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Lawn Planting

1. Ground preparation The initial ground preparation is the same whether you are using seed or turf. Dig the area roughly to loosen it and remove existing plants, especially perennial weeds such as dandelions. Rake the area to create a fine surface, removing larger stones, roots or other debris as you go. Tread it thoroughly, shuffling forwards and putting the weight on your heels to firm the soil and eliminate soft spots. Rake over again to level the surface and repeat the process until the whole area is uniformly firm and level. Add a scattering of general-purpose fertiliser – around 35g a square metre of Growmore is ideal. Use canes to achieve an even spread. 2. Laying turf Lay the first roll along one edge of the new lawn. Working from a plank to spread your weight, lay the next roll up to it, staggering the ends. Butt adjacent rolls as tightly as possible. Any larger gaps can be filled with loose soil if necessary. Use a sharp knife to cut around hard edges. Remember the lawn surface should be slightly proud of paths or edging strips so you can run the mower over the edge. Cut neat edges against borders using a half-moon edging knife. Use a plank for straight edges or a length of hose to cut curves. 3. Sowing grass seed Lay garden canes across the area at one-metre intervals. This will help get the correct rate of grass seed. Weigh out 35g of seed and tip into a plastic cup, draw a line and use this cup to judge the amount for each square. Try to scatter it as evenly as possible – scatter half in one direction and the remainder at right angles to get an even spread. Remove the canes and rake the area gently to work the seed into the soil. Water the area in dry weather and protect the seed from birds, using netting or bird scarers, until a green fuzz appears.