After planting a new lawn, the owner must water appropriately. Otherwise a perfectly installed lawn may fail. Too much water is bad; too little is worse. The soil must be firm enough to walk on by the first mowing.
Initial Sod Lawn Care
Water your new sod lawn. That is the most important thing you can do. This helps the sod to bond to the soil beneath. You don’t want to drown it but you surely won’t want to dry it out. Watch the edges along the edge of the lawn. In hot weather that will be the first area to dry out.
If the soil is soft, avoid walking on it. If you have mushy soil, your shoes may sink in. It just depends on the soil structure. Some installations will be firm and others soft and mushy.
Initial Seed Lawn Care
Water your new seed lawn. You must keep the seed moist at all times until it germinates and grows a little. Generally watch the mulch. When it becomes a little mottled—part dry and part wet—it is time to water again. You may need to water 3-4 times per day during dry weather. Even during rainy weather you may need to water occasionally, so keep an eye out. An automatic sprinkler system will help greatly here.
During warm weather ryegrass will germinate in as little as four days. Other types of seed will take longer, even well over a week. Be careful to keep the seed moist during this vulnerable time. Don’t be surprised to look out one morning and see a soft carpet of green—new shoots just coming up.
Just as for a sod lawn, if the soil is soft, avoid walking on it.
The First Lawn Mowing
Before mowing the first time you must allow the soil to dry adequately to bear foot traffic. This will take a little advanced guesswork.
Wait until the lawn gets shaggy and has rooted down into the soil pretty well. This may take a week or more. However, don’t let it get real tall. This will begin to kill some weaker grass plants. You don’t want that to happen as it will thin out the turf.
Be careful not to scuff the pieces of sod. Some may not have rooted into the soil yet.
Wait until the grass has grown to a height of two or more inches. Then cut off maybe a third of the height. An initial mow height of 1 ½ – 2” would be good. Later you will cut at closer to 2”.
Ongoing Care—The Big Three
The three most important things to keep your new lawn looking great.
- Mow regularly, probably weekly during the growing season.
- Water adequately. Too little results in brown or even dead patches. Too much may result in mushy spots and thin turf.
- Fertilize regularly. How much and how often depends on the type of grass.
We hope you enjoy your new lawn for years to come!
Thanks for letting us help you by installing your new lawn!
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