Finding a tough, durable play surface for children to use can be a challenge. The cheapest option is to establish a grass area from seed. You need to choose a grass seed mixture for a children’s play area carefully, as you need something that will be tough, hard wearing and easy to repair.
Creating a perfect play area all starts with the seedbed preparation. Start by spraying off any weeds or plants that may already be growing in the area you want to transform into a play area. It’s always best to control weeds before you begin any sort of cultivation. This helps make sure that you will have few weed problems once the grass area has been established.
Next, you need to rotavate or fork the area to loosen the soil. Remove any large stones or other debris at this stage. Leveling is the next important stage. You don’t want an area that’s full of dips and bumps, or a steep slope that makes ball games impossible! On small areas, it is quite easy to level using a rake. Larger areas may require some plant machinery to level the area, also known as soft landscaping.
The next stage is to compress the newly prepared seedbed, to make sure it is firm. You can do this using a garden roller, or simply by treading the soil a few times so it is firm.
Now, you need to choose a grass seed mixture that will be suitable for a play area. Suitable mixtures are likely to be hard-wearing, contain ryegrass, and grow quickly.
Once you’ve chosen the best mixture, you are ready to sow your seed. If you place your order before 2pm, it will be delivered to you the next working day (UK mainland). To sow the seed, you can either use a seeder, or spread the seed by hand. 50-70gm/m2 is a good sowing rate to work on. Once you have spread all the seed, you need to roll, or tread the seed into the seedbed again. If you want to give the seed a head start, use some fertilizer with the seed.
Most mixtures will germinate within 2 weeks, and will reach mowing height around 6-8 weeks later depending on the weather. After the first cut, your new play area will be ready to use.