Our lawn is planted, now what do we do?
What to do now that you have your grass seed planted?
In order for the newly seeded lawn to be successful, it is very important to properly maintain it during its germination period and beyond. The seed germination process takes about 5 - 10 days to begin, depending on water and temperature. Higher temperatures enable seed to germinate more quickly so this time will vary. Complete germination of all the different types of seeds in the blend can take up to 1 ½ months.
The most important thing to do is to keep the lawn area moist the majority of the time. It is better to give the seeded area a light watering 2 - 3 times throughout the day, rather than one heavy watering. This watering schedule should be maintained for two weeks to help ensure maximum seed germination. It is very important that the watering takes place during the day and NOT in the night or late evening. Cool night air allows excess water to stay on the lawn causing fatal blights to form.
After two weeks, continue to water the new grass daily, only now give it one long deep watering each day. This will cause the water to soak down into the soil further and encourage deeper root growth. Do not fertilize or cut the lawn for at least the first month after installation. Typically, new lawns are fertilized, lightly upon the initial seeding. After this time, it is recommended that the lawn be fertilized routinely to ensure that it grows strong.
Do not cut the new grass until it is all at least 4 inches tall or is lying over. Preferably, it is better to wait as long as possible before you cut the first time. It is also better not to water just before mowing to prevent the mower wheels from pushing into the wet topsoil. The first cut should be done at the highest setting on your mower and with SHARP blades to prevent pulling and tearing of the grass. Also, be sure to remove the clippings the first time you cut your new lawn.
What to expect of your new lawn:
- It can take up to one year or more for a new lawn to fully establish itself and to reach full maturity.
- You can expect to find bare spots in it up to the size of a soft ball. These will fill in over time as the grass grows and spreads.
- Some weeds are also normal. These should be left alone the first month or two before you start up a weed control program.
- A proper watering, weed control, and fertilization program is necessary to achieve optimal success of a newly seeded area.
- If straw blanket was used in the installation process, you will also notice a thin degradable plastic netting in your lawn. Do not worry about it; the plastic and the straw woven into it will break down in about a year.
- A sharp and properly maintained mower blade will cut right through this, rather than pull it up. Remember, it takes more that just proper installation to get a nice lawn.
- It is very important that you continue to maintain your new grass properly in order to get the high quality turf that you want.