Caring for your new lawn

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.

Watering

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.

Activity

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.

Mowing

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.

Final note…

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.

5 Comments

  1. Russell

    Jeremy
    Can insecticides be used on new lawns after seed has been planted? I am worried about grubs that may exist and are in the neighborhood.
    Please let me know.
    Thanks.

    Reply
    • Jeremy Legasse

      Yes they can. Sorry for the delayed response. However you do need to be careful with new seedlings as they can be sensitive to certain types. Grubs have now updated into beetles and you should be protecting your lawn now before the.begin laying eggs. Let me know if that helps.

      Reply
  2. Jason

    Jeremy,
    I have just planted a new lawn last week. I am concerned that I did not use enough seed and that it may come in patchy and bare. The seedlings are just barely starting to poke through
    Should I re-seed it after a month, or should I wait until next Spring and overseed early in the year? I am afraid to add more seed this year in case there is an early frost.
    Any thoughts would be helpful.
    thanks!

    Reply
    • Jeremy Legasse

      Give it another week and let the seedlings elongate to about 1″ – 1.5″ and then get some peat moss or some lawn soil at the “Big Box” and lay down some more seed over what you already have established or the “thin” areas. After you seed take the soil and lightly sprinkle it over the top of the new seedlings. This will give your seed some cover and allow it to root in easily without disrupting the already germinated seeds. Don’t be afraid of putting down more than recommended on the seed bag. It won’t hurt a thing. Fertilizers and chemicals are a different story though.

      Hope that helps.

      Reply
      • Jason

        Thanks! The grass is coming in better than I expected now that I’ve given it a week or so, but it’s still a tad thin in some places. Thanks for the tip! I’ll give it a shot. I’m also worried about October coming along and freezing my new seedlings. (Provo, UT area) But I’ll definitely try it out.
        Thanks again! I’ll let you know how it goes.

        Reply

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