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Seed & Sod Care

Seed Care Newly seeded lawns require special care. Immediately following seeding, it is important to maintain a consistently moist seed bed until the seed has germinated. This could take anywhere between 7-21 days, depending on the seed type. It is crucial not to let the seedlings stress and dry out. Be cautious as to not apply too much water. Over-watering may cause soil to be washed away or the seedling to drown. Watering can be cut back after about three to four weeks. It is important to make sure the grass continues to receive adequate moisture until established. A full year of proper maintenance practices will help establish a lush, green lawn.

On the day of seeding, a starter fertilizer should have been applied. This fertilizer is usually high in phosphorous, which helps the seedlings take root into the soil. Six to nine weeks later the grass should be ready for its next fertilization. Your lawn should be fertilized approximately every six to eight weeks. Here in Lawrence, additional phosphorous is not necessary after establishment. A fertilizer with a 03-00-01 analysis ratio is sufficient. Follow the label instructions in order to apply the proper amount of fertilizer. Apply the material at ½ the recommended rate in two separate directions using a broadcast spreader. This will help to assure even coverage.

Once your new seedlings reach a height of 3 inches it will need to be mowed. No more than 1/3 of the total grass blade should be removed at one mowing. For most lawns in Lawrence, a mowing height of 2.5 to 3.5 inches is recommended. The turf will likely need to be mowed once a week. Each week mow an alternate direction to the week prior. If you are removing less than 1/3 of the total leaf blade, it is best to not catch the clippings.

If the seeding is done in the spring, it is common to see weeds coming up with the seedlings. This is the time of the year when most weeds are germinating. It can be very difficult to control weeds in your newly seeded lawn this time of year. Mowing weeds may help with the unsightliness. When applying herbicides, it is necessary to wait until the seedlings have been mowed at least twice. Before this point, the grass is vulnerable and may encounter some burning. Spot spraying with a liquid broadleaf herbicide is most efficient. Please follow all label instructions when applying herbicides.

A newly seeded lawn will need to be nurtured. Following these basic guidelines will increase the chances of creating a lush, green lawn.

Sod Care Now that your sod has been installed, it is time to give it the cares it needs to become established. Proper watering and maintenance will lead you to the lush, green lawn you desire.

Immediately after installation, the sod needs to be watered thoroughly. Enough water should be applied so that soil underneath the sod becomes muddy. Continue to water the sod two to three times daily. It is important that the sod and underlying soil do not become dry. If the leaf blades begin to thin and/or take on a purplish cast, more water is necessary. After 10 to 21 days, the sod should be rooted in. If the sod can no longer be pulled up, watering frequency can be decreased. The sod should continue to receive adequate moisture in order to maintain a dense, healthy lawn. An established lawn should receive approximately 1” of moisture per week during the normal growing season. Less frequent watering will help establish a deep root system that is better acclimated to withstand drought.

After approximately three weeks or once the grass reaches 3-4 inches, it will be time to mow. It is best to not water the grass the day before mowing. This will help avoid clumping and tearing-up a muddy lawn. No more than 1/3 of the total grass blade should be removed at one mowing. For most lawns in Lawrence, a mowing height of 2.5 to 3.5 inches is recommended. The turf will likely need to be mowed once a week. Each week mow an alternate direction to the week prior. If you are removing less than 1/3 of the total leaf blade, it is best to not catch the clippings.

In order to maintain the density of the sod, the turf will need to be placed on a fertilizer and weed control program. A fertilizer with a 03-00-01 analysis ratio is sufficient for the Lawrence area. Follow the label instructions in order to apply the proper amount of fertilizer. Apply the material at ½ the recommended rate in two separate directions using a broadcast spreader. This will help to assure even coverage. One of the great advantages of sod is weeds usually do not become a major problem. If broadleaf weeds need to be controlled chemically, it is best to wait until the turf has been mowed at least twice. Applications before this time may harm the newly rooted grass. Spot spraying with a liquid broadleaf herbicide is most efficient.

These basic guidelines will help create and maintain a dense, healthy lawn. Please feel free to contact a Lawrence Landscape professional if any assistance is needed.