HOW TO CARE FOR YOUR NEWLY HYDROSEEDED YARD
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Now that your lawn has been hydroseeded, the work to establish a healthy and full lawn is next. How you care for your lawn over the next 60-90 days will have a big impact of the quick establishment and long term quality of the turf. There are 3 main steps that will greatly enhance the product you just put your valuable time and money into: watering, mowing and fertilizing. These are very critical as the grass seeds germinate and begin to grow.
After your newly hydroseeded lawn has set for 24 hours to let the tackifier cure, it is now time to begin your watering regiment. Watering should be done in the morning or late afternoon. Avoid watering in the evening especially when temperatures are in the 80’s or above, this could do damage to young seedlings. Because, there is typically less air movement during the evening and night time and excess water on the plant can cause turf disease. Your goal when you water is to keep the seed bed moist, overwatering can rot the seed. If you begin to see the water puddle stop and let it soak in. You are trying to apply approximately an inch of rain per week. One way to gauge this if you are watering daily is to set a cake pan marked slightly above 1/8” and place 10-15 feet from sprinkler, once it is at that level it is time to move to another section of yard. After you have done this a few times you will now be able to calculate how long you need to water an area. Keep in mind that different parts of your lawn maybe shady or in open sun and you may have to water a little longer or shorter depending on the conditions. The best lawns have had the mulch kept moist and have never dried out for longer than 24 hours during this critical phase.
Now that your grass is up and growing it is time to mow. Once your grass has grown to 3 ½”- 4” it is ready for its first mowing. Make sure you have sharp blades on your lawn mower, dull blades will tear your new grass rather than cutting them cleanly. Mowing with dull blades can cause stress or invite disease resulting in the death of the young grass. Set your mowing height to 3-3 1/8”, mowing too short in warmer weather will cause damage to the turf especially to un-established grass. Keep in mind that grass mowed higher will develop a deeper root system which will help in times of drought, it will also help in the uptake of nutrients. When mowing, make sure not to take off more than a third of the new grass blades. It is best not to bag your clippings at this time, mulch them instead. Mulching or letting the clippings biodegrade within the young grass feeds the soil and aids the plant in accelerating its development. Any clumps of cuttings should be removed or blown away to prevent fungus, disease or suffocating the new grass plants. After 2 or 3 mowings your yard should begin filling in nicely and this is a great time to do a light overseeding. Different seed varieties will fill in at different rates, turf type fescues will take a little longer to establish versus a bluegrass or a ryegrass lawn.
When to Fertilize
The fertilizer applied at time of hydroseeding will be used up by the new grass in about 4 -5 weeks. At this time it will ready for more food to keeping it growing strong. If a soil test was not done before your initial seeding it is a good time to take a soil sample. Contact your local county extension for help, they can assist you with the sample and also reading of the analysis. Depending on the time of year, variety of turf, or your soil analysis, fertilization requirements will vary. We recommend that you consult with your Finn All Seasons professional or a reputable nursery or seed center near you for the proper fertilizer. Different varieties of grass need different types of fertilization so know your variety of seed and have a copy of your soil analysis with you when talking to your fertilizer professionals.
Keep in mind your new lawn is in its infancy. Just because your lawn looks fully established, doesn’t mean you can stop watering or change your mowing practices! It will take months before your lawn is ready for the stress of hot summers and cold winters. By choosing the right fertilizers, keeping your mower blades sharp, proper watering practices, and maintaining proper mowing heights throughout the year should reward you with a healthy and beautiful lawn.