Newly Seeded Lawn Care
Newly seeded lawns need special care. Immediately following seeding, it is important that you keep the seed bed evenly moist until most of the seed has germinated (approximately 10-21 days depending on the type of seed). Over-watering will cause soil erosion and may drown the seedlings, whereas drying out between watering may cause the seedlings to die. The first couple of weeks after seeding, until germination occurs, water 2-3 times per day on short running times. Once the new grass is up, the watering may be reduced. Continue watering every day after germination occurs, but only once as opposed to 2-3 times per day. When all the grass is tall enough to mow (3”), watering can be backed off to 2-3 times per week for periods of 15-20 minutes.
Your new lawn can be mowed between three and four weeks after the seeding has taken place. Be sure to let your lawn dry out for at least half a day before you mow in order to fight compaction, rutting, or laying the grass blades over against the soil. Mow in alternate directions without catching clippings for the first several mows. After this period, you may begin to catch your clippings if you choose to do so. Always mow according to the one-third rule. This rule implies that it is always best to mow when you are cutting off no more than one-third of the entire grass blade. Our suggested mowing height for most residential and commercial lawns is 2 ½ inches.
After the grass has been established for a couple of months, a more aggressive fertilizer with a higher nitrogen content should be used to feed the lawn. Sometimes, seedlings will start to turn yellow, which is also a sign that fertilizer is needed. Once you have applied fertilizer after the two month mark, continue to fertilize once every 6 weeks or so thereafter, using a nitrogen heavy fertilizer at the recommended rate. It is best to fertilize in two directions at ½ the recommended rate in order to assure proper coverage and overlap. If you need help with your lawn care program, please contact us for more information. We offer application services that best fit your lawn.
When looking at your newly seeded lawn, don’t be alarmed if weeds appear. This is a normal occurrence as weed seeds already existed in your soil before seeding. They blow in from neighboring lawns and fields and later germinate. It is important to note that most weed control chemicals cannot be sprayed for up to 60 days after seed germination. In order to control weeds during this period, mow them before they have a chance to flower and catch all the clippings, which goes against what was said earlier, but this is solely for control of the weeds. If weeds continue to persist past the 60 days or however long you need to wait to apply herbicide (should show on the herbicide label), go ahead and treat with an approved herbicide according to the directions on the label. If you do not wish to take this on by yourself, you can always contact us to perform any form of weed control.
Once established, a new lawn will perform better when watered heavily each time with more time in between each watering rather than being watered lightly each time with less time in between each watering. This promotes deeper root growth and a healthier stand of grass. During dry spells, even in the winter, it is important to water once or twice a week for 20-30 minutes during the first year of establishment. After the first year, the grass becomes hardier and more self-supportive. See “Watering Lawns” in the resource section for more information on watering after establishment.