Many lawns suffer some type of damage during any given year. Thankfully, through the process of aerating soil and putting down high quality grass seed, much damage can be corrected.
So why then, are results less than desirable even when new grass seed is put down at the right time of year? Simply put, it’s often because the lack of ongoing care after seed has spread.
One of the most critical factors for keeping new turfgrass seedlings alive is making sure they maintain adequate moisture until the grass is well established. Without moisture, germination and early seedling survival will be reduced or completely lost.
To avoid frustration, and of course losing money, the soil surface should be kept moist from the time of seeding until several weeks after the seed has germinated. Think of the seed as a tiny sponge. Watering lightly several times per day may be needed to maintain the moisture required for germination and survival. Don’t rely on rainfall alone; oftentimes, it’s not enough. Once the seed gets wet, it needs to stay wet.
On the other hand, too much water, whether from rainfall or irrigation, can also lead to problems. But how much is too much? Water shouldn’t reach the point where it pools or runs off site. This can cause young grass to suffocate, wash away completely or may lead to disease. Lawns with clay or compacted soil are more susceptible to these issues, so keep an eye on the soil’s condition.
Once seedlings and their root systems develop, frequent watering should be replaced by less frequent, yet longer watering. This will allow the surface area to dry out but keep the root area moist.
Continue to Monitor
As the grass continues to develop and mowing is required, the need for irrigation continues to decrease. The soil at this point should be firm enough to allow the use of a mower without having it sink into the turf. If the soil is too wet when new turfgrass is first mowed, new seedlings may get damaged.
Following these tips will provide your newly seeded lawn the moisture it needs to germinate and the ability for it to develop into a healthy lawn. For additional lawn care tips or questions on how to care for a newly seeded lawn, please contact your local NaturaLawn of America office.