Watering needs to be a priority. Consistent moisture is the most important factor to successful establishment of a newly seeded or sodded lawn.
- Seedlings are very susceptible to desiccation, and should not be allowed to dry out. Enough water should be applied to moisten the top 1”-2” of the soil, but avoid puddling.
- During the first three weeks, water twice daily. Adjust frequency based on temperatures and rainfall. In addition to morning watering, lightly water during late afternoon hours – but be sure the emerging seedlings have ample time to dry before dusk.
- Once the seedlings are 2” tall, gradually reduce watering frequency (average twice weekly), but water more deeply.
- After the lawn has been mowed two or three times, deep and infrequent irrigation is most effective. Apply an average of 1” of water per week.
- Be patient. Seeds may take 21-45 days to germinate depending on seed type, and a newly seeded lawn takes two to three years to fully establish.
- Expect weeds. Topsoil is not sterile and contains weed seeds. These can be controlled once the lawn has been mowed three or four times.
- During the first two to three weeks, sod requires daily watering to prevent drying out. Enough water should be applied to moisten the top 1” of the soil.
- During warm weather, in addition to morning watering, lightly water during late afternoon hours – but be sure the grass blades have ample time to dry before dusk.
- When the sod resists being lifted (typically 10 to 14 days after installation), gradually reduce the frequency of irrigation, but water more deeply. Apply an average of 1” of water per week.
TIP: To determine 1” of water, place a standard-sized coffee can near your sprinkler and calculate how long it takes to capture 1” of water in the can.
- Mowing will encourage the new lawn to fill in quickly. Mowing on sodded lawns should begin when the sod resists being lifted. Mowing on seeded lawns should begin when seedlings are tall enough to mow.
- After the first three to four mowings, adjust your mower to the permanent mowing height of 3”. Mowing at a lower height stresses lawn and increases the opportunity for insect and disease problems.
Fertility and Weed Control
- New seedlings have poorly developed root systems, so it is important to fertilize regularly to encourage establishment. Four to six weeks after germination, and again eight to ten weeks after germination, apply 0.75 to 1.0 lb. Nitrogen per 1,000 square feet of lawn. Always apply by label directions.
- Broadleaf weed control can be applied after the third or fourth mowing.
- Annual grasses and crabgrass can be managed with a spring pre-emergent weed control.
- Follow up with a professional lawn care program.
Contact LandWorks at (262) 820-2501 for professional lawn care services.