How to Grow a Great Green Lawn

Lawn experts looking to help you achieve the perfect result

Preparation, Establishment and Renovating Turf

Recommendations for Establishing Turf by Seed
  • The best time to plant seed is in early spring or late summer. If you seed at other times, plan on lightly re-seeding after establishment, as initial seeding results may not be optimum
  • Take a soil sample, lime and fertilize according to recommendations. Till amendments into the top 6-8 inches of soil
  • We recommend using Endure Starter Fertilizer for all new seedings and inter-seeding applications
  • Prepare a good seedbed by tilling 6-8 inches deep. Firm and level well after tilling
  • After all amendments have been worked in, firm the seedbed by rolling to assure that no soft spots remain that would later settle
  • After firming the soil, loosen the top 1 inch with a rake
  • Apply the seed at the recommended rates with a drop seeder or broadcast seeder
  • Lightly rake the seed into the top 1/4 inch of soil. Seed needs to be embedded into the soil to assure quick and uniform germination
  • Firm the soil again. Then lightly apply straw, or other mulching materials to hold seed and moisture Mulching materials and straw will also help hold the soil and seed in place during heavy rain or watering
  • In the absence of adequate rainfall, newly seeded areas should be watered lightly and frequently. As the grass begins to grow, water less frequently but with more water per application. Water the newly seeded grass during the morning and early afternoon hours. Avoid watering in the evenings to lessen seedling disease pressure
Recommendations for Renovating Turf with a Slicer Seeder
  • Set the depth of the slicer seeder at about 1/4 inch
  • Set the seeding rate for the type of seed you have
  • Fertilize and lime according to soil tests. Spread these materials onto the existing turf with a broadcast spreader
  • Begin at the longest side of the lawn and make runs back and forth overlapping a minor amount with seed
  • When the entire lawn is finished the first time, begin a second pass at a 30° to 40° angle
  • LIGHTLY rake the thatch off the lawn and remove it
  • Apply a mulch such as straw or Futerra netting on areas that are void of existing turf
Recommendations for Renovating Turf with a Core Aerator
  • Set the depth of the aerator at about 2 inches
  • Begin at the longest side of the lawn and make runs back and forth overlapping a minor amount
  • When the entire lawn is finished the first time, begin a second pass at a 30° to 40° angle
  • Several trips can be beneficial
  • Set the seeding rate for the type of seed you have and spread with a broadcast spreader
  • Fertilize and lime according to soil tests. Spread the materials onto the existing turf with a broadcast spreader

Frequently Asked Questions About a New Lawn

When do I water?

Initial Watering

The first watering should be heavy, wetting the soil to a depth of 6-8 inches. This will allow developing roots to better penetrate the soil. Daily watering will also be more effective with a heavy initial watering. Care should be taken to not allow runoff.

First Three Weeks

Daily watering is recommended for the first three weeks. The objective is to keep the surface moist. The amount of water applied each time will be small. However, in hot weather, two or three daily waterings may be necessary. With dew available many mornings, midday is often the best choice if only one watering can be made.

Fourth Week

As the seedlings develop, the surface may be allowed to dry out, but the root zone must still be kept moist. Change from light daily waterings to heavier waterings every other day.

Fifth Week

Two heavy waterings to maintain soil moisture for root development and later germinating seedlings.

Sixth Week

At this point, resume normal watering procedures for your lawn. 1" of water each week will provide adequate growing moisture for excellent lawn performance.

When will I see new growth?

Air temperature, ground temperature, available moisture, and sunlight affect the germination times of seed. Most ryegrass and fescue will germinate in 7-14 days. Kentucky bluegrass germinates in about 20-25 days.

When can I mow?

Seeded areas with existing grass can be mowed as needed. Do not let clippings accumulate on the lawn, as smothering of new seedlings may occur.

What about weeds?

New seedlings can be harmed by weed controls. It is normal for some weeds to grow whenever the soil has been disturbed.

Once the grass is strong enough to handle traffic, broadleaf weeds can be killed. Crabgrass should be eliminated the second year of a lawn with a pre-emergent control. Post-emergent control may be attempted the first year, however, only when the lawn is established and can handle traffic on a regular basis.

Get More Information About Your Lawn Care

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