressing the ends together. Tap the sod in place gently, and remove or add soil as you go to help keep everything level. Start each new row with a half piece of sod, so that a brickwork pattern is established.
Once the sod has been laid to your satisfaction, roll it lightly to press it into place. Fill any cracks between the pieces with organic matter, fertilize and water vigorously until the new grass is growing well.
Visit the Experts
Whether you seed or sod, with a little preparation and a minimal amount of ongoing care you can soon have a lush lawn of which you can be justly proud.
For more information about maintaining a beautiful lawn and garden, and for the products you need to help you do it, be sure to visit your local Home Hardware or Home Hardware Building Centre.