Seeding a lawn is beneficial in improving turf density, combating weeds and increasing your lawns tolerance to drought and turf diseases. After your lawn has been seeded, successful establishment of a healthy lawn is greatly dependent on what happens over the next 6 to 8 weeks. Taking care of a newly seeded lawn is simple if you follow these important guidelines.
The importance of proper watering cannot be stressed enough. During the first 2 to 4 weeks seeded areas will need continuous moisture from either irrigation or rainfall. In general, the soil must be moist at all times, but avoid overwatering as runoff may carry the grass seed away. Turf conditions such as sun, shade, terrain slope, percentage of existing lawn vs. bare spots and soil type all will make the difference in watering requirements from only once per day to watering multiple times per day. If possible, watering “briefly and frequently” throughout the day would be best.
Germination will usually take 2 to 4 weeks before you notice seedlings emerging from the ground and then your daily watering regiment can be reduced by half to encourage deep rooting. Do not stop watering all together, until the newly seeded areas have been mowed at least 3 times. Please note that each grass seed variety used will germinate at different times and newly seeded areas will not become fully mature for at least 6 months.
Once your lawn is established watering “deeply and infrequently” is always best as this will encourage deep rooting, minimize yellow nutsedge establishment and reduce the chances of turf diseases, especially during the summer months.
From the time new seedlings have emerged until they are at least 3” tall, use caution while mowing, especially while making turns, as tires on riders, zero-turns or commercial mowers can easily uproot the grass plant. Avoid trimming new seedlings with a weed eater or edger until the grass plant grows to at least 3.5 – 4” tall. Continue to use caution while mowing / trimming until the newly seeded areas have been cut at least 3 times. Remember to sharpen mower blades every 8 – 10 hours of cutting time as dull blades tend to rip the grass plant and extremely dull mower blades can actually uproot new seedlings.
Additional Tips & General Information
- If possible, keep animal and foot traffic to a minimum in newly seeded areas until the grass plant grows to at least 3 inches tall or preferably until after the 3rd mowing.
- If your lawn was seeded in the fall, please carefully rake and remove any leaves that may fall over newly seeded areas.
- Do not use any weed control herbicides for the next 4 to 6 weeks.
Regularly scheduled applications of fertilizer will result in a healthier lawn and help build turf density which will be your best defense in combating weeds. If you are seeding in the spring of the year, do not use fertilizer blends with a pre-emergent and it is always best to use organic blends during the summer to build soil chemistry. When the weather gets colder, your lawn will begin to go dormant and turn a dull green / brown color but the root system will continue to grow until the ground freezes. A winter fertilizer application is extremely beneficial during this time and is considered to be the 2nd best fertilizer application of the entire year, especially for newly seeded lawns.
Following the above recommendations for taking care of a newly seeded lawn and continuous proper cultural practices will help you guarantee a successful establishment of a healthy lawn.
If you would like an estimate for seeding, please call our office at (618) 539-9811 or complete our request estimate form and we will provide you with a quote.