If you have just seeded a new lawn, here are a few tips that should help get it off to a good, healthy start. A little attention, in the beginning, goes a long way to providing years of beauty and enjoyment in the future.
The single most important requirement for germinating turf grass seed is adequate moisture. Keeping the seed damp – either by rainfall or irrigation – will encourage proper seed development. The first watering can be done right away. It should moisten the soil to a depth of two to three inches…but gently! Be careful not to apply the water with such force that it washes away the soil or dislodges the seed. After the initial watering, irrigate the newly seeded area lightly and frequently – two or three times a day, if possible – until the grass begins to establish and mature. Then the intervals between waterings can be lengthened and the amount applied at any one time increased. Watering at night is not recommended.
Too much activity on your newly-seeded lawn can interfere with seed germination for the next to three weeks. We suggest limiting the amount of activity on your lawn as much as possible.
Wear and tear from people, pets and bikes can create ruts and holes that could ruin the terrain and cause drainage problems. You should install fencing at your property around your new lawn to keep people and pets off. At least for a few weeks, in the beginning, helps ensure the quality and beauty you’re looking for in the end.
Your new lawn will be ready to mow when the grass plants are higher than the height at which they will normally be maintained. In other words, if you plan to regularly cut the lawn at 2 1/2″, mow it for the first time when it is about 3″ tall. And when mowing, it’s a good idea to follow the general rule of thumb to never remove more than one-third of the leaf blade at any one time. Also, don’t mow if the ground is too wet.
Keep in mind, too, that the most important requirement for proper mowing is a sharp mower blade. A dull blade rips and shreds the grass instead of cutting it – seedlings can actually be torn from the soil. Mowing with a dull blade also makes the plants susceptible to other problems like brown leaf tips and disease infestation.
A lawn is much like any other living thing, when properly nourished and cared for, it thrives. With adequate attention, your new lawn will provide a beautiful environment for you and your home for many years.
As your lawn matures, you should make sure it is properly fertilized and that weed and insect controls are applied when needed. Other maintenance practices like aeration, occasional overseeding and other services should also be considered.