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Steps to new lawn establishment

1. Get a soil test. Call your nearest County Extension Service for a test kit and sampling instructions. It will likely take two weeks for results. If you need to apply sulfur, lime, or any other amendment per test recommendation (that is not applied in Step 6), you can do it after seeding if you don't get results back in time.

2. Apply non-selective herbicide (kills all vegetation) and again one week after the first application. You can seed the lawn one week after the second app.

3. Scalp it down

4. Rake it up

5. If compacted soil is an issue, it may be best to use a liquid aeration product, like Nitron A-35 or other, so as not to disturb the soil as mechanical aeration would do.

6. Fertilize

7. Sow seeds in perpendicular directions (north/south and then east/west)

8. Topdress 1/4 inch layer compost, peat moss, or clean straw (weed-free).

9.
water 15-20 minutes twice a day for two weeks
water 20-30 minutes once a day for one week
water 30-45 minutes once a day every other day for one week
water 30-45 minutes once a day twice a week for one week
move into deep irrigation, increasing the time to provide 1 inch of water all over and decreasing the frequency to just once a week.

Starting off, the schedule supplies roughly 1/4 inch of water, then increases that amount while decreasing frequency of application at the same time. Like practically everything that concerns lawn care, this schedule is a general guideline and should be modified to accommodate your specific conditions. The lengths of time should be modified if you have an automatic sprinkler system since that will not take as long to provide adequate moisture. So, decrease amount of water (time) but maintain frequency as is. The tuna cans test is recommended. If it is still especially warm, you may want to irrigate 3 times a day (10-15 minutes if necessary) for that first couple weeks. Your objective is to keep the upper 1 inch of soil moist and not let the seeds dry out. Baby the grass for the rest of year. Once the seeds begin to sprout, don't walk on it if at all possible.

First mowing is when the new grass reaches 2.5-3 inches. Cut it down to two inches. Early mowing is beneficial to help it establish more vigorously.

Steps to overseeding

To overseed with as little damage to the existing grass as possible, then mow it down gradually, not removing more than 1/3 at a time. Then, lowering the height and raising it again should also be a gradual process.

1. Get a soil test. Call your nearest County Extension Service for a test kit and sampling instructions. It will likely take two weeks for results. If you need to apply sulfur, lime, or any other amendment per test recommendation (that is not applied in Step 5), you can do it after seeding if you don't get results back in time.

2. Mow to within 1.5 inches, but mow it down gradually. Cut off 1/3 the grass blade and another 1/3 three or four days later. Repeat if necessary.

3. Rake it up

4. If soil compaction is an issue, it may be best to use a liquid aeration product, like Nitron A-35 or other, so as not to disturb the soil as mechanical aeration would do.


5. Fertilize

6. Sow seeds in perpendicular directions (north/south and then east/west)

7. Topdress 1/4 inch layer compost, peat moss, or clean straw (weed-free). (One cu. yard/1000 sqft).

8.
water 15-20 minutes twice a day for two weeks
water 20-30 minutes once a day for one week
water 30-45 minutes once a day every other day for one week
water 30-45 minutes once a day twice a week for one week
move into deep irrigation, increasing the time to provide 1 inch of water all over and decreasing the frequency to just once a week.

Starting off, the schedule supplies roughly 1/4 inch of water, then increases that amount while decreasing frequency of application at the same time. Like practically everything that concerns lawn care, this schedule is a general guideline and should be modified to accommodate your specific conditions. The lengths of time should be modified if you have an automatic sprinkler system since that will not take as long to provide adequate moisture. So, decrease amount of water (time) but maintain frequency as is. The tuna cans test is recommended. If it is still especially warm, you may want to irrigate 3 times a day (10-15 minutes if necessary) for that first couple weeks. Your objective is to keep the upper 1 inch of soil moist and not let the seeds dry out.

9. First mowing is when the new grass reaches 2.5-3 inches. Cut it down to two inches. Early mowing is beneficial to help it establish more vigorously. However, the existing grass will be considerably taller, so you'll have to mow down gradually again to the point of mowing 1/3 off the new grass. You do want to get the new grass mowed early at this time in order to promote tillering. Then, you want to gradually raise the mowing height to desired length of 2.5 inches. Higher if you prefer.

 

Other helpful information

Grass Seed Supplier List

Yearly Maintenance Schedule

Economical Lawncare Tips

Growing Grass In Shade

 

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to post them on the forum.