How to Sow the Best Lawn in New Zealand

Soil to lush lawn growing
Soil to lush lawn growing

How to Sow the Best Lawn in New Zealand

We all dream of green luscious lawn during the summer.


But why do we always end up with weeds, dead spots and patches, and stagnated growth?


Below we not only explain how to sow a lawn but also some tips on lawn maintenance. 


Before we jump in, we have prepared this with New Zealand weather and climate in mind.  Over-all you may need to consider your garden area (shady or sunny) soil type (clays, silt, or loam) and your local climate (rainfall and sun hours) to get the optimum lawn this summer.

The Steps For A Better Lawn

  • Spray off any existing greenery on lawn area, allow to die.  If possible repeat when vegetation starts to come away again. (don’t use a residual weed spray.)
  • Lightly work up top layer of the area (approx 100mm depth) and rake off dead turf.
  • Level the area using quality Screened soil to no more than a depth of 150mm.  If a greater depth is required use Unscreened Soil to allow better drainage, and then level with Screened soil.
  • Tread area in by walking over it to compact soil.  Level again raking lightly.
  • Roll if necessary with small roller.
  • Lightly rake over lawn area, spread lawn seed evenly, follow instructions on packet, very lightly rake over area to cover seed.  
  • For the best result, use a high quality seed. You will need to consult your seed supplier for sowing rates. Often an industry standard to use 1kg lawn seed for 40m2 or 2.5kg per 100m2 of lawn. 
  • Lightly rake in Lawn Soil at a depth of 20-30mm allowing the seed to embedded. Keep the soil level.
  • Once the seed is raked in, apply water twice daily without watering too much – A sign of overwatering is the seed floating to the top.
  • Keep area moist using a sprinkler making sure it doesn’t get too wet with water pooling in low areas.  The best time to water is early mornings and evenings.  Keep clear of newly sown areas.
  • Keep the area watered until it is established.  Recommended to roll again before mowing for the first time.

4 Tips to Keep It Green

Don’t start on the backfoot: choosing quality products will only help you achieve a green lawn that is consistent with no weeds. Be prepared to invest more money on seed and growing products to ensure your lawn is set up for success from the start. This includes choosing the best seed for your property and use but also ensuring the soil and compost is highly nutritious.


Water: Consistent watering is one of the main keys to achieving a great lawn once established. Water timers and little and often will help with the initial stages of the lawn growth.


Fertilise every 6-8 weeks: Apply a fertiliser that is specific to your needs. Convenient weed and feed applications also help and are time efficient.


Consider a dethatch and decore: If you’re having issues with growth, it could be worth considering a dethatch and decore of your area. Dethatching will help revive your current grass and remove old dead and previous growth. While a decore will help aerate the soil and improve root structures and fertiliser efficiencies.  Lawn Rescue provide more information around these topics


For more lawn and garden care, view more of our landscaping articles

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Recommended depths

Typically you need a finishing layer of screened soil of 100mm when working with an uneven surface. 100mm of soil will allow to even out any hollows and give enough depth to create a flat surface

A general rule for compost is to allow for the depth of the current root structure of your plants with an additional 30-50% to mix in with the base. If you’re planting into holes or filling up a vege garden  you will need to accommodate for this prior to filling up

We recommend 100mm (10cm) deep for new bark gardens and planting into bare areas. For existing gardens with some cover, we recommend 75mm-100mm (7.5cm-10cm)

Note: Barked areas for playground impact protection need to meet NZS5828:2015 standards and is calculated on the fall areas and the height of the playground. Please contact us to discuss your barked playground areas

For paths and driveways which are often exposed to car and foot traffic, we recommend 100mm-125mm (10cm-12.5cm) on newly prepared areas due to settling of product.

This excludes preparation, compaction or drainage gravel underneath. For existing areas 75mm thickness is recommended for areas needing a small top-up.