Gardening: Alan Titchmarsh shares warning over planting lawn seed – ‘will dry out quickly’

Alan Titchmarsh on how to prepare lawn for seeding and turfing

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Gardening veteran Alan Titchmarsh shared how he prepares the ground before planting lawn seed in a video for Waitrose & Partners. Alan said a lawn is a “jolly good thing” and can be achieved for very little cost when using lawn seed. When making a lawn, either from turf of seed, preparation is extremely important and the same or both.

Alan said: “Preparation of the earth for either seeding or turfing is exactly the same.

“Fork it over and take out any big rocks and stones and any thick, deep-rooted perennial weeds.

“The roots of grass don’t go very deep, perhaps only three or four inches maximum.

“But if you didn’t cultivate the ground properly, it will dry out very quickly.

“There are lots of stones in the subsoil there and the surface would not be able to draw out moisture, that’s why the slightly deeper cultivation really does pay off.”

If you have heavy clay soil or waterlogged earth, Alan suggested adding lots of sharp grit to help with drainage.

But if your soil is “light and fluffy”, organic matter will help to hold onto moisture.

“Give that lawn every chance of doing well, even in dry weather,” Alan added.

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After forking over the ground, you need to “tread it” which Alan illustrated by shuffling along the earth firmly with your heels.

He warned it does “take a while” but it does firm the earth into place.

The treading motion gets rid of any air pockets.

After you’ve evened out your lawn by treading along it, you will notice there are bumps and hollows.

Using a rake, you can rake off the bumps into the hollows.

Alan used long, sweeping strokes to make the whole surface as even as possible.

“Now, it’s much more level except, it will not have escaped tour notice, that we fluffed it all up again!”

Alan said you will now need to repeat the shuffling-treading motion to flatten it.

He said: “It’s not just a trample, it’s s shuffle and by shuffling you’re breaking down those little clods into finer crumbs.”

You will need to rake the earth one last time to ensure it’s even and firm.

“This surface is prepared in exactly the same way whether you want to make your lawn from turf or from seeds,” Alan added.

Alan said your ground is now ready to have seeds sown on it.

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