Throwing grass seed on the ground is easy. Growing and maintaining a healthy lawn requires a bit more effort. Newly seeded lawns require time and attention, particularly in the beginning when "baby grass" appears and roots develop.
Moisture triggers the grass seed germination process and the seedlings' (“baby grass”) shallow roots require constant moisture. If the grass seed dries out between waterings, it likely will die. We recommend watering twice per day for 15-20 minutes depending on the weather conditions and watering restrictions. New lawn needs less water, but the ground should stay moist.
Established lawns that have just been patch- or overseeded require more water because the grass roots drink it up!
But don’t OVER water it… Over watering causes the seeds to rot. It also leads to soil erosion and potential diseases.
If it’s going to rain at least .25” in 24 hours, you do not need to water. When the baby grass grows gets to 2” in height, you can reduce the frequency of watering, but should not stop watering altogether.
Set up a sprinkler with a timer so it runs at the same time and for the same amount of time each day
Don’t walk on it! The baby grass needs space to germinate and grow. Limit foot traffic and activity on the lawn during the first growing season.
Give it a baby lawn blanket. You may want to cover the turn with a quality, weed-free covering. This will help:
· Reduces moisture loss.
· Keep the birds from eating too much of the seed!
· Prevent runoff
We recommend using burlap as a covering, especially on slopes, with landscape staples to hold it in place. It’s inexpensive, easy to install and readily available at the local hardware store. It’s a natural material that can be left on the ground while the grass grows. DO NOT PULL UP THE BURLAP WHEN YOU SEE NEW GROWTH! It will tear out the baby grass roots.
You can also use straw or an agricultural fabric as a covering, if you prefer.
Once your baby grass has grown to 3-4" inches tall, it should be mowed. The first mowing should even out the height by cutting off only one-half inch to three-quarters inch. Cutting too much will shock the grass and it may die.
You should wait at least 6 weeks before applying fertilizer. When the seedlings reach two inches, a light fertilization of one-half pound of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet can be beneficial.
If the lawn is seeded in the fall, proper fertilization helps the grass mature to the point where it can survive cold weather stresses.