When caring for a new lawn, there are a number of tips that one should follow to ensure best possible results. Perhaps an obvious point, but on that needs speeling out is to minimize foot traffic as much as possible on newly planted lawns (this includes sodded lawns) for at least 3 weeks.

Watering Your Lawn
Be sure to plan for your watering requirements before you plant your lawn - dont leave it to afterwards! Lack of water water is the main cause for new lawn failure. On that note, overwatering is also amajor cause.

For newly seeded lawns, the best way to water is set sprinklers to just mist the surface of the new lawn 4 times a day beginning at around 7:00 am and finishing at about 6:00 pm. The lawn seedbed needs to be kept moist, but not saturated - down to a depth of about 1 - 2 inches. As your grass seedlings get to a height of two inches, you can reduce the frequency and increase the depth of waterings.(Of course, if you live in a drought prone area or an area that is undergoing water restrictions, you should think twice about growing a lawn.)

For lawns created through the use of plugs, sprigs or sod, one should water at least twice a day, including one watering during midday. Try to keep the soil moist down to a depth of about 1 to 2 inches. You should be sure tha the soil does not stay saturated

for long periods though, or else the plants may not root properly. Once it has begun new root growth (about two weeks), reduce watering frequency to every second or third day for sodded, plugged or sprigged lawns . After about four weeks, a sodded lawn can then survive for longer periods without water.

New Lawn Care - Mowing
You should begin mowing newly seeded, sprigged and plugged lawns once the grass has grown to a height of about 3 - 4 inches. The cutting is usually best done with a reel-type mower as it is gentler and less likely to uproot your new seedlings and plants. If you don't one of these types of mowers, you can use a rotary mower but have the throttle set to low. In your very first mowing, all you need to do is remove enough to give your lawn a nice even appearance (1/2 to 3/4 inches). The next time, set your cut to the maximum height recommended for your particular grass variety, but do not cut more than 30 percent of the leaf in a single mowing session.

You should not mow a newly sodded lawn for 10 days at least and certainly not until the grass has begun to grow. If you are using a rotary mower - make sure you set the throttle low to avoid lifting pieces of sod. Once your sodded lawn is established, regular mowing will actually encourage the lateral spreading of sprigs and plugs.

Mulches for your New Lawn
If you ahve sown lawn seed and the weather is dry or warm, you should spread a layer of straw mulch over the freshly seeded areas. Use a clean mulching straw, like that of wheat straw, and make sure it's free as possible of seed - the last thing you want is to have a wheat field instead of a beautiful new lawn.

Evenly spread about one or two bales per 1000 square feet. In particularly windy areas you can stretch some string over the mulch every few feet to help keep the straw from blowing away. Try to avoid putting down a heavy layer of straw as it will inhibit the grass growth. Burlap or agricultural fleece are other mulches that will protect the new seed from drying out in the sun and wind. These mulches are very helpful in preventing both erosion and also seed run-off when staked over seeded slopes. You can remove your mulches about 3 weeks after the seed has germinated.

New Lawn Care - Fertilizing
You should not apply fertilizer to any new lawns for a period of at least 6 weeks. Only then use a light fertilization of a little nitrogen (about half a pound per 1,000 square feet in the old scale is usually recommended).

A front yard or garden covered in fine lawn is such a treat for the family and the passersby. The lush green is refreshing to look at. It also provides a great place for the kids to play. Also, walking bare-footed on a properly grown lawn can be quite an experience.

Laying a new lawn however is not as easy as it seems. You do not just buy new lawn rolls and roll them over your front yard. Some preparations and precautions must be done in order for the new lawn to accustom itself with its new environment.

Best time to do it

There are times of the year during which laying a new lawn is most encouraged. If you do it any other time of the year, success is still possible but the survival rate of lawn will be lower. Usually, it is best done during spring or fall.

If you cannot wait and it is still summer, you can still lay the new lawn. However, you have to be absolutely sure to always and regularly water the area so as to prevent the lawn from drying.

Preparing the soil

This is a very crucial part because a new layer of lawn is only as good as the soil that it is on. Take note that those roots will need to merge with its new environment so the soil must be soft and fertile.

So what you need to do is dig up the soil first perhaps with the use of a shovel or a bagging hook. Then mix the soil with some compost and break it up so that the grain is very fine. After which, flatten the soil by slowly stepping across it without pressing it too much so as to make it hard again.

Once flattened, make final touches by lightly scraping the surface with a rake to produce a fine surface. And then, apply some general purpose fertilizer to make sure that the new grass is well nourished. Just do not add too much to avoid excessive growth.

Rolling out the lawn

Now it is ready to put out the rolls of lawn. To make sure that they are placed properly, use a long and straight plank of wood as a straight edge guide. Place the lawn following the edge of the wood plank and create the first line of lawn.

Now place the plank of wood atop the newly laid lawn and align it to the edge. This will serve as the straight edge guide for the next line of lawn. Also, placing the plank of wood atop the newly laid lawn will lightly press it down to make sure the roots get in contact with the soil beneath.

When aligning lawn rolls beside each other, make sure that there are no gaps. You may need to allow small overlap but not too much so as to result in a bump.

Do this until the entire area is covered in grass. On edges, you may have to cut up rolls of lawn to cover up all the land area. Do not just rely on estimate but make some measurements before cutting the lawn.

Adding Fertilizers

Once the lawn is properly placed in your yard or garden, you will need to regularly add fertilizers to make sure that it grows healthy. Take note that the new grass is still getting used to its new environment to it must be taken care off.

For fertilizers, you want to use to low nitrogen variety. But there is such a thing as too much of a good thing is bad. Only apply enough and avoid spraying too much or the lawn will die. And when you do re-seeding of the lawn, avoid using Crabicide Fertilizer as these will also kill the new growth.

Proper mowing

Mowing a newly laid lawn must be done very carefully. Great care must be exercised so as not to disturb the grass that is still accustoming itself to its new environment. Another thing that you must pay attention to is the length of the cut.

Never cut the grass too short. The top of the lawn is generally greener and can tolerate the heat of the sun. If you cut off this layer, the more sensitive part underneath it will burn under the sun and thus killing the lawn.

<< Previous Lawns from Stolons | Back to Lawn Care | Next >> Planting a Lawn